Apart from the odd sweet red, only white wine will provide a glorious culinary union…
There are so many different flavoured and textured cheeses that it is impossible to make a blanket wine suggestion. But the temptation to marry red wine with any cheese is a classic error, as it is not a simple case of ‘personal preference’. Fruity reds kill flavourful hard cheeses, while tannic reds do the same for soft varieties, rendering them chalky in texture.
Aside from a sweet red, such as port, the best choice for pairing with cheese will almost always be a white wine. Try dry whites with most soft cheeses and sweet white wines with blue cheeses, and some red wines with the hard varieties.
If I had to offer any rule of thumb, I would suggest matching a cheese to its local wine, as fromage is very faithful to its native terroir and climate. Choose such natural bedfellows as Crottin de Chavignol and Sancerre, Epoisses and white Burgundy, Comté and Pinot Gris, Brebis and Pacherenc du Vic-Bihl, Roquefort and Sauternes, and Ossau Iraty or Etorki with red Irouléguy. And when in doubt, remember, Champagne goes with everything!
Linda Johnson-Bell is a US-born, French-raised, award-winning wine critic and author based in London, Oxford and Venice. To learn more about this topic, read Linda’s upcoming book, Wine and Climate Change, to be published by Burford Books, NY.
From France Today magazine
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