wine bottle and cheese block

Pairing Wine with Cheese and Food

There are no set rules you must follow except what tastes great to you.. There are some guidelines you can follow that will help to make better choices. Lighter wines should be paired with lighter flavored cheeses while hearty fuller bodied burgundies are best with a cheese that has a heartier more pungent flavor. Wines or sparkling wines that may be high in acidity are best with a creamy smoother cheese to balance the acidity. Lighter lower acidic wines may go well with a sharper cheese. They offset one another and balance the flavors.



Try to find cheese that was produced in the same region as the wine. Some programs I have watched have revealed farmers in various parts of the US who are making some of the best cheeses youíll ever find. They are not that easily accessible but can be found with some internet searches. They have their own cows and use fresh milk to make fantastic products. Some of them feed their cows a natural grass diet as opposwed to feed. No chemicals in this milk. This makes a big difference in the flavors of the cheeses.


Port and Stilton cheese are a great example of how sweet and salty balance and compliment one another. Port wines, sherry, and Madera are fortified wines meaning the fermentation process was halted by the addition of a grape spirit. The wines are left with more sugar and higher alcohol content. There are several styles of port ranging from a young ruby port, a bottle aged port with the richness and complexity of a vintage port to the nutty smoothness of a barreled aged port.


Most people have a favorite wine they like to drink with their meals. Many women prefer a light bodied white while some men prefer a fuller bodied red. I know this is about wine but once in a while I actually prefer a great tasting dark beer. Like the cheese and pairing there are no rules but only guidelines.
  


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Pairing Food and Wine


Most people have a favorite wine they like to drink with their meals. Many women prefer a light bodied white while some men prefer a fuller bodied red. My own preference is a rich red caberenet sauvignon. Like the cheese and pairing there are no rules but only guidelines.


Itís usually best to match food intensity with that of the wine. So a grilled steak or other game type of meat is best with a rich red like cabernet Sauvignon or Syrah. A lighter wine like Beaujolais would not stand up to the rich fattiness and meat of the steak. The flavor of the wine would be lost.


Usually seafood goes better with lighter whites but a stronger fish like salmon or other strong flavored seafood items will fare well with a fuller bodied white like a Chardonnay. Iíve made some great seafood dishes in an Italian style red sauce that go well with red wines. Pinot Noir is good but I for my own I lean towards Cabernets.


Lamb and game usually require a certain amount of spices to work with their gamey flavors. Wines that very aromatic with bold flavors are best used for these meats.