A Quick and Easy Guide – Pairing Wine and Cheese
Pairing wine and cheese. Let’s do it the quick and easy way! Here is my Guide!
- How many people will arrive?
Choose 5 different cheeses for up to 10 persons, 8 cheeses for up to 20 and 10 cheeses for up to 100 persons
- Is your cheese plate a main dish?
(200g-250g/person) or a dessert (100-150g/person)?
Now you know how much cheese you need to purchase:
e.g. 4 Persons = ~1kg for a main dish or ~500g for a dessert
- What kind of Occasion – what kind of Beverage?
Do you serve the cheese plate at breakfast – milk, tea and coffee is for you.
For a Ladies-Night choose lighter and fruitier wines, for a Smoker (social gathering for men) beer will be your choice.
For a Picknic use Wine Spritzer, Fruit Juice and Cider and for a Party you can consider Cocktails too.
What kind of cheese to use?
- fresh cheese, cream cheese, cottage cheese, fresh goat cheese
- soft white Cheese – Feta, goat cheese, white cheese
- Soft Cheese – Camembert, Brie
Wine: use light and fruity White Wines and Rose Wines.
dry Moscato or Sauvignon blanc and goat cheese; Pinot blanc or Chardonnay and Brie, Retsina or Grüner Veltliner and Feta; Riesling, Chenin Blanc, Pinot Grigio and Sparkling Wines work also very well with fresh and soft cheeses.
- Red Smear – Muenster, Chaumes, Limburger, Reblochon, Romadur
Wine: use very fruity semi-sweet white Wines or a Late-Harvest but the better choice is Beer
Wine: aged Cheeses are very versatile to pair with Wine. Medium bodied white Wines, Sparkling Wines and light to medium red Wines, try sweet Dessertwines like Port and Sherry
- Hard Cheese – Parmesan, Pecorino
- Blue Cheese, Stilton, Gorgonzola
Wine: use Dessertwines like Port, Sherry, Banyuls, Tokaji, Ice Wine
- add more sweet and salty side dishes:
Veggies (olives, peppers, onions, tomatoes, artichokes,…) but never use mixed pickles!
Fruits (can be fresh or dried: pears, figs, dates, grapes, cherries, apples, apricots….)
Nuts (fresh, roasted or candied: pistachios, pecans, walnuts, pumpkin seeds…)
or add some saltiness with salami and prosciutto.
Think about chutneys or mustards or sweet jams and jellies. I prever apricot or blueberry jam and quince jelly – these work well with Camembert and Brie. Or what about wine jelly? Be creative
How to arrange the plate?
Start with the mildest Cheese (e.g. fresh cheese) at 6 o’clock on your plate and go clockwise from left to right. Starting with the mild cheeses and go on to harder and riper cheeses. Put triangles of cheese on the plate with the tip pointing outwards. Don’t cut or slice them too thin. Store at room temperature at least 1 hour before serving.
Serve different kinds of bread (white and brown) compatible to your cheese variety along sliced baguette, cheese sticks, and crackers.
You can also set out a separate knife for each cheese (which looks very nice and is smart too because you also should cut different cheeses with different knives to not contaminate them when you put them out of the fridge). Use a cheese harp for blue cheese, a pairing knife for firm cheese and a cheese plane for aged cheeses like Parmesan. They look great on your plate and make a nice Deko element. Last but not least you can also label each cheese. Toothpicks with Flags of origin (like France, Swiss or Italy e.g.) look nice too and your guests can read flavour descriptions or other informations about the cheese. You can also serve different Wines – think of a small wine tasting – with each cheese. Use small glasses and only put in a very small amount of wine just for enjoyment. Light fruity Whites to medium bodied White and Red wines to Port Wines – and make your Cheese Plate your Main Event at your next Party with Family and Friends!
But …. How-to-Fruitwines?
Ok Hindberry Fruchtwein is all about Fruitwine. As mentioned before fruit juice and apple cider work very well with a cheese plate. A dry crisp passionfruit wine is comparable to a Sauvignon blanc and works well with fresh cheese. A Kiwi or any other white non-grape wine is a good choice for Aged Cheeses and so are medium bodied Stone and Berry Wines. Many Fruitwines are on the semi-sweet to sweet side and work well with cheese and salty dishes. Fruitdessertwines work well with Aged, Hard and Blue Cheeses to keep it short and simple. You can find our own recommendation on the backlabel of our bottles and our Wines Site.
If you want to know more? Then read what Doninic Rivard wrote about this topic on his Blog dailyfruitwine.com
Let me tell you more about Pairing Wine & Chocolate?