When I think of pairing wine and cheese, I often think of Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire. The famous dancing duo in the 1930s. On their own, they were both accomplished dancers but it was when they teamed up on the dance floor that magic happened. Talk about chemistry! Neither dominated the other – together they both shone. That’s exactly how I feel about a well orchestrated pairing of wine and cheese. Neither should dominate or overwhelm the other. They both taste better when they are “dancing together”!
There is one key rule I follow when pairing wine and cheese – match the weight of the cheese with the weight in the wine. On a cheese plate, I love variety. For a simple cheese plate, I usually have 3 cheeses and for a more deluxe cheese plate, I like to have up to 6 different cheeses. Depending on the wine, I also like to have a mixture of different cheese styles– cow, sheep, goat and hard, soft and blue! For fun, add a few walnuts, dried apricots and fresh berries on the platter to snazz it up and add different textures. So go ahead and pop a bit of cheese in your mouth, add a bit of wine and get ready for the magic to happen.
Wine Chateau Petit Vedrines Sauternes + 3 cheese platter
The Chateau Petit Vedrines Sauternes is a blend of two grapes – 89% Semillon and 11% Sauvignon Blanc. This classic sweet Bordeaux is full of exotic flavours of apricot, honey, meyer lemon and candied ginger. What stands out for me in this wine is the beautiful balance between the acidity, sweet fruit and tannins. It isn’t cloying or heavy. It’s captivating in its own right AND also a great “dance partner” with these 3 cheeses. Like any good dance partner, it lifts you up and twirls you around!
- Challerhocker – which means sitting in the cellar, is a Swiss cow’s milk cheese that is firm yet creamy. I’m enamoured with the flavours of roasted peanuts, sweet cream and caramel. It pairs nicely with this wine.
- Marechal – if you like Gruyere, you will like this one. It’s a Swiss firm cheese with a rind that is dressed in herbs. It has an intense flavour that is a mix of nuts, herbs and flowers. It’s a bit savoury. The earthiness blends well with the richness in this Sauternes.
- Bleu d’Auvergne – it is a creamy cheese that resembles Roquefort, but it is made from cow’s milk not sheep’s milk. I love how the savouriness of the cheese pairs with the sweetness in this wine. Ooh la la, Blue Cheese and Sauternes is a match made in heaven.
Now it’s your turn. Opt for a cheese plate and a sweeter styled dessert wine for your next dinner party. I promise that it will get rave reviews.