Wine & Cheese – What it all Pairs Down To!

March 31, 2017

Did you know there are over 2,000 different types of cheese worldwide? Did you know there are 13 basic cheeses that we should all know? And what about age and intensity, geography and mammal? And apparently, contrary to popular belief, very few red wines should be paired with cheese at all!

 

 

A Little Wine with Your Cheese?

 

For centuries mankind has been enjoying wines with cheese, so what’s the big deal? Well apparently it is a rather big deal when it comes to the experts of both! There are a lot of considerations when thinking about doing wine and cheese pairings. The experts will have you dizzy and confused long before you’ve touched a drop of alcohol!

 

Eating Your Curds & Whey

 

Most of us are familiar with the 19th century children’s nursery rhyme, Little Miss Muffet, sat on a tuffet, eating her curds and whey.  Who knew that it actually referred to cottage cheese!

 

If you didn’t already know, cheese is a food made from pressed curds of milk. Produced with pasteurized or unpasteurized milk from Cows, Goats, Buffalo, Sheep or Yak. There is also Water Buffalo, Moose Reindeer, Camel, Donkey and Horse.  However, the most common cheeses that most of us are familiar with come from the first 5 mammals. 

 

Pairing Intensity

 

So what are the best wines to pair with our cheeses? It really is very simple; pair by intensity flavor! Ok, not quite that simple, factors like age for both wine and cheese have an impact on the flavor intensity levels so you need to take that into consideration.

 

Wines whether white or red, fruity, oaky, bold, citrus, herbs, spices; well you get the idea, you really need to know your wines to make the right pairings. Texture and saltiness of the cheese need to be considered along with the bold structure of the wine.

 

Lucky 13 Comes to the Rescue

 

So who knows all 2,000 varieties of cheese anyway? We don’t need to. There are 13 main cheeses that the majority of us already know and keep stocked in our refrigerators.

 

  1. Monterey Jack

  2. Roquefort, 

  3. Camembert

  4. Mozzarella

  5. Cheddar

  6. Gouda

  7. Parmigiano-Reggiano

  8. Feta

  9. Emmental

  10. Chevre

  11. Cotija

  12. Taleggio

  13. Manchego

 

Now that our cheeses are narrowed down to a smaller list, how do we know what wine to serve? 

 

Soft cheese goes best with: 

White Zinfandel, Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Gewurztraminer, Champagne, Cabernet, Beaujolais, Bordeaux, Vidal, Chianti, Sancerre

 

Hard Cheese:

Beaujolais, Bardolino, Sherry, Tawny Port, Sangria, Madeira, Dark Beer, Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Sancerre, Côtes du Rhône, Rioja, Cabernet, Barolo, Barbaresco, Brunello di Montalcino, Ribera del Duero, Chardonnay, Chianti Riserva, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Noir

 

Semi-Soft Cheese:

Champagne, Riesling, Chardonnay, Beaujolais, Barolo, Bordeaux, Barbaresco, Gattinara, Rioja, Fleurie, Chinon, Bourgueil

 

Semi-Hard Cheese:

Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay, Champagne, Cabernet, Sancerre, Tawny Port Chianti Riserva, Barolo, 

 

 

Dazed and Confused without a Drop

 

So by now you might be wondering how did wine and cheese become such a splendid match if the pairing choices are so complicated? Easy, we know what we like and at the end of the day, that’s really what it’s all about. By adding in some fresh fruits, nuts and crackers it all balances and blends everything just nicely.

 

Enjoying your favorite glass of wine with a simple side of cheese and fruits and of course the most important ingredient, someone to share it all with, is the ultimate pairing process! 

 

Trains & Wine Tours

 

Aspen Crossing Railway’s Wine & Cheese excursion will take your palate on a journey of discovery! While enjoying wine samplings along with 2 free drink choices, you’ll be taken in by the simplistic beauty of our Southern Alberta prairie’s. Often referred to as the “oasis” of the prairies, you’ll find a new appreciation for the land, as it merges with wide open skies to rival any ocean horizon! 

 

Join us for an amazing journey, paired with family and friends aboard the Aspen Crossing Railway’s, Wine and Cheese Tour! 

Don’t miss your chance to collect those unforgettable memories!

 

Book Directly Online Here!

 

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