Side Orders: Choose cheese that matches wine's intensity

Side Orders: Choose cheese that matches wine's intensity

September 13th, 2017 by Anne Braly in Life Entertainment

When you pair the right wine with the right cheese, it's a thing of beauty — a culinary ecstasy.

It takes a lot of know-how to pick the perfect wine and a little time shopping around to find the ideal cheese to bring out the deliciously subtle undertones of the wine.

With as many wines as there are grapes in California, and as many cheeses as there are cows in France — OK, I might be exaggerating a bit — finding the appropriate pairing can be hard, says wine expert Michael Vasta. In his role as director of operations for the Bluff View Art District, he is responsible for tasting all the wines that go on the wine menus he prepares.

"Pairing wine and cheeses is tough because cheese changes the taste of wine," he says. "Not the other way around, and that's something you have to be mindful of."

Anne Braly

Anne Braly

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

But there are some general rules of thumb to follow, much like the ones that say, "White wine with chicken and fish. Red with beef and pork."

But there's another rule of thumb that blows that one off the grapevine: "Forget all that, and drink whatever wine you like with whatever food you eat."

"Really," Vasta notes, "the main thing to remember is that you should choose a cheese that matches the intensity of the wine."

For example, he says, serve a light pinot noir with Gruyere. On the other end of the spectrum, pour a bold Cabernet and serve it with sharp cheddar or Gouda.

And those "funky" cheeses, like Roquefort and other blue-veined or soft, bloomy-rind cheeses?

"They're really good with port," he says.

Some of Vasta's favorite wine-and-cheese pairings are:

* Goat cheese with sauvignon blanc.

* Smoked Gouda cheese with Cabernet sauvignon.

* Comte cheese with pinot noir.

* Manchego cheese with a Spanish grenache.

* Aged pecorino cheese with an Italian sangiovese.

Here are some cheese-specific tips to consider if you host a wine-and-cheese gathering:

* Cheese should be served at room temperature to allow the flavors to blossom. Make sure to take the cheese out of your refrigerator an hour or two before you want to assemble the plate.

* Place a different knife beside each cheese to prevent flavor crossover.

* Dried fruits, nuts and small breads not only complete a cheese plate, but offer color and texture to the presentation.

* Do not remove the rind from the cheese unless it's a wax rind, such as that found on chunks of gouda. The rind is not only edible; it is actually part of the cheese's flavor.

RECIPES TO TREASURE

Last week's column on finding my mother's apple cake recipe prompted reader Donna Morse to send an email about her daughter, Corrine Morse's business. Nesting Project prints made-to-order T-shirts and other items, including tea towels printed with your recipes on them — a kitchen treasure that would make an excellent gift for friends or your children, whether it be your recipe or, in my case, a recipe written in my mom's own handwriting.

Simply take a picture of the recipe and download it to the company's website. They'll take it from there. The minimum order is five tea towels, but that takes care of five gifts. If you're known for your culinary skills, you might want to have one of your much-loved recipes printed to give as a housewarming gift. The cost breakdown makes these towels $14.25 each. Check out your options at www.nestingproject.com.

Contact Anne Braly at abraly@timesfreepress.com.

Getting Started/Comments Policy

Getting started

  1. 1. If you frequently comment on news websites then you may already have a Disqus account. If so, click the "Login" button at the top right of the comment widget and choose whether you'd rather log in with Facebook, Twitter, Google, or a Disqus account.
  2. 2. If you've forgotten your password, Disqus will email you a link that will allow you to create a new one. Easy!
  3. 3. If you're not a member yet, Disqus will go ahead and register you. It's seamless and takes about 10 seconds.
  4. 4. To register, either go through the login process or just click in the box that says "join the discussion," type your comment, and either choose a social media platform to log you in or create a Disqus account with your email address.
  5. 5. If you use Twitter, Facebook or Google to log in, you will need to stay logged into that platform in order to comment. If you create a Disqus account instead, you'll need to remember your Disqus password. Either way, you can change your display name if you'd rather not show off your real name.
  6. 6. Don't be a huge jerk or do anything illegal, and you'll be fine.

Chattanooga Times Free Press Comments Policy

The Chattanooga Times Free Press web sites include interactive areas in which users can express opinions and share ideas and information. We cannot and do not monitor all of the material submitted to the website. Additionally, we do not control, and are not responsible for, content submitted by users. By using the web sites, you may be exposed to content that you may find offensive, indecent, inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise objectionable. You agree that you must evaluate, and bear all risks associated with, the use of the Times Free Press web sites and any content on the Times Free Press web sites, including, but not limited to, whether you should rely on such content. Notwithstanding the foregoing, you acknowledge that we shall have the right (but not the obligation) to review any content that you have submitted to the Times Free Press, and to reject, delete, disable, or remove any content that we determine, in our sole discretion, (a) does not comply with the terms and conditions of this agreement; (b) might violate any law, infringe upon the rights of third parties, or subject us to liability for any reason; or (c) might adversely affect our public image, reputation or goodwill. Moreover, we reserve the right to reject, delete, disable, or remove any content at any time, for the reasons set forth above, for any other reason, or for no reason. If you believe that any content on any of the Times Free Press websites infringes upon any copyrights that you own, please contact us pursuant to the procedures outlined in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (Title 17 U.S.C. § 512) at the following address:

Copyright Agent
The Chattanooga Times Free Press
400 East 11th Street
Chattanooga, TN 37403
Phone: 423-757-6315
Email: webeditor@timesfreepress.com


Loading...