As with any food pairing, it helps to consider either complementary or contrasting flavours when deciding which wines to pair with the variety of cheeses available. Adding fruit is a great way to amplify the overall flavours of the pairing – it adds a fresh dimension with extra texture.
One of the most basic rules of wine and cheese pairing is that sweet wines pair well with salty cheeses. For example, a sweeter, medium-bodied Sauvignon Blanc pairs well with salty cheeses such as feta and haloumi. Milder, nuttier cheeses usually need a more tannic, full-bodied wine. Try Chardonnay and mozzarella or Gouda.
Distinct, delicate and creamy cheeses with a slightly sour aftertaste, such as brie, need a light, fruity and sweet wine to offer a refreshing contrast. Brie and Camembert therefore go perfectly with lighter-bodied wines such as Chenin Blanc and sparkling white wines.
Similar rules apply when it comes to pairing fruit with cheese and wine. Match sweet fruit varieties such as grapes or strawberries with salty cheeses and sweet wines. Sharper, more sour fruit such as cranberries or citrus can be matched with creamy, mild cheeses and fuller-bodied, drier wines.
Use this handy table as a guide. Remember, though, to let your taste buds do the pairing as not all wines or fruit taste the same – each season’s harvest can be sweeter or tarter than the previous one. – Ursula Human, Farm Fare
|Sauvignon Blanc||Feta, haloumi, Parmesan||Apples, pears|
|Chenin Blanc||Brie, cheddar, goat’s cheese||Cranberries, citrus|
|Chardonnay||Gouda, mozzarella, Gruyere||Figs, pomegranates|
|Sparkling white wine||Mascarpone, Camembert||Peaches, strawberries|