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Swiss wines

Pleasing Cheese And Wine Combinations To Try This Spring

Wine and cheese are a classic pairing, because the flavours and textures naturally complement each other. However, it can be easy to be blindsided by science when it comes to articles about which perfect matches to make. There seem to be a lot of do’s and don’ts to observe, but ultimately it’s a matter of personal preference.

There are general guidelines that can be helpful as a starting point, or just to bear in mind if you are unsure whether to go for red or white wine. Here are some top tips for pleasing cheese and wine combinations; perfect for a spring soiree. 

Wine to go with soft cheeses

Soft cheeses such as brie, camembert and ricotta are rich and creamy, and they pair well with white acidic wines to counteract the fattiness. Acidic wines are mostly produced in cooler climates, because the grapes grow more slowly and are less ripe and sweet when they are harvested.  

Classic dry white wines such as Riesling and Viognier are good choices. Riesling has slightly sweeter notes, which nicely counteracts the saltiness of the cheese. Swiss wines such as Chasselas also work really well. It has a delicate citrus and apple flavour, but also has a pleasant fruity sweetness that makes it easy to drink with light cheese snacks. 

You can also pair red wine with soft cheese, but stick to light to medium bodied wines such as pinot noir. Dry sparkling wine such as Brut Champagne is also a perfect choice.

Wine to go with hard cheeses

Hard cheeses such as cheddar, Parmigiana-Reggiano, and Manchego are natural partners for a range of wines, particularly red. Cabernet Sauvignon goes very well with mature cheddar, because the bold rich flavours and textures of both the wine and cheese complement each other. 

The key is to match the strength of the cheese with the complexity of the wine, so medium and mild cheddars would be better matched to a medium or light bodied red such as Merlot. Cheddar or other hard cheeses such as Manchego can also pair well with medium bodied whites such as Chardonnay and white Rioja. 

Wine to go with blue cheese

Blue cheese such as Roquefort and Stilton can be an acquired taste, with pungent flavours and creamy textures. When pairing with wine, you will need an equally bold and structured flavour or the cheese will completely overpower the taste of the wine. Fortified wines such as port have a boldness and sweetness that pairs well with the saltiness of blue cheese.

Sweet and fruity dessert wines such as Moscato or Sauternes can also be a good choice, because the high sugar content balances out the savoury salty flavour of the cheese.

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