Wine with Cheese

We have all heard of cheese and wine parties, but if we are serving cheese to guests or family, which wine complements the flavours of cheeses best?

If you want to be boring but safe, Port goes well with a cheese selection plate. It doesn’t matter what particular cheese, you will invariably find that the sweet intense flavour of Port works well with cheese.

However, if you want to experiment then here are a few cheese and wine pairing suggestions.

Shiraz and mature Cheddar work very nicely. The astringent notes in cheddar cheese are softened by the wine to create a harmony in the mouth that is surprising and welcome. Shiraz will also harmonise with mild cheddar, but some mild cheddars have so little flavour that the wine is the only thing you actually taste.

For crumbly white Cheshire cheese, I recommend a glass of riesling.

Ripe Camembert and a Chenin Blanc go very well together.

Really sharp cheeses (mature Cheddar or Parmigano) and baked Brie or Camembert go well with Champagne or Chardonnay.

With acidic Goat’s cheeses try a Sauvignon Blanc.

A fruity Cabernet Sauvignon or Chianti is really good with Gruyere cheese. This aged Swiss cheese has a really complex set of flavours, managing to be sweet, salty and nutty all at the same time. The fruit in the wines throws in a counterpoint that really excites the palette without dulling the cheese’s complexity.

Now we turn to the blue veined cheeses and while Danish Blue and the German Cambonzola work well with Cabernet Sauvignon, if you are eating English Stilton cheese (one of the few truly great cheeses) I advise you to stick resolutely to port wine and you will experience mouthful after mouthful of utter joy.

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