France has an incredible diversity of terroirs. In terms of gastronomy, we are faced with a multitude of choices. The wide array of cheeses from our regions can sometimes be bewildering. The extensive range of Alsace wines makes pairing easier, with harmonies of flavour for each major cheese family.
Bestheim offers you some tips for wine and cheese pairing to steer you in the right direction, with a selection of white and red wines.
The list of cooked or uncooked hard cheeses includes Emmental, Gruyère, Comté, Beaufort, Saint-Nectaire, Morbier, Cantal, Tomme de Savoie, as well as Raclette, Reblochon and Mimolette. Cooked hard cheeses keep extremely well. Rich, authentic and full-fat, these cheeses can be enjoyed young or allowed to mature for a longer period.
They should be paired with wines of the same type. They are therefore natural partners for a white wine such as Pinot Gris d’Alsace. The distinctive opulence and power of this grape variety make an ideal match for their character.
Soft-rind cheeses are those like Brie and Camembert, with a hint of bitterness on the palate.
They are worthy of being accompanied by a sparkling wine such as a Crémant d’Alsace. This wine will create a surprise, and will subtly prolong the bitterness, providing a perfect blend of flavours.
Roquefort, Bleu d’Auvergne and Fourme d’Ambert are examples of blue cheeses with character.
Sweet wines, even dessert wines, like Vendanges Tardives(Late Harvest) are an excellent choice to serve with this type of cheese. With their sweetness and superb structure, they provide a mellowness that offsets the strong personality of these blue cheeses.
Tomme, Crottin de Chavignol, Ossau-Iraty, and other goat’s and ewe’s cheeses are packed full of distinctive flavour. It can be difficult to find a wine that measures up to these cheeses.
A good dry white wine like Riesling is a delicious accompaniment to goat’s and ewe’s cheese due to its freshness and acidity. This fresh and expressive wine, with subtle yet persistent acidity is unhesitatingly the ideal partner!
These cheeses have immense character, requiring a wine that is equal to them, offering great structure, richness and complexity, and a certain aromatic power. Munster, Maroilles, Mont d’Or (or Vacherin Mont-d’Or) and Livarot could be served with a distinctive white wine such as Gewürztraminer. Its wonderful structure and full-bodied character are a perfect counterpart to these full-flavoured and assertive cheeses.
When the choice is wider and you are faced with a platter of several types of cheese, don’t take any risks. Choose a red Alsace wine to accompany a cheese platter! A delicious glass of Pinot Noir is always a marvellous partner to every variety of cheese, and will not fail to delight your guests.