Good cheese and wine is a must at Christmas time, but it’s hard to know what cheeses match what wines or beverages – until now.
Président Cheese fromage expert, Pascal Francisque has shared with us his guide on pairing cheeses with your favourite beverages – and it’s come at the perfect time.
And before you ask, Président Cheese is the number one cheese brand in France with a long extensive heritage and experience in authentic French cheesemaking – so they know what they’re talking about!
Here’s Pascal’s guide to the perfect cheese and beverage pairings:
Fortified wines such as Port or Sherry are best suited to cheese such as Gorgonzola or Stilton. This is simply because the sweetness of these wines balance the tangy saltiness found within the blue cheeses.
Bold, dry red wines such as a Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah or Shiraz, however balance equally well with intense and highly flavoured cheeses such as a firm, aged Cheddar or a Gouda.
As an overall tip, it’s important to consider the tannins found in the red wines that you choose, as tannin in wine is what leaves you with a “mouth-drying” feeling.
So, to truly enjoy your cheese, opt for ‘soft tannin’ wines as they’re more harmonious with the fat content found in the cheese.
Full-bodied reds often overpower all but the most robust of cheeses, therefore, contrary to popular belief, white wine, thanks to its light undertones, should be recognised as the preferred wine to pair with a wide variety of cheeses.
The creaminess of an artisanal soft cheese, such as Camembert or Double Brie, is delicious with buttery, oaky, dry white wines.
If you prefer cheese with salty undertones like Feta or Gouda, a sweeter style of dessert wine such as a Sauternes would be perfectly suited as the salt heightens the perception of sweetness in the wine.
Wheat beers are often praised for its unique clove and fruity aromas, so it’s perfect counterpart would be cheese that embody salty, nutty flavours. These would include light and fresh cheeses like a young goat cheese or feta.
Alternatively, if your wheat beer has a touch of spice such as The Grand Ridge Natural Blond, team it with the uncomplexity of Double Brie.
Meanwhile, with its palate cleansing capabilities, a lager won’t overpower your cheese variations – meaning it is quite versatile and will suit your lightest cheeses such as a Camembert or Blue Cheese, however, to play it safe, team lager with Colby, Cheddar or a Stilton.
If you’re enjoying a cider with a light taste profile, ensure you match with a cheese that won’t overpower the beverage. Soft-ripened selections like a Double Brie or Camembert or a good quality Goat’s Cheese are often the best partner, as their delicate, buttery and creamy textures inside provide subtle earthy notes that work well alongside ciders.
What do you think? What’s your favourite cheese and beverage pairing?