Wine and cheese are quite arguably two of my favourite things. Put them together with a great group of friends and you have the perfect recipe for a wonderful evening! That said, I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing when it comes to properly pairing wine and cheese together. Typically I just choose my favourite cheeses and my favourite wines and off we go. Sometimes this works, and sometimes it’s a bit of a disaster.
So I decided to reach out to two of our stockists to learn more about the wonderful world of properly pairing wine and cheese. Here are the Top 4 Tips I took away after speaking with Marlise, a sommelier from Grange of Prince Edward Winery in Ontario and Jessica, owner of The Farmer’s Daughter cheese shop in Sidney on Vancouver Island.
1. Place of Origin
This is my new number one ‘when-in-doubt’ rule. Choose wines and cheeses that are from the same region since, as Marlise put it, “many products have their own Terrior peeking through their taste profile creating nuanced likenesses that pair well together.”
It makes so much sense in hindsight but was something I had never considered.
A Barolo red wine with a pecorino cheese made with truffles from the same area!
2. Texture & Aroma
When it comes to texture and aroma, a simple rule to stick to is either compliment or contrast. If a cheese is full fat, creamy and smooth choose a wine that has similar taste and smell, or go for a wine at the opposite end of the spectrum that is acidic, palate cleansing and fresh.
Delice de Bourgogne cheese with a) an oily and intense Pinot Gris to compliment or b) a traditional method sparkling wine to contrast
One thing I wanted to know was if price had any bearing on what to pair. For example, does an expensive wine require an equally expensive cheese? The answer to this is yes and no.
The main factor here is quality not necessarily price. You can find some great lower priced products that pair well, but many artisanal wines and cheeses are more expensive to produce and therefore have a price tag that reflects this.
We are always fans of supporting artisanal makers so I think a good rule here is to splurge and support those businesses when you can.
Once you’ve got your wine and cheese pairings sorted, you can stop there, or you can have a little fun by adding other items to your board!
An assortment of local preserves, jellies and meats are a great staple and help add some variety (and let’s be honest, make your arrangement extra Pinterest-worthy!)
Looking for something a little different? Jessica suggests trying a hot red pepper jelly while Marlise recommends trying some wood fired bread for some extra aromatic richness and texture. Or, why not mix up your olives and stuff them with blue cheese, almonds or garlic.
Once you’ve cracked a bottle (or two) of wine and opened your cheeses, there’s a good chance there won’t be any left, but if there is, here is the best way to store them.
For wine, keep in a dark, cool spot with a consistent temperature. Use a vacuum pump to seal if you can. When all else fails or if you’re in a pinch on the go, roll up a Goldilocks wrap and use as a makeshift stopper!
For cheese, of course our wraps are the number one option for keeping things fresh and lasting longer. A tip from Jessica at the Farmer’s Daughter is to then store the wrapped cheese specifically in the vegetable bin in your fridge. You can also use our wraps to store any leftover bread, fruits or veggies, etc. Shop our wraps.
Here's what we paired together for our picnic
2013 Chardonnay with Beemster XO
2016 Chardonnay with Cornish Yarg
Red Field Blend with Welsh Cheddar
Pinot Noir with Riopelle
Country Cremant with Cremeaux de Bourgogne
Photo Credits : Rachael Alexandra