The art of pairing cheese and wine

the-art-of-pairing-cheese-and-wine

Cheese and wine have been consumed together for many centuries around the world and it is considered one of the greatest pleasures if the right combination is created. Like other combinations of food and wine, with some basic rules can lead us to an enjoyable journey of flavors. Texture, acidity, fats and tannins are decisive factors for our choice. But most important of all is to highlight the aromas of our wine and the taste of our cheese. Our company, IDK specialises in dairy equipment and that means that we know everything about cheese.

Whether we choose a wine to accompany a cheese platter, or we choose cheeses to enjoy a wine, the goal – if it is a targeted pairing – is the same: not to create an unpleasant sensation with the taste of the wine. For a successful combination, the choice of cheeses should not reduce the pleasure that a wine offers us. In some cases, but not often, a cheese can enhance the taste of a wine. On the other hand, we rarely need to think about how a wine can affect a cheese. Primarily cheese is the dominant partner in this mating.

Certainly many combinations can be made based on personal preferences but there are also many misconceptions regarding their combination. It is a common phenomenon and logical when the proteins of the cheese are combined in the mouth with the tannins of the red wines to reduce the astringent feeling and especially the bitter taste. But in reality, the overall result is a little different, but without canceling the fact that there are exceptional cases of combinations. Each cheese has its own texture, which gives it a delicious and aromatic feeling.

Hard cheese

The most popular in this category are kefalograviera and parmesan, which have a high percentage of fat and many months of maturation. Like the character of the cheese, we want mature wines such as: Cabernet Sauvignon, Xinomavro and Agiorgitiko.

Semi-hard cheese

Typically such cheeses are kaseri and gouda, having more moisture inside. Here we have more options since we are looking for moderate tannins: Chardonnay, Assyrtiko, Vidiano, Pinot Noir, Agiorgitiko.

Cheese milk

These cheeses have a light body and equally light salinity. Mizithra, manouri and anthotyro are some of them. We are looking for discreet aromas and a light or medium body whenever we head to white wines: Savvatiano, Vilana, Athiri. Feta cheese, and very salty cheeses in general, go well with white wines of high acidity, such as Assyrtiko, Robola, Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling.

Goat cheese

The variety is huge, in various shapes and textures and with a strong and salty taste due to the sufficient salt they contain to be preserved. While as far as yogurt cheeses are concerned, they are less salty and have a yoghurt texture, Katiki Domokou and Staka are some of them. We want wines with high acidity without barrel: Sauvignon Blanc, Assyrtiko.

Fresh cheese

Creamy textured cheeses with a strong milk flavor and slightly salty and produced only by fermenting milk. We will focus on medium body wines: Moschofilero, Savvatiano, Merlot, Agiorgitiko.

Blue Cheeses

Among the most characteristic and intense in appearance and taste, salty and fatty, such cheeses are roquefort, danish blue and gorgonzola. To balance their intense and salty character, we need sweet wines: Vinsanto, Vin Doux, Moschato. In case we have intensely salty cheeses such as a French Roquefort, an Italian Gorgonzola or an English Stilton, then we will balance the saltiness by serving a sweet white wine such as Moschato or Sauternes.

Aging and maturation

If you like aged cheeses such as aged gouda, aged cheddar, pecorino or other similar goat, sheep or cow cheeses, cabernet sauvignon, merlot, syrah, agiorgitiko and xinoyavro are the most suitable wines to accompany. However, the key to choosing the right wine is its aging, which should be proportional to the ripening time of the cheese.

The secrets of pairing cheese and wine

The truth is that in the combination of cheese and wine there is no right and wrong. As each wine has its own unique personality and each cheese has its own characteristics, the perfect match of cheese and wine is always a challenge, an exciting game of aromas and flavors, where the final judge is our personal taste. The richer it is the more intense and luscious the taste of the wines becomes the taste of the cheese in the mouth.

The easiest accompaniment for wine was, is and will be cheese. So simple but also so complex, greasy or light, salty or sweet, it is the constant partner of wine. For a successful combination, the choice of cheese should not reduce the pleasure that a wine offers us. Wine is associated with culture, with religion and with eating habits. After all, good wine works like art. It lifts our spirits, makes us feel better and brings us closer.

Cheese and wine have a lot in common. They are both fermentation products, they mature, they age, they have aromas and flavors due to the raw material, the fermentation and the maturation. That is, they go through processes that give them special characteristics. In the matching of cheese and wine there are some general rules but also little secrets that will help to create the most enjoyable result. However, tasting and experimentation always give even more ideas and pave the way for new tasting experiences that are worth trying.

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2 thoughts on “The art of pairing cheese and wine”

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