the fat of the cheese. Also good with goat
cheese is the Italian bubbly Moscato d’Asti,
with its lovely orange-blossom taste.
Personally, I can’t resist a thick, rich Brie,
slightly warmed, with its white savory lava
oozing onto a baguette and its creamy aromas
blooming in my mouth—mmmm Brie and
Camembert, like other creamy cheeses, are
tougher to match because their opulent texture
can overpower wine. The best choice, therefore, is a robust white, such as an oak-aged
Chardonnay from California, Chile or Australia.
Such wines have aromas of vanilla, smoke,
toast and cedar to complement the buttery
notes in the cheese.
DURING THE HOLIDAY season,
a good wine can die a thousand
deaths at the hors d’oeuvres table
due to mismatching. Fortunately,
a few tips can save your wine—
and your sanity.
Peanuts, walnuts, pecans,
almonds and other nuts all have
an oily, salty taste and need a wine
with an acidic backbone, such as
Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc, to
balance their taste.
Spicy Asian and Thai
foods need some sweetness to
temper their heat. Late-harvest
Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling
complement these foods without
Fishy snacks, such as oysters,
shrimp and salmon, are too briny
for red wines and make wine taste
metallic. Instead, try sparkling wines
to cleanse your palate and to toast
the new year.—NM
Having suggested so many white wines
with cheese, I don’t want you to think that red
wine can’t be a good match. My favorite reds
for pairing with cheese are medium-bodied
with lots of fruity character, such as Pinot Noir.
But when it comes to well-aged cheese, such as
Parmigiano-Reggiano, you want a more full-bodied red.
The longer a cheese ripens, the higher its
fat content and the stronger its flavors, so it can
hold its own against a robust red. Bordeaux,
for instance, with its aromas of dried herbs,
cassis and black currants, is a traditional companion for the tang and earthy notes of cheddar. Go even more full-bodied to port, the
fortified red dessert wine, for blue cheeses,
such as Roquefort, Cambozola and a Bleubry–
Despite all I’ve said here, there are no hard-and-fast rules when it comes to matching wine
and cheese. The fun is in trying different pairings for yourself, especially nontraditional
Costco member Natalie MacLean, author of Red,
White, and Drunk All Over (Anchor Canada,
2007), offers an online wine and food matcher at
*Many of these cheeses are available
at Costco, depending on location and
season. Check your local warehouse
NOVEMBER 2009 ;e Costco Connection 63
The Costco Connection
Costco carries a wide variety of wines,
wine-friendly cheeses and a host of other
foods and beverages to make holiday
entertaining a rich experience.