Step inside any cheese and wine bar and you will be quite often greeted with the same pairings: Merlot with Asiago, Chardonnay with White Cheddar, and Pinot Noir with Colby. While these traditional pairings work well to bring out the nuisances of your wine, it is fun to try pairing your favorite wine with an unexpected cheese. You may find that by trying your wine with a new cheese, it will bring out new flavors in your wine that you have not experienced before.
Spice Up Your Pairings
Take a cue from Texas and use spicy cheeses. While traditional Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses are used in Tex-Mex cooking, there are fun new cheeses. Habanero Cheddar and Pepper Jack cheeses are two cheeses that offer spice and bold flavor. Try it with two different types of wines. To kick it up a notch and blend spices, try a Red Zinfandel wine. This spicy wine will blend well with the cheese and enhance the zing. If you like something to help tone down hot spices in the cheese, reach for a bubbly. Champagne and other sparkling white wines will contrast with the spicy cheese, offering an unexpected sweet aftertaste.
Pick a country for the evening and choose regional cheese and wine to pair. Quite often the cheese and wine produced in the same country is intended to complement each other. More than likely this will be easy to find in a wine and cheese bar. Cheeses will be listed by country produced as well as the wine itself. Consider Brie and Banon cheese produced in France and pair with a French Merlot or Bordeaux. Baby Swiss cheese produced in the United States with a Napa Valley Chardonnay. By sticking to a specific region, you will find that the cheese and wine do not overpower each other.
Pair with Range
Hosting a wine and cheese party? Offer your guests cheese flights. Each flight of cheese should start from mild to hearty. Organize your cheese flights by style of cheese such as cheddars, blue cheeses, cream based cheeses, salty cheeses such as blue cheese, and dry cheeses such as Asiago. On each cheese flight post suggestions of wines such as white or red. This way your guests can sample chesses and find the one that they like best. Offer small notebooks for your guests to write their notes in and help them remember which pairing they enjoyed most, a great parting gift for your party.
About the author:
Ginger hails from California as a Blog owner and contributor for various Blogs, among others The Wine Cult. She also likes to write about food and marketing topics. She enjoys riding horses and surfing in her spare time.