At some point in time, you will inevitably be invited to a formal event or party (such as a work holiday party, an upscale Super Bowl party, etc.) where you will be expected to bring some sort of drink or side dish for everyone to enjoy. While your first instinct would probably be to go to the nearest liquor store in Fort Collins to pick up the first bottle of wine you see on sale, you could be the star of the event by following the simple wine and cheese pairing guide that follows.
Pairing wine and cheese
There is an apparent consensus on what wines pair well with what cheeses. The accord is not universal, however. Case in point: many "experts" cite that Gouda is best with a fruity white. Perhaps, but what variation of Gouda? With a smoky or spicy Gouda, for example, a better pairing would be a Pinot Noir or a Cabernet. It boils down to personal taste.
To help channel you on your quest to the proper wine and cheese combinations, Mulberry MAX Liquor Store put together this general guide to make that perfect pairing:
Here are the wines that from experience, and trial and error, complement an array of cheese types. Please note that yes, there are some wines that go with more than one type of cheese. This is because of cheese taste variation and complexity, as well as vintage distinction. For example, Beaujolais can stand in with a hard cheese like Emmenthal or a soft crumbly feta. So take this for what it is: a general guide. The ultimate decision is yours to make.
Soft Cheese: Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Gewurztraminer, Champagne, Cabernet, White Zinfandel, Vidal, Beaujolais, Bordeaux, Chianti, Sancerre
Hard Cheese: Bardolino, Tawny Port, Madeira, Sherry, Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Sancerre, Côtes du Rhône, Rioja, Cabernet, Barolo, Barbaresco, Brunello di Montalcino, Ribera del Duero, Chardonnay, Chianti Riserva, Beaujolais, Dark Beer, Sangria, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Noir
Semi-Soft Cheese: Chardonnay, Champagne, Riesling, Barolo, Barbaresco, Gattinara, Bordeaux, Rioja, Fleurie, Beaujolais, Chinon, Bourgueil
Semi-Hard Cheese: Chardonnay, Champagne, Riesling, Cabernet, Sancerre, Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Chianti Riserva, Barolo, Tawny Port
Here are the major types of cheeses to choose from for the event or party that you are attending, with some examples of each.
Soft Cheese: Blue Castello, Boursin, Brie, Bucheron, buffalo mozzarella, Camembert, feta, goat cheese, Gorgonzola, Limburger, Mascarpone, Muenster, Neufchatel, Pave Affinois, Teleme
Hard Cheese: Asiago, Blue, Derby, Edam, Emmentaler, Grana Padano, Gruyere, Jarlsberg, Manchego, Parmigiano, Pecorino Romano, Raclette, Reggiano, Swiss, Wensleydale, Zamarano
Semi-Soft Cheese: Bel Paese, Baby Swiss, Colby, Fontina, Havarti, Kasseri, Madrigal Baby Swiss, Morbier, Port Salut
Semi-Hard Cheese: Cheddar, Chesire, Cotija, Danish Blue, Double Gloucester, Gouda, Graddost, Panela, Provolone, Roquefort, Sonoma Jack, Stilton
Of course, there are always more options for what to bring with your wine and cheese if you so desire.
Wine and cheese accompaniments
Here are some suggestions:
Crackers: Good crackers; not the cheap generic brand. Most wine selections in liquor stores should have a small cracker and cheese area nearby.
Bread: See above. Not white bread, but a crusty, hearty, whole grain variety. Go to a bakery and grab whatever is most fresh. Just keep in mind that strong olive bread, for example, while fantastic, may detract from the cheeses.
Fruit: Sliced stone fruit like plums and nectarines look good, as do Japanese pear slices, grapes and apples.
Nuts: Walnuts are an excellent complement to many cheeses. Toast them and serve warm. Others that work well are pine nuts, hazelnuts and Brazil nuts.
Chocolate: There is one kind of chocolate to serve with wine and cheese. Very strong, dark chocolate. Other varieties do not pair well with wine and cheese.
And there you have it. So next time you are invited to an upscale event or party, you have a simple wine, cheese, and other accompaniment guide to help you decide what to bring to be the star of the party.
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Mulberry MAX Liquor Store
460 S College Ave g, Fort Collins, CO 80524
Editor: Mr. Max
We work, live, breathe and of course drink the beverage world. This is where we nerd out.