As wine becomes more popular, the pairing of wine and food is getting more and more attention. There are many types of cheeses that are considered good partners for wine, and they are always closely linked during tasting. The two from the same continent always look very close when matched. So, how can you perfectly match wine and cheese like an expert? We might as well follow these easy-to-understand collocation guidelines-
Pair with wines and cheeses of similar intensity
At the beginning of the match, the first thing we need to ask is “whether the two are equally rich”. You must know that a cheese with a delicate taste like Gruyère cannot bear a large and heavy blend of Cabernet Sauvignon from the Bordeaux region, while the Burgundy region Pinot Noir It can complement it well.
If the style of the production area is not so easy to grasp, let us use the simplest and clearest alcohol level to distinguish. A wine with an alcohol content of more than 14.5% is often heavier and is suitable for a strong cheese, while a wine with a refreshing alcohol of less than 12% is more suitable for a light-style cheese.
For example, from Beaujolais south of Burgundy, on the third Thursday of November every year, red wines that were newly launched in that year will be launched here. It is also called “Beaujolais Nouveau”. Lai’s rather novel marketing model has made wine lovers all over the world remember this region. Compared to the neighboring Burgundy, Beaujolais wines are more refreshing, fruity and easy to drink. This style is naturally closely related to its grape varieties and brewing methods. The wine growers here choose Gamay grapes and “carbonic maceration” for brewing. Red wine that starts to ferment naturally without breaking the skin retains more fresh, refreshing fruit flavor and less tannins, which is very suitable for people who drink wine for the first time. This refreshing wine is very suitable for pairing with cheeses such as comté.
The surface color ranges from beige to chestnut, and the slightly grainy Conté is a frequent visitor to the cheese platter on the menu of western restaurants. It looks big, but the taste is very delicate, and it can even be said to melt in the mouth. When the maturation period is short, it will give off a layer of butter, cream and grass and other mixed aromas. This cheese with a shorter maturity period is more suitable for Beaujolais.
When we buy, we must pay attention to the logo of the cheese recess. If it is a green label, it means it complies with the AOP technical specifications of the country of origin. If it is brown, it means that after the maturation period, its quality is no longer as good as the green label, and it needs to be sold at a reduced price.
Why are Comté cheeses big? Judging from the written records left by France in the 11th century: At that time, different farmers who raised dairy cows handed over their own milk to the milk collection station, where they uniformly produced cheese for the whole family to spend the winter. This is Comté. These milk collection stations are also regarded as the predecessors of the “rural cooperatives” in the future, so it turns out that not only the wine is made by the cooperative, but also the cheese.
Full-bodied wines are suitable for long-aged cheeses
As we all know, long-aged red wines will develop many third-class complex flavors, such as mushrooms, soil, leather, etc., over time. At the same time, the original green and aggressive tannins will become soft and silky. Cheese will also gradually lose water as it matures, the fat content will increase, and the flavor will be more intense. Cheese in this state is very suitable for full-bodied red wine, because enough fat can neutralize the tannins in the wine. If you have to pair with a light-tasting cheese, you will find that the taste of red wine suppresses the taste buds and makes the cheese taste at a loss.
There are a lot of full wines. To get out of the regular Bordeaux, let’s try Vino Nobile di Montepulciano from the Tuscany region of Italy. This is a typical Sangiovese blend that needs to account for at least 70%. The law also stipulates an aging time of at least 24 months, of which 12 months must be completed in oak barrels. Local winemakers prefer to use botti made in Italy instead of small French barrels to avoid the aroma of oak barrels. In the end, a red wine with the flavors of black cherries, plums, and ripe strawberries was born.
Long enough aging time makes the original astringent tannins become firm, as mild as the tannins of tea, and the not low acidity makes it more able to withstand changes in time. When the law is not perfect, the wine farmers here will mark the name “Chianti” in order to sell it. After all, it is more famous, so many drinkers will use the “Chianti aroma and Brunello Monte”. The fullness of Tacino” to describe it. Such a full-bodied wine paired well with the local Tuscan Grana Padano cheese, but I would like to use a more well-known cheese because it is easier to buy.
Cheddar is the most sold cheese variety in the world, and it can be produced all over the world. But when it comes to Cheddar, we think of Britain. The acclaimed West Country Farmhouse Cheddar Cheese can be said to be the most iconic cheese in the UK, but it must be aged for at least nine months before it can be crowned with this name. The cheddar smelled of mold at first. It is a taste after aging, like the third type of aroma in wine. When the cylinder is cut open, the inside is straw-like yellow, or even golden yellow, and the texture is dense, but uneven. The slightly rough taste does not hinder the experience of easy entrance. Such fats and oils complement the tea-like sour Montepulciano wine. With fine products, you will also feel the animal fragrance after aging, which is worth a try.
Sweet wine is worthy of stinky cheese
The “fragrant” taste of blue cheese has been included in the food list that many people avoid, like durian and stinky tofu, but it makes others love it. And people still use sweet moscato, jelly syrup, late-harvest Riesling and even Port wine to match it with its notorious, smelly and unsightly.
This is because the sweetness in wine can balance the smell of stinky cheese and make it taste like creamy silky. At the same time, the taste of stinky cheese can balance the sweetness in the wine, making people feel that it is not too sweet. Wine lovers who like sweet wine can better feel the support of high enough acidity in the wine. They are like a tug-of-war, competing against each other, fortunately, they reach a delicate balance on people’s taste buds.
Therefore, special stinky cheeses naturally need to be paired with special wines. Fortified wine in wine is a good branch, such as Portuguese Tawny Port (Tawny Port). Compared to vintage Porter, it is more refreshing and easy to drink. Tawny Porter, aged in oak barrels for several years, fully communicates oxygen with the wine, and the oxidized wine gradually turns from dark red to brown. This is also the origin of the name for Tawny Porter. Aged in place forced it to endure the heat of the Douro River bank and gave birth to a caramel-like aroma. In the middle of the fermentation, high-alcoholic spirits are added to retain enough sweetness to cope with the “stinky” of blue cheese. In addition, it has a high acidity, which supports a rich nutty, preserved fruit and oxidized taste. This type of fortified wine is very suitable for pairing with the horrifying blue cheese.
Although the appearance and smell are “weird”, in sharp contrast, blue cheese was born in a romantic love story. According to legend, in order to pursue the noble lady, a shepherd left his rations-bread and goat’s milk in a natural cave. When he returned to the cave after his courtship, the goat’s milk had long changed from ordinary curd to long-haired solid. Fortunately, he was not willing to throw it, and even took a bite, suddenly shocked. This is the embryonic form of blue cheese. In the 9th century AD, Charlemagne accidentally ate this cheese and liked it very much; in the 15th century, Charles VI assigned this cheese to Roquefort-sur-Soulzon for production, which gave the Roquefort blue pattern today. cheese.
According to legal regulations, only the Lakne sheep milk that is matured in the natural cave of Rockford Village can be called Rockford Blue Cheese. There is good ventilation, and the temperature and humidity are very suitable for the growth and reproduction of penicillium. The cheese made in this environment is not too salty and has a rich taste. It smells full of vitality, with a hint of sourness. It is fragile and easy to melt, and you can feel the scent of sheep’s milk after the mouth, and the taste is very balanced. If you want to taste it like a glutton, you can also try Stilton blue cheese.
Sparkling wine goes best with milky, soft cheese
Why should sparkling wine be paired with soft and milky cheese? The two do not belong to the same world in any way, but the bitterness and high acidity of sparkling wine can be combined with the extremely soft, oil-rich cheese, making the oil look less fatty. The sharp acidity and the extremely pleasant bubbles are like the other side of the thick milky fragrance, but they can be closely combined in different directions, making people feel satisfied. Not to mention the toasty flavor of sparkling wine brewed by the traditional method, and how compatible it is with this type of cheese. After all, this type of cheese is one of the perfect match for bread. In addition, the carbon dioxide contained in sparkling wine can help clean the taste buds, allowing you to taste the subtle taste of each bite when you eat cheese one bite after another. If you have the chance, try apple or pear sparkling wine with this cheese, which is also an interesting experience.
Speaking of sparkling wine, I still want to use champagne as a representative. After all, it is the most distinctive one among the wines. Even if you don’t know that only sparkling wine from the Champagne region can be called champagne, it does not prevent everyone from knowing that there is a sparkling wine called champagne. The Champagne region, located at 49° north latitude, is already on the border of global grape growth.
The temperature in the Champagne area is lower than any other producing area in France. The cooler climate allows the grapes to grow longer and retain better acidity, but there are more risks. Because of this, champagne is a unique wine. The seven grape varieties planted here have their own merits, so most Champagne is blended to maintain stable quality. Champagne made from a single variety is a very small number. The secondary fermentation in the bottle and the long enough aging time weaken the overly aggressive acid, and at the same time derive aromas similar to butter, toast and yeast, which can be perfectly matched with milky cheese.
Whenever people mention creamy and soft cheeses, Brie and Camembert are always inseparable like twins. Among them, Brie de Meaux was known as the “King of Cheese” because it was the king’s cheese. Louis XIV, Louis XVI, Henry IV, etc. all loved it. In order to eat fresh brie, Louis XIV even drove the carriage between Paris and Meaux every week.
It has a rich flavour, like whipped cream, but also very soft, which matches well with huge French country bread. During the First World War, the French army consumed millions of boxes of Camembert cheese every month, which is one of the reasons for its reputation. After the war, the soldiers returned to their hometowns to find this cheese, and gradually it went to the world and became one of the most famous cheese varieties in the world. The reddish-brown wrinkled skin is its mark. After the mouth is taken, you can feel the fragrance of soil, mushrooms, and even humus, with a slight sour taste.
Wine and cheese match better on the same land
”Eat and drink like the locals” is a point that contemporary people pay more and more attention to when they travel. In the process of imitating, we found that the dishes that the locals use with local ingredients are always exceptionally delicious. This principle also applies to wines and cheeses-there is always a good match between local wines and local cheeses. For example, Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire Valley in France and goat cheese with a very strong smell; Grenache known as Garnacha in Spain and Manchego, the representative cheese of Spain; Super Tuscan and Tuscan sheep cheese in Italy, etc. At a glance, there is a combination of “husband and wife”. Of course, the Burgundy red wine and the Epoisses cheese (?poisses) that can only be bought locally are also a natural pair.
When we talk about Burgundy, we always think of Romani Conti, but Burgundy still has many sub-regions to be further understood. Pommard, which only produces red wine, is one of them. This village is located in the southwest of Beaune, but the style of Volnay, which is just across the line to the south, is very different. If you use gentleness and elegance to describe Volnay’s red wine, Poma is a powerful and full-flavored wine, but whether it is Poma or Volnay, it is the jewel of Burgundy soil. The combination of the unique terroir and the characteristics of Pinot Noir makes the Burgundy wine in our glass. After aging, Burgundy red wine will emit the third type of aroma such as leather, farm, mushroom, and this is also the characteristic of Epvas, so the two are particularly in harmony.
The wine of Burgundy is inseparable from the monastery, and so does the Epoise cheese-it was invented by the Cistercian monks. Later, they taught the local farmers, and the farmers improved the formula, which made it pass down to this day. This cheese is cleaned from the time of whey curd. The lotion used includes distilled spirits and spices. When washing the skin, it is a Marc de Bourgogne (Marc de Bourgogne) distilled from Burgundy grapes. In the end, we will get an orange cheese with a slimy skin and a particularly strong smell. The mixed smell of animal leather, farms, and bushes will discourage many people, but if you can tolerate these smells and put them in your mouth, it must be soft and will conquer you with its strong aroma and yogurt smell.
We often don’t have only one wine on our table. If we have white wine, red wine, or even sparkling wine on our table, let’s choose a cheese with a firm texture. It will not have a particularly strong aroma to grab the show, but it will also have enough fat to balance the tannins in the wine, and the milky aroma will echo the white wine and sparkling wine. The old Swiss cheese is a good choice. Its fragrance is very “moderate”, buttery, floral, and fruity, not excessive. It has a delicate taste and melts easily. Moderately, it is like a panacea, very versatile.