Wednesday, December 21, 2011

How to pair wine and cheese

I'm getting together with some gal pals later this week just before Christmas. We'll be exchanging gifts over wine and cheese and I thought it was the perfect opportunity to explore some different cheese pairings to go with our glasses of vino! I'm far from a wine connoisseur so I found this guide from Delish.com to be extremely helpful in discovering the perfect cheese for different types of wines. I created a visual aid to assist this guide, and thought it might be cool to share with you guys before we scatter off to our holiday parties this weekend!

Photos: FoodCollection/Stockfood America // Layout: Victory Paper Designs
Native to Germany and Austria, Cambozola is considered a cross between a Gorgonzola blue and Camembert. Cow's milk is the main ingredient of this cheese, with added cream to give it a smooth, creamy, and spreadable texture. For the most part, flavors are mellow and mild with a bit of zip from the blue.
Wine Recommendation: Merlot. A soft, round red wine that has a very supple texture. For Cambozola, choose a Merlot from California. Try Mantanzas Creek Merlot or Shafer Merlot

Goat Cheese
Made purely from goat's milk, goat cheese (also referred to as chèvre) is available in many different shapes and is often rolled in cracked black peppercorns or herbs for added flavor. Characterized by a somewhat sharp and tangy flavor, its texture can be soft, creamy, dry, or firm.
Wine Recommendation: A dry white wine from the Loire Valley region of France. Try Lucien Crochet Sancerre.

Blue Cheese
This family of cheeses — made from cow's milk, goat's milk, and sheep's milk — is treated with molds to produce blue and green veins. Although blue cheeses typically have strong flavors that intensify with age, there are also a few that can be defined as relatively mellow. Their tastes can include a distinct sweetness that's often combined with the salty, sharp, and tangy notes that you'd expect from a blue.
Wine Recommendation: Dessert wines. These sweet wines have intense flavors that aren't overpowered by strong blue cheeses. Try Fonesca Late Bottled Vintage 2000, Taylor Fladgate Special Ruby Porto, or Château Rieussex Sauternes.

Most often made from raw or pasteurized, whole or skim cow's milk, Brie is French in origin. It's characterized by its soft, creamy texture and a thin, edible rind. Flavor-wise, Brie is somewhat buttery and slightly sweet. Be sure to eat at the peak of ripeness to take advantage of its best flavors.
Wine Recommendation: Champagne and Sparkling Wines. Authentic versions of Champagne are made in Champagne, France, but other areas make it as well. Try Veuve Clicquot Champagne (nonvintage) from France, Freixenet Cava from Spain, or Domaine Carneros Brut from California.

{From Delish.com}

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