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The wine and cheese pairing

See our advice on food and wine pairings

Between wine and cheese, it's a story that dates . With the consumption of cheese, we generally associate the consumption of wine. Given the large number of cheese and wine, you have to know the ideal combination. To find the perfect combination, it is necessary to know a few basics in terms of wines and cheeses.

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Wine and cheese alliance, what you need to know

At the table when choosing the wine to drink with the cheese, it is important to make the right choice. Indeed, it is necessary to establish an alliance of wine with cheese so that the tasting is a pure moment of pleasure.

Many people often have ideas that are often wrong or only valid in certain cases. For example, the fact that a wine is good and famous does not mean that it will go perfectly with any cheese. Since there is as much wine as there is cheese, there can be a significant number of associations .

Between a red wine with a high tannin content and a sweet or dry white, finding a perfect alliance is not easy.

At cheese tastings, drinking wine with cheese has become a tradition. You should know that some cheeses are indisputably in agreement with a specific type of wine , but it is often difficult to distinguish them. To find the best combination of wine and type of cheese, we can base ourselves essentially on the balance of power, for a fresh cheese you need a light wine, etc.

However, the aroma of the wine can also play a role . For types of cheese, here are some interesting combinations.

Wine and goat cheese

To taste a slice of goat's cheese with a good wine, everything depends on the ripening of your cheese. If it is ashy or dry, it becomes saltier . This requires a combination that must not only bring out this taste of salt, but also bring a particular note to it that balances it all out.

In this, a Pouilly Fumé or a Sancerre which are wines from the Loire Valley could be perfectly suitable. By carrying out this skilful mixture, we emphasize both the delicacy of the cheese, its freshness and its creamy taste with a touch of fat.

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Like this combination of a wine and a cheese, it is largely white wines that go best with the majority of goat cheeses . However, it is also possible to engage in the tasting of a cheese platter around a glass of red wine, but you have to be very careful about its texture, because everything is gauged in terms of power.

If a cheese is strong, it should be accompanied by a light wine . Red wines are known for the presence of tannin which is a mixture of skins and pips that develop the harsh taste of red wine. If you choose a creamy and powerful goat cheese, a light red wine can do the trick .

Read this article on ideal white wines with tartiflette

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Blue cheese and wine

With a blue-veined cheese, a soft white wine with sweet and fairly pronounced notes is ideal because of the mold in the blue-veined cheese. In fact, cheeses such as Fourme d'Ambert, Bleu d'Auvergne or Bleu de Bresse are salty and very powerful. To mitigate this, Maury, Banyuls and Porto can be combined. They are naturally sweet wines.

In the case of sweet white wines or a sweet wine like those found in the South-West (Monbazillac, Jurançon, Côtes de Gascogne and Pacherenc du Vic Bihl), nothing beats a good slice of Gorgonzola or Roquefort .

Coming from Italy, the Gorgonzola is creamy enough to go well with a Jurançon or a Coteaux du Layon.

As Roquefort is made from sheep's milk, a syrupy Monbazillac or Sauternes can be a good choice ; the whole therefore forms a good alliance.

Wine and pressed cheeses

A cheese that can be aged, such as Comté, can very well be served with a yellow wine from the Jura d'Arbois or a Château-Chalon.

This combination of wine and cheese is strongly recommended. In the large family of pressed cheeses, on the one hand it is possible to obtain a molded, pressed and heated cheese called cooked cheese, and on the other hand a molded and pressed cheese, but whose dough is said to be uncooked. Indeed, there is a notable difference between a Saint-Nectaire and a Beaufort, a Tête de Moine and an Ossau-Iraty…

Whereas a cooked pressed cheese such as Abondance, Beaufort, or Gruyère is tasted very well with a glass of low-acid white wine, like a Burgundy wine. A Savigny-lès-Beaune or a Saint-Romain are also wines that can go well with pressed cheeses . Indeed, when these wines are aged between four to five years, they develop a buttery taste (characteristic specific to wines made from Chardonnay grapes ) which is very similar to that of hazelnuts, enough to perfect the flavor of a cheese. Italian like parmesan or a Swiss appenzell.

With regard to cheeses of the type: Cantal, Salers, Saint-Nectaire (young) or Tomes des Bauges, a red wine is a good choice if it is both fleshy and spicy . By showing its regional side, a Châteaumeillant, a Coteaux du Vendômois, a Gaillac or wines from Provence accentuate the taste of these cheeses in a very beautiful way.

Creamy wines and cheeses

Soft cheeses are subdivided into washed rind and bloomy rind cheeses. To savor a Mont d'Or, a reblochon, a raclette or a vacherin, which are soft cheeses with a washed rind, all you need is a glass of white wine from the Rhone Valley, which is not very lively, but fatty. Also read the article on perfect wines with raclette .

A Saint-Joseph or a Crozes Hermitage also enhance the creaminess of these cheeses on the palate.

As for a Munster, a Maroilles or a Pont-L'évêque, a slightly sweet Alsatian gewürztraminer will unify their taste by reducing the cheese's aggressiveness and intensifying its lactic side.

With a cheese with a bloomy rind like Brie, Camembert or Chaource, dry white wine is not a good accompaniment, especially if you try them with the rind. We will smell a bitter and metallic flavor. This time, red wine is in order.

But, if you want to appreciate an atypical drink that accompanies a dough with a bloomy crust to perfection, a glass of full-bodied red wine like Bordeaux or Burgundy is what you need .

It should be noted that this kind of cheese is eaten with or without a rind, but it all depends on individual taste. It should be noted that once the rind has been removed, a structured and fairly fatty white wine, a Saint-Péray from the Rhône Valley for example, can be an excellent choice to maintain the aroma of these cheeses.

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Wines to appreciate the cheese platters

With a platter of varied cheeses, it is rare to take out several bottles even if certain food and wine pairings can be sublimated thanks to this.

For all occasions, therefore, the best option remains white wines. Preferably, they should be sweet, dry, with fruity or woody notes. These wines will magnify a platter of delicious cheeses served in slices or that are still to be cut. Aged for two or three years, a bottle of white wine will have enough flavor and aroma to make you forget about great vintages such as a Meursault or a Hermitage.

Although these alliances have already been proven, there may still be other possible marriages. It is up to everyone to find their best composition.

Read also the perfect wines to accompany the fondue .

wine cheese fondue

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