Cheese with wine... or cheese with beer? You won’t be surprised to know the answer is “yes” to both
If you’re entertaining this holiday season and unsure of what drinks to pair with cheese, cover all bases by offering both wine and beer (plus a couple of non-alcoholic options).
Pair delicate fresh cheeses with light-bodied, youthful wines such as a Sauvignon Blanc, or with a low-alcohol beer. With bigger, bolder cheeses choose more powerful wines, like Syrah or Cabernet Sauvignon, and strong beers.
Practice the Principles
With young rindless cheeses, such as Mozzarella, Burrata or fresh Chevre…
Wine fans: Try a dry rosé, Sauvignon Blanc, Vermentino or Pinot Grigio – all light-bodied wines that won’t overwhelm, the cheese.
Beer fans: Try a pilsner, blonde ale or wheat beer. All are thirst-quenching styles that work well with fresh cheeses.
With rind cheese, such as Camembert and Brie…
Wine fans: Pour Chardonnay to echo the buttery notes, or a Pinot Noir.
Beer fans: Go for Euro-lagers, pilsners, pale ales, porters or fruit ales.
With blue cheeses, such as Stilton…
Wine fans: Don’t even think about a dry wine. Blue cheese needs a sweet companion, such as a sparkling wine, late harvest Semillon or Sauternes.
Beer fans: Porters and stouts have enough heft for blue cheese and their roasted-coffee aroma complements buttery blue cheese.
Wine fans: Red wine is a must. A Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon or Chianti Classico will have the power needed to balance Cheddar’s mouth-filling flavour.
Beer fans: Tangy, sharp Cheddar pairs well with hop-forward styles such as IPA and pale ale; with a mellow Cheddar consider a glass of bitter.
Cheese Platter Tips
If you’re throwing an impromptu gettogether and have no time to cook, why not present a stunning cheese platter as the centrepiece to your party? Variety is the key.
Select a range of styles from young to aged, soft to firm, and mild to pungent. Diversity
of shapes and colours will add visual appeal.
Choose wedges, round discs, pyramids; contrast chalk-white goat cheese with butter-coloured Fontina. And be sure to cover all milk types: cow, goat and sheep and don’t overlook buffalo Mozzarella.
Condiments aren’t essential, but they dress up the platter and make it more substantial. For a before-dinner cheese tray, stick with savoury accompaniments such as roasted nuts, olives, breadsticks, pickles and cured meats. If you’re serving the cheese at the end of the meal, think sweet: fresh and dried fruit, honey and chutney.