Fun with Wine and Cheese Pairing

By: dgcarticle

When designing a tasty wine and cheese pairing, the thing you have to know is: If it tastes right, do it! I’m sure you’ve heard all the most knowledgeable chefs sharing about what cheese works with a wine; however, when you make your decision, it’s all about personal taste. You may prefer a cheese with a different wine than your friends. My recommendation is for you to be ready for for experimenting. Choose several cheeses and several wines. You will find one pairing that is best for you and another for someone else. There are no wrong combinations. It will create conversation. It will be interesting. It will be delectable. And it will be amusing.

Cheese and wine are related, and they have been enjoyed together since days gone by. Both are products of fermentation. Both may be consumed while fresh, simple, and young or in their more intricate forms when they are mature.

When joined, wine and cheese do their part to bring out the best in each other, and even the experts can’t agree on any absolutes in the wine and cheese pairing game. Now obviously, if you’re researching this subject, you’re a snob like the rest of us, and with snobs, there’s no worry about bloopers in wine and cheese pairings — say like nibbling Velveeta while sipping boxed Franzia.

There are no hard and fast rules as to which wines should regularly be served with a precise} cheeses. There is a belief that cheeses of a certain geographic country are best paired with wines of the same country. But, just as one bottle of zinfandel from the Temecula California is not like that of another vintage or another producer, neither is one quesco cotija exactly like another. Both are living and constantly changing. This is what makes marriing cheese and wine alluring as well as delicious.

Even though it comes down to personal taste, certain general rules have been proven favorable by a majority of the experts. Here are some of those general rules:
• White wines combines best with soft cheeses and stronger flavors.
• Red wines combines best with hard cheeses and milder flavors.
• Fruity and sweet white wines (not dry) and dessert wines combines best with a broader selection of cheeses.
• The more acrid the cheese you choose, the sweeter the wine should be.
• Harmony should always exist between the cheese and the wine. They should have similar strength. There should always be a balance - strong and powerful cheeses should be paired with similar wines and fragile cheeses should be paired with lighter wines.
• A complete list of well paired wine and cheese groupings can be found at

When offering several cheese choices in a wine and cheese event, white wines are better than reds. That’s because several cheeses, particularly soft and creamy ones, leave a taste of fat on the palate that block the taste of reds, making them monotonous and bland.

Just the opposite, most of those sweeter whites combine with a full range of cheeses. Additionally, the “sparkle” in a sparkling wine or champagne can help clean the fat in heavier cheeses.Therefore, the spicy zing of a Gewürztraminer or the peachy zip of a Riesling is a good choice if you’re going for the most universal appeal.

If you’re willing to try new things, pick a big wine to back it up. Try a French Bordeaux or a buxom California Cab. Ports and dessert wines are your best pairing if you like mold-donned or blue-veined cheeses.

For a safer bet when serving several wines, choose Parmigiano or Romano cheeses. They go with most wines.

A Wine and Cheese Pairing Party to Remember

Here are several ideas for setting up a group pleasing wine and cheese pairing dinner for your family:
• Purchase your cheeses in large blocks for an ideal display.
• Cheeses should be served at room temperature. Pull them out of the refridgerator several hours prior to your dinner.
• Serve most wines cool — whites between 50-55 degrees and reds between 60-65 degrees.
• Let your reds breathe 15-20 minutes after you open them.
• Print typed name cards for all your cheeses.
• Display cheese on a cheese tray, a wood cheese board, or even a nice piece of china.

Ultimately, the perfect wine and cheese pairing is not a rule. It is a match made on the palates of each person individually. Start with the basic guidelines above and then try the new pairings. You may be surprised which cheese and wine pairings will end up to be your choice dynamic duo.

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David Cragg is an Internet marketing expert for the Temecula wineries with over 30 years of work experiance. His work started with IBM and then was supported by Microsoft. Today he is retired and offers his time to winery managment to support with their Internet marketing to support expand their businesses. You can read more about his work for Temecula wineries at

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