Do you know how to pair cheese and wine?
There are some things in life that are destined to be together: pen and paper, gin and tonic, tea and biscuits, to name a few. Another pairing that you could add to the list is cheese and wine, and this simple combination is often an intriguing talking point at many evening occasions.
However, when you pull a bottle of the good stuff from your wine collection, do you simply put it with whatever cheese might be available, or do a little homework first? You should opt for the latter, as the subtle nuances in the tastes of both wine and cheese can make all the difference when it comes to hosting a tasting.
Here are two kinds of cheese commonly present at tastings, along with the type of wine that best goes with them.
According to British Cheese, cheddar is the most eaten cheese on the planet. It originates from the English county of Somerset, where the caves of Cheddar Gorge lend their ideal humidity and unwavering temperatures for maturing this hard, classic cheese.
A cheese with a strong taste, eating a sample of wine will balance out its flavours beautifully, and a practised palate will detect earth, nuts and even coffee on the tongue. So what type of vino should you pair it with?
Because cheddar is so strong, it makes perfect sense to counter those flavours with something equally full-bodied.
Shiraz wonderfully fits the bill, its weight a great compliment to the cheese without letting becoming overpowered by it.
As an added bonus, both cheddar and Shiraz are so made that ageing can improve their flavours yet further, so if you have older examples of both, your guests are in for an even bigger treat.
With cheddar, it’s wise to keep away from lighter vinos, as their delicate notes will become lost under cheddar’s intoxicating spell.
At the other end of the cheese scale, mozzarella is a fresh, light cheese with mild flavours that can fit well with a great many wines. Used as a base or a topping for a great many foods around the world, mozzarella is one of the world’s most popular, versatile cheeses, perhaps due to its ability to complement almost anything.
A light, dry rose or crisp white is the perfect accompaniment to a plate of mozzarella or a food that contains a certain level of the cheese. That’s because the lighter berries and moderate acidity work with the subtle tastes of mozzarella beautifully, giving you a taste that lets you know it’s there without being too loud about it. Sweeter wines, though, are best avoided with mozzarella, as they will nullify its delicate tastes.