Arguably, there are few greater pleasures than pairing wine with cheese. However, since every cheese has a distinctive flavour as does wine, doing it right is paramount to creating a match made in heaven.
While contrast does bode well in some cases, the key is to create a sensation of tastes that play well off one another. Here, we examine some of the most popular imported cheeses and how you can best enjoy them with the right wine pairings.
– Beemster Cheeses
This artisan Dutch cheese is created in a polder that is an official UNESCO World Heritage site. The pesticide-free fields the cows graze upon contain a rare blue sea clay with minerals that lend a sweeter and softer milkfat for that distinctive creamy texture.
As such, you can go about pairing Beemster cheeses with wine in a couple of ways. If you prefer whites, choosing a dry white Chardonnay is a sublime experience. Lovers of reds should choose a sturdy composition made from Bordeaux grapes. With the aged varieties of Beemster, rich and fruiter reds are divine while Riesling or dessert wine is another approach on the lighter side of things.
– Coombe Castle
With creamy cheddars, traditional Stilton’s and both fruit and savoury blends, Coombe Castle offers a slice of British and Irish Dairy pride. For these varieties, white wines are almost a sure bet. Due to the richness of the product and varying scale, if you could only pick one wine, white would match the flavours most appropriately because of the low tannin content.
You can choose red if you prefer, however, the rule is that it should be more acidic and fruitier while keeping low on tannins. Generally, a red that has aged well should be a lovely partner with Coombe Castle Dorset Drum Cheddar if you prefer.
– Olympus Cheese
By bringing the tastes of the Mediterranean to Australia, Olympus Cheese localizes the dairy delicacies closer to home. The zesty fetta is pure bliss when paired with Beaujolais. Halloumi tends to be a bit saltier. For that truly authentic experience, grilling it and serving it with a sweet Moscato is the way to go.
Should you be unable to choose between the 2 cheeses, you can call on a nice off-dry Riesling to pull it all together. In the absence of that, there is nothing quite like champagne to kick it all off.
– Paysan Breton
The Emmental cheeses crafted in Brittany, France, by Paysan Breton are utterly divine creations. Easy to cut into perfect bites, nothing compares to a beautiful buttery and fruity Chardonnay with this cheese. Ideally, looking for a Chardonnay from Brittany will provide the most exemplary tasting experience of all.
The Ultimate Cheese Rule of Thumb
Whatever wine you choose to pair with your extraordinary cheeses, don’t forget that allowing your cheese to come to room temperature enhances the experience even further. The fat in the cheese contracts when it’s cold, but once it warms, it provides greater flavour. Aim to set it out at least one hour and a half prior to serving to fully enjoy your pairings.