Craft & Cork >> Food

Different types of cheeses with wine glass and fruits. Top view.
November 24, 2016 | By RJS Craft Winemaking

How to organize a wine & cheese party

Cheese platter and wineHow do you get all of your busy friends together for an evening? You offer them some of your incredible crafted wines with an assortment of cheeses! Whether you’re a connoisseur or a marble cheese with crackers kind of person, you’re about to get a good idea of how to class your wine and cheese party up, by presenting some perfect pairings.

In our last blog pair wine and food like an expert this holiday season, we learned some of the basics of which styles of wine to pair with what flavours. To recap: Sweet pairs with salty, sour pairs with fatty, high alcohol pairs with sweet and fatty and bitter pairs with iron-rich or sweet foods. How does this translate into cheese?

Take a walk into your local cheese shop or high-end grocery store, and you may be overwhelmed by the options. I will break down the types of cheese you’re likely to come across, as well as give you some recommended craft wine pairings to suit your style and audience.

Blue cheese: stinky, salty and has some blue colouring.

Cheese: Recommended Wine Pairing
Gorgonzola Port style wines
Stilton Citrus fruit wine
Blue Vidal Icewine styles
Cambozola Chocolatey dessert wines

stilton

Hard cheese: aged cheeses with a firm texture and usually a sharp saltiness.

Cheese: Recommended Wine Pairing
Gouda Merlot
Cheddar Cabernet Sauvignon
Parmesan Amarone
Double Gloucester Zinfandel
Pecorino Valpola
Gruyere Riesling Traminer

aged cheddar

Fresh cheeses: soft and spreadable with no rind, and usually a mild and tangy flavour.

Cheese: Recommended Wine Pairing
Ricotta Pinot Grigio
Mozzarella Fruity white blend
Goat Chenin Blanc
Feta Fruity Gamay Noir (Bergamais)
Burrata Cranberry fruit wine

Fresh cheese rolled in black pepper

Bloomy cheeses: these have a soft, edible rind. They can range from being extremely mild, to being in-your-face pungent. The inside it usually soft to gooey.

Cheese: Recommended Wine Pairing
Camembert Unoaked Chardonnay
Brie Viognier
Robiola Sauvignon Blanc
Taleggio Pinot Blanc

French soft white rind cheese

Let your guests explore the complementary and contrasting pairings with a good spread of wines and cheeses. Think about how all of the flavour characteristics in the food options will combine with the complexities of the wines.

Educate your guests on the basics of a structured tastings. Have them examine the wine first by looking, smelling, swirling, smelling and then finally giving the wine two sips before introducing the food. This will adjust their pallet to the wine and show them just how much enjoying the wine with the cheese can change their perception of the flavours in the pairing.

Now all you need to do is arrange your spread and send out some invites. Happy munching!

 

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