Simple rules for the
perfect matching of
wine and cheese
A cultured pairi
OBy Natalie MacLean ONE OF THE lingering myths about matching food and wine is that cheese should be paired only with red wine. This notion arose in Victorian England, when the ladies would leave the table at the end of the meal so that the gentle- men could enjoy cigars, loose talk, cheese and wines such as port and claret.
Today, thank goodness, we’ve thrown out
that rule, along with corsets. We have much
greater freedom to drink what we want with the
foods we want. The only downside is that now
there’s almost too much choice: Wine and cheese
are both available in such a staggering variety of
styles that it could take years to figure out how
to combine them.
Luckily, a few simple rules can help. The first
is that the milder the cheese, the easier the
match. That’s why the easiest cheeses to pair with
wines are mild-flavored fresh and semi-fresh
cheeses, such as mozzarella, feta and Jarlsberg.
Especially suitable are light white wines, with 12
percent alcohol or less, crisp acidity and bright
notes of fruit. Try Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc,
Gewürztraminer or Pinot Gris.
One of my favorite cheeses is goat cheese
(chèvre), with its chalky heart and grassy flavor. It pairs well with zingy Sauvignon Blanc
from New Zealand or South Africa, or with a
flinty, unoaked Chardonnay from California.
The racy acidity of these wines cuts through