The holidays are upon us and we all love to nosh on festive snacks! Wine and cheese are always an easy appetizer that pleases a crowd or can be scaled down for just a few people. Looking for the best wine and cheese pairings? We have 5 below that will not disappoint!
Wine and Cheese Pairings for Beginners
1. Blue Cheese + Champagne
Champagne pairs extraordinarily well with cheese, with the complex aromas in the wine and the equally complex tastes from the cheese producing a bubbly explosion of flavor in the mouth. And this isn’t just true of genuine champagne from the Champagne district in France. It also goes for many other sparkling wines, including prosecco from Italy, cava from Spain and sekt from Germany. Salty, creamy blue cheese goes beautifully with a semi-sweet sparkling wine. The strong flavors of blue cheese begs for a little sweetness to cut the sale. With a sparkling wine or champagne, the bubbles cut through the richness of the cheese, cleaning the palate to make way for more cheese.
2. Asiago + Riesling
When it comes to a drier, milder asiago cheese, sweet wines like a Riesling will pair well. Between the nutty flavor, pungent aroma, and creamier finish, this cheese will taste delicious with something sweet. Harder cheeses love full-bodied whites and their saltiness makes them terrific with sweet wines.
3. Goat Cheese + Sauvignon Blanc
If you're looking for a fresh, spreadable cheese to enjoy, grab a goat cheese and a crisp Sauvignon Blanc. The freshness and creaminess of the goat cheese will pair well with every refreshing sip. Goat cheese partners best with wines that are juicy, fruity, fresh and spirited like a Sauvignon Blanc.
4. Camembert + Pinot Noir
Brie is a rock star cheese that’s available at most grocers. This cow’s milk cheese can be easily paired with Pinot Noir. Look up instructions on how to bake the brie (this is easy and so delicious!) to make it that much more spreadable. A fruity red like a pinot noir is the ideal pairing for this cheese- add a baguette and you can call it dinner!
5. Manchego + Rioja
Hard sheep cheese like Manchego is a great companion to a bottle of good red wine. Manchego is a very popular cheese from the La Mancha region of Spain, and it is made from unpasteurized sheep's milk. Manchego cheese has a distinctly fruity and nutty flavour and the pleasant grassy aroma is what makes it so appealing to have along with a glass of wine. The nutty, tangy and savory flavors show off a good rioja to it's best advantage!
One Wine to Rule Them All?
It's fun to open a range of bottles to sample with different cheeses, but if you're pouring a single wine with a mixed plate of cheeses, try Riesling, especially off-dry. The wine is low in alcohol, but its acidity, sweetness, tropical fruits, and mineral backbone let it partner broadly. A Gewürztraminer is another great choice. It's dry with a delicate body, but its floral aromas are pleasing above the savory notes of all of the cheeses. Sparkling wines, from dry to sweet, almost always work well, too. Their ample acidity and toasty, nutty flavors complement cheeses from fresh through aged. A mixed plate of cheeses is a great excuse to open another bottle of Champagne—as if you needed one!