Throwing a wine and cheese party is one of the easiest and most fun ways to entertain—especially if you know a few insider tips. Here are a few from our acting editor-in-chief Karen MacNeil based on her research for The Wine Bible.
1. Pair like with like. Wines and cheeses with a common thread, such as high acidity or a creamy texture, are natural partners. Try a crisp sauvignon blanc with a fresh and tangy goat cheese, or an earthy, soft brie with an earthy, soft California pinot noir.
2. Pair opposites. Opposites often attract in cheese (as well as in love). That creamy brie will take on a whole new dimension when paired with a high acid, super fresh wine like Italian Prosecco. Or try the classic sweet-salty combo: a dessert wine like Port, Sauternes or icewine paired with a strong, salty cheese like Gorgonzola or Stilton. Sparks will fly.
3. Think similar regions. You generally can’t go wrong pairing a wine and cheese from the same region; the locals have tested these combinations over generations. We love Pecorino Toscano and a Chianti Classico, both from Italy’s Tuscany region. Or try a Spanish Manchego with Rioja—a marriage made to last.
And one last reminder: cheese always tastes (and feels) best at room temperature, not when it’s cold. So take the cheeses out of the refrigerator, unwrap them and arrange them on platters at least an hour before serving them.
What is your favorite wine and cheese pairing? Tell us below.
Photo Credit: 夏天, "Friday Night Snack"