Pairing Wines with Cheeses

By Enrique Ferro

The following are the pairings of wines with different families of cheese made with goat, sheep, cow milk. The last one, has more variability based on the consistency of the paste such as : soft, firm, firm pressed, hard etc. and styles such as Dutch, Blues, etc.

It pairs with light body white wines such as Pinot grigio, Vermentino, Chenin blanc, Erbaluce, Trebbiano, Friulano, Sauvignon blanc from Sancerre, Vinho verde, etc.

They are paired with both whites and red wines, sweet whites, Malvasia, Moscato,Tokaj and light reds such as Claret, Beaujolais, Tavel Rose’, Cabernet franc de la Loire, etc.

There are several styles depending on paste consistency, etc. such as: soft paste, creamy styles; wash rind ; firmed paste pressed; hard paste fermented; Dutch styles and Blue styles.

a) soft paste creamy: Philadelphia, Ricotta, Saint Nectaire, etc. pair well with light body white wines: Pinot blanc, Riesling, etc. and light body reds such as: Pinot noir, Gamay, Boujolais, Bardolino, and Clarets in general.

b) soft coated rind: Camembert, Brie, Coulmiers,Touma, etc pair well with medium body reds such as Zinfandel, Barbera, Chianti, sangiovese, Grenache, Boujolais, etc.

c) wash rind style: Epoisse’s, Livarot, Munster, Fontina, Vacerin, etc. they pair well with heavy body reds such as: Amarone, Nebbiolo, Cabernet sauvignon, Aglianico, Montepulciano, Syrah, Dolcetto, etc. as wells as sweet whites.

d) firm paste pressed: Thomes ( Nord Savoy France), Tomini (Piedmont, Vald’Aosta,), Cheddar, etc. they pair well with Cortese, Erbaluce, Albarinio, Soave, Semillon, Pinot grigio, etc.

e) hard paste fermented: Parmigiano/Reggiano, Gruyere, Gouda, Stylton, etc. pair well with light to heavy reds already mentioned above.

f) Dutch styles: Emmenthal, Navarti, Gouda, etc. pair well with Amarone, late harvest wines, Ports, Sherries, and heavy body reds.

g) Blue styles: Gorgonzola, Roquefort, Blue d’Aubergne, American Blue cheese, etc. go well with Vintage Ports, Sherry, full body reds and full body whites.

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