Cheese and wine matching
Cheese and wine go together, as long as there is cheese there will be wine and vice versa. Today, however, it is considered trendy to match cheese with other libations. Cheese and cider matching or even different Scotch whiskys have been used to create different, more surprising combinations. I am here to bring it all back to where it belongs by giving you some slightly more surprising wine matches to keep you from veering off into muddy, non grape – based waters.
As a general rule, the more intense the cheese the more intense the wine should be. If the cheese is creamy you should match with a wine with a little acidity. These are the basic rules and although I won’t break them today I am going to go a smidge outside the box, just a little.
Pol Roger Rich NV
So, champagne and cheese go together – fact. They follow the rules by being both rich but with a nice hit of acidity that goes with soft creamy cheeses, like a brie. Pol Roger Rich is different. Although it has the same blend as the famously crisp, clean and elegant Pol Roger NV, it has an increase in residual sugar (34 g/L instead of the usual 9 g/L), making a sweet, more interesting wine for matching. One of the most interesting dinners I’ve been to matched it with Roguefort cheese to memorable effect. Acidic enough to match its creaminess, sweet and intense enough to stand up to the blue strength in flavour. Awesome.
Fernando de Castilla Antique PX
OK, so this is not a crazy match, there are only so many things that you would put a PX with and cheese is probably the first that comes to mind. I mention this because this is the wine that most folk have never heard of that I enjoy introducing people to more than any other. PX, short for Pedro Ximénez, the grape used in making this intensely sweet, 20 year old Sherry that has – wait for it – 500 g/L of sugar, yes, you heard me correctly! When most people think of sherry they think of Granny’s Christmas tipple, not this syrupy sweet, burnt figs masterpiece of a wine. Have this with the strongest cheese you can get your hands on and, although not cheap, at least you won’t have to fork out for a chutney.