Putting cheese and wine together successfully is a little more challenging than it might seem, although these simple tips will help ensure enjoyable pairings.
- Serve unoaked or lightly oaked white wines such as pinot grigio, sauvignon blanc, chenin blanc, riesling and chardonnay and light-style red wines such as pinot noir, with lighter cheeses such as goat cheese, feta, Monterey Jack, Colby, young cheddar and Jarlsberg. (Remember: heavily oaked wines such as a full-bodied chardonnay or big red wines will not work with these cheeses).
- Serve bigger-style red wines such as some pinot noirs, merlot, Spanish tempranillo and some cabernet sauvignons (as long as they're not TOO brawny) with semi-hard cheeses including farmhouse cheddars, Dry Monterey Jack, Manchego and gouda.
- Serve sweet wines like Port, Sherry and Madeira with salty and/or strong cheeses such as Roquefort, Stilton and other blue cheeses or pungent cheeses like Alsatian Munster, French Epoisses or Italian Taleggio.
- If you'd like just one wine to go with a variety of cheeses, then select either riesling or an unoaked or very lightly oaked chardonnay for a white wine and a light- to medium-bodied pinot noir as your red wine.
Written by Laura Werlin, www.laurawerlin.com, author of Laura Werlin's Cheese Essentials.