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Pairing Wine & Cheese
wine guypairing winepairing wine & cheese

This month the wine guy pairs wine with cheese.....There has been a word or two written upon this subject, here is Steve's angle; Cheese and wine truly has a long and historic relationship. Any Frenchman (or Woman) will tell you that cheese is as regional as wine, so much so that French A.O.C laws cover the specified types and characteristics of not only the wine but cheese making as well. When we look at the classic cheese and wine pairings the classics are classics with good reason.

The historic Grand Cru Vineyard Montrachet is a perfect match for the locally produced Montrachet Goat Cheese, why?.. Because they have been produced side by side with local hands over the centuries. The ultimate cliché of cheese and wine is Port. I personally favor vintage Ports rather than Tawny. I feel that the fruitiness of the vintage works well with matching flavors and textures. Another traditional pairing, but not as well used is blue cheese with sweet wines.

This is so because the full sharp flavors can be complimented with a wine that possesses a rich texture, wide flavor and sweetness to balance the saltiness. Sauternes or any botrytis (it's a long story but botrytis is what makes Sauternes sweet) effected wine such as Far Niente's Dolce will work well. My personal favorite and perhaps most under used grape varieties to enjoy with cheese is Chenin Blanc. From dry style wines from the famed producer Nicolas Joly of Savennieres to concentrated sweet styles from Coteaux du Layon, or its more renowned subregions, Quarts de Chaume and Bonnezeaux. A great producer from that region is Domaine des Baumard, but you can always ask for assistance in a restaurant or retail store and ask for that type of wine from a producer that they sell. I feel that these are great contenders, especially with goat cheeses, due to their strength and ability to compliment, but still allow the cheese to shine? 

Steve Lande
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