Wine Diaries: Cheese & Wine
Fact: Wine and Cheese are two of the best things in the world.
Fact: They taste even better together- science even says so.
Research shows that wine almost always tastes better with cheese, as the flavour of the cheese will accentuate the dominant flavour in wine.
Cellarmasters Cellar Director, Christine Ricketts says “Interestingly, research shows your wine palate becomes more sensitive when combining cheese and wine so you will be able to detect more lovely flavours in the wine/”
But in order to get this heightened taste sensation, you need to pair the two right.
“If you pair cheese with the wrong wine, it can enhance unwanted flavours – for instance, blue cheese with a youthful, tannic red wine can make the wine taste metallic,” she explained.
“In general, white wine tends to work better with cheese, as the high acidity of the wine breaks down the fat. However, there are red wines that can work well with mature cheeses.”
Here, Christine shares how to make the perfect wine and cheese pairing.
Shiraz & Cheddar
As Shiraz is a generously flavoured wine, it pairs well with rich, aged cheeses. Crumbly, mature Cheddar will suit the muscularity of a bold, Australian Shiraz. The tannins bind to protein and fat, cleansing your palate after each bite.
Wine to try: Mclean’s Farm Master Barossa Shiraz 2015
Sauvignon Blanc & Goat’s Cheese
Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand is a fruit driven wine, and Goat’s Cheese is a classic match with the citrusy aromatics present in the wine. Feta and Halloumi also work well with Sauv Blanc.
Wine to try: Ribbon Hills Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2018
Cabernet & Gruyère
Cabernet is a full-bodied red wine with dark fruit flavours. Just like Shiraz, it pairs favourably with sturdy cheeses. Go for a hard cheese with character like Gruyère, Manchego or a crumbly, red Cheshire.
Wine to try: Black Wattle Mt Benson Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
Moscato & Blue
A lightly fizzy and beautifully aromatic Moscato goes amazingly with Blue Cheese. The sweetness of the white wine balances the strong flavours of the mouldy cheese.
Wine to try: Brookhill Australia Moscato 2018
Chardonnay & Brie
The combination of rich texture and high acidity can make Chardonnay a good wine to enjoy with creamy cheeses, like a Brie. The fruit of the wine will elevate the buttery, salty taste of the cheese.
Wine to try: Krondorf Growers Eden Valley Chardonnay 2017
Pinot Noir & Camembert
Pinot Noir is a complex, delicate wine, and the lightness of the red wine pairs well with a rich, soft cheese like Camembert. The mushroomy flavours of the wine also matches beautifully with the earthy taste of the cheese.
Riesling & Washed Rind
A Washed Rind cheese will go beautifully with an off-dry Riesling – as the softly perceptible sweetness of the wine will perfectly balance the stinkiness of the cheese.
Wine to try: Goodchild Eden Valley Riesling 2018
Pinot Grigio/Gris & Mozzarella or Edam
Pinot Grigio is a versatile white wine and pairs well with many cheeses, such as Mozzarella or Goat’s Cheese. The more full-bodied Pinot Gris tends to go well with Cheddar, Edam or Gouda.
Rosé wine & Havarti
If you’re drinking a fruity Rosé from a warm climate region, typically made from Shiraz or Grenache – a semi-soft cheese like Havarti is the ultimate pairing. If you’re drinking a dry Rosé, the wine’s crisp acidity pairs perfectly with a nutty Goat’s Cheese.
Wine to try: Krondorf Growers Barossa Grenache Rosé
Champagne & Most Cheeses
Champagne is the ultimate wine to enjoy with cheese, as its carbonation helps break down the coating of butterfat that cheese leaves on the palate, reducing clashes and leaving a clean taste in the mouth. Champagne’s ample acidity and toasty, nutty flavours compliment most cheeses ranging from fresh to aged.
Wine to try: Champagne Louis Auger Brut