Wine and Cheese Pairings

Australian wine goes well with any meal, whether it’s a grass-fed steak, some freshly shucked oysters, or even your humble hamburger. However, few things partner more perfectly with wine than cheese.

Wine and cheese is a marriage made in heaven. As with good wine, artisan cheeses have complex flavour profiles that can excite the taste buds, and fill your mouth with a myriad of flavours.

With so many Australian wines and cheeses to choose from, it can seem challenging to find a perfect pairing. So here are a few tips to help you find the perfect wine and cheese pairing.

Match Body with Body
 

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Generally, lighter bodied wines will go with lighter style cheeses, and bigger, bolder wines will pair with similar cheeses.

For example; the softer, delicate notes of Pinot Noir  pair wonderfully with the similarly soft tasting notes of gruyere cheese.

Whereas the bigger, mouth-filling notes of a Cabernet Sauvignon will pair much better with aged cheddars or stronger cow's milk cheeses.   

Match Region to Region

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When in doubt, an easy way to plan your cheese platter is to choose cheeses based on their region, as local weather patterns, fashions and tastes tend to dictate similar profiles in their produce. A famous example of this is the Loire Valley in France, where they produce some fantastic Goats Cheese and Sauvignon Blanc.

So, whether you’re perusing the cellar doors of the Barossa Valley, Margaret River, Hunter or Eden Valleys; make sure you keep an eye out for local dairies and cheesemakers, as you’re bound to find the perfect accompaniment for the wines you’ve bought along the way. 

Bubbles and Brie

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The bubbles and acids in sparkling wines make a perfect palate cleanser for gooey bries, and any soft, creamy cheese; such as cremont, camembert or even cheeses like epoisses de Bourgogne!

While brie and champagne is considered the classic pairing, why not delight your guests with an unexpected pairing, such as Sparkling Moscato and muenster?

Pair Smelly with Sweet

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When it comes to cheeses, we believe that the smellier they are, the tastier they are! The same often said for wines, where a big bouquet is usually indicative of a bolder wine.

However, if you try and pair a wine with a big bouquet, with a smelly cheese it can be overbearing, and even prevent you from enjoying the subtle nuances in the wine and the cheese.

Instead, when it comes to partnering wines with smelly cheese, opt for sweeter wines, such as Sauternes, fortified wines or half dry (sweeter style) Riesling.

Aged Cheese with Aged Wine

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If you try no other pairing in your life, then there can be little debate over one of the world’s best cheese and wine pairings; an aged cheese and an aged red wine.

As cheese ages, it’s water content decreases, leaving more fats behind. The tannins in our big, Australian red wines are the perfect match for the fatty flavours in aged cheeses, and if you have an aged red  in the cellar - even better!

With an endless array of incredible cheeses and wines to sample from around the world, the tasty possibilities are infinite! So, call some friends, get everyone to bring a bottle of wine and a wedge of cheese, and start experimenting! 

Roberta Marchesini