Setting up wine and cheese pairing can be intimidating, especially for a layman. Mastering the art of matching wine and cheese takes time, just like any other food and wine pairing.To make your life easier and your upcoming wine and cheese party a success, we have shortlisted some classic combinations for you. As we proceed, we will share not just those matches but also the reasoning behind them, to help you understand a few principles of wine and cheese pairing. Cheers!
Riesling and Ricotta Cheese
Riesling and food pairings vary significantly depending on the style of the wine. That said, all Rieslings go well with Ricotta, regardless of the sweetness of the wine. The acidic tang of the drink balances the subtle sweetness and creaminess of this cheese. The drink doesn’t overpower its Italian partner.
Cabernet Sauvignon and Aged Gouda Cheese
Here’s a tip to remember when you organise your next wine and cheese party – aged cheeses should be paired with bold red wines. This is because as cheese ages, its water content reduces and fat content increases. (Now you know why your favourite, aged Cheddar, is dry and crumbly!) This increased fat content counters the tannins in a high tannic drink, just like how the fat in a rib-eye steak (or any red meat cut, for that matter!) perfectly partners with a Shiraz or Cab Sauv. Not to forget, since aged cheeses have a much more intense flavour, they need a full-bodied and high tannic wine that can stand up to them. Cabernet Sauvignon is the perfect candidate!
Pinot Noir and Brie Cheese
Another rule to remember when thinking of wine and cheese pairing is to come up with matches of equal intensity. Brie is a soft, cow’s milk cheese with a mild flavour profile. A cheese like that needs a wine that does not overpower it with its tannins. Pinot Noir is a good match and goes beautifully with the buttery texture of the cheese.
Merlot and Monterey Jack
Monterey Jack is a medium hard, classic American cheese with a very mild flavour. It’s subtly sweet and nutty, somewhat similar to the English Cheddar. The delicateness of cheese requires a wine that is light and fruity. Merlot fits this bill perfectly!