Wine & Cheese Pairings

Food & Wine Parings 101

WHITE WINE

BREAD: Good quality, freshly baked Italian or French bread is ideal for wine especially if served with olive oil, cheese or tapenades.

CHIPS: Potato or corn chips are not ideal for white wine but they will not ruin it either, especially if you have hummus, artichoke, spinach, crab or cheese dip.

CRACKERS & NUTS: Avoid crackers with lots of flavors added to them. Simple is best. Water crackers with black pepper are great with a slice of cheese on top.  Good nut choices include walnuts, cashews, toasted almonds and pine nuts.

VEGETABLES: Grilled vegetables, raw vegetables for dipping, salads and veggie pastas.

FRUITS: Mango, kiwi, melon, apples, grapes, pears, figs, dates and raisins.

FISH: Fish is a great match with white wine. Sauvignon Blanc is perfect for white fish and shell fish. The more robust fish dishes (lobster or tuna) go best with Chardonnay.

MEAT: Chicken, pork and veal are all a good match with whites. Grilled, broiled roasted, sauteed or pan fried are all preparations that will work. Avoid excessive vinegar or spices.

SPICE / VINEGAR: Spice is fine as long as it is mild. An exception is a good German Riesling which can stand up to spices. Avoid excessive vinegar as it can affect wine flavors.

DESSERT: Match with sweet dessert wines, port and sherries.

RED WINE

BREAD: Good quality. freshly baked Italian or French bread is ideal for wine especially if served with olive oil, cheese or tapenades.

CHIPS: Potato or corn chips are not ideal for red wine but they will not ruin it either, especially if you have tomato based garnish like salsa.

CRACKERS & NUTS: Avoid crackers with lots of flavors added to them. Simple is best. Water crackers with black pepper are great with a slice of cheese on top.  Good nut choices include walnuts, cashews, toasted almonds, pecans and pine nuts.

CHEESES: In general stay clear of soft or semi-soft cheese as they do better with white wines, though Brie and Mozzarella are good choices if served with other ingredients such as nuts, tomatoes, garlic etc.  Avoid Stilton, Gorgonzola and other blue-veined cheese as these are better with desert wines. Ideal choices are Sharp Cheddar, Gouda, Beaufort,PamigianoAsiagoPecorinoManchegoIberico and other firm to hard cheese.

VEGETABLES: Roasted red and yellow peppers, beet, eggplant onions, mushrooms and tomatoes.

FISH: In general steer clear of white fish, but dark fish such as salmon and tuna will match with red wine especially Pinot Noir.

MEAT: Meat is red wine’s best friend! Especially red meat. Any kind of red meat served in any kind of dish will usually match well with red wine. Chicken can work with red if it is served with a sauce or mixed with other ingredients, such as in an enchilada.

SPICE: Spice is fine as long as it is mild. Too much spice brings out the acidity in red wine and can make it taste unpleasant.

DESSERT: In general dessert matches best with dessert wines, port or sherry rather than with dry red wines. However, chocolate can match well with some red wines, especially Merlot and Zinfandel. Steer clear of milk or cream-based desserts like ice cream.

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