Wine and cheese is like a marriage made in heaven. A good, full-flavoured cheese is certainly a perfect companion for a decent wine. You are able to buy a wine and cheese gift ready made up as a basket, however, wouldn’t it be a nice thought to select some cheese to match the wine present you have chosen for that special wine connaisseur of yours?
Well, there are some proved criterions for finding the exact cheese for your wine. Wine and cheese together have been consumed over the centuries. It is said that the Ancient Greek have appreciated cheese with wine together, in fact, they grated it straight into their glasses. Anyway, I doubt that feta infused retsina would meet today’s taste. Therefore, wine lovers and gourmets alike can look back on hundreds of years of experience.
When it comes to wine and cheese, it is Port and Stilton what probably springs into people’s mind. Port is a sweet dessert wine, produced in Portugal’s Duoro Valley. The delightful Port is the ideal partner for the strong and salty Stilton, which is a blue cheese. They both go so well together, that you can find various recipes about it. You will discover Port and Stilton sauces, Port and Stilton pâtés and even Kettle Chips produced Port and Stilton potato chips at one time in the UK.
Dubliner, a cheese from Ireland and Cabecou Feuille, a cheese from the Midi-Pyrenees region of France are both an ideal match for Shiraz. Their nutty flavours complement the wine in a perfect way.
Merlot calls for creamy, washed rind white cheeses such as Mozzarella. Buffalo Mozzarella would even be a better choice, or select a Pont L’Eveque.
Anyway, we could clearly continue listing specific examples. Still, what are the general rules for creating a perfect wine and cheese gift?
Soft cheeses like cottage cheese and Ricotta keep more of their moisture than harder cheeses, which have a greater whey content. They are best teamed with light white or rosé wines like Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Noir.
Blue cheeses with their sharp and tangy flavour love to be accompanied by a red dessert wine. We have referred to Port and Stilton so far. However, you may well try this with a red Zinfandel or a Cabernet Sauvignon.
A Munster or a Monterey Jack, which are part of the semi-soft cheese family will go best with a fruity white wine like Riesling or a Chenin Blanc.
For a hard cheese such as Provolone or the various Swiss cheeses pick a crisp white wine like a Pinot Grigio and for extra hard grating cheese, like Parmesan or Romano, select a full bodied red wine. For Italien food lovers, Parmesan and Chianti would be the ultimate gift. Even so, this wine and cheese gift might not be the optimal choice, since the Parmesan requires cold storage contrary to the Chianti, which has to be served at room temperature.
With a basic knowledge of these rules and some creativity, picking the perfect wine and cheese gift should be an easy task.