Classic Wine and Cheese Pairing – Sparkling Wine

Classic Wine and Cheese Pairing – Sparkling Wine
Keep in mind, these tips are from my own experience, I’m not a party organizer nor am I a sommelier or a turophile (a cheese connoisseur). I just love cheese, wine and spending time with my friends.

Looking for the perfect match? A good wine and a good cheese can enhance the flavours and complexities of each other. Select a wine that complements the flavours in your favourite cheese.

If you have a special bottle, pick a cheese to match.

Don’t know which cheese to buy?

You can bet there’s a wine out there for every cheese. In general, white wine tends to work better with cheese, as the high acidity of the wine breaks down the fat. However, there are red wines that can work well with mature cheeses.

You’ll notice some pairings repeat so you can mix and match with ease for your next party.

There are numerous studies finding the strong flavour of cheese accentuates the dominant flavours in wine. Interestingly, researches show your wine palate becomes more sensitive when combining cheese and wine so you will be able to detect more lovely flavours in the wine.

But in order to get this heightened taste sensation, you need to pair the two right.

Here is my guide to pairing the perfect cheese with your delicious wine with the most popular wines and cheeses pairings!

  • Off-Dry Wines pair well with Spicy Cheeses
  • Light Bodied Wines pair well with Light Cheeses
  • Full Bodied Wines pair well with Heavier Cheeses

Sparkling Wine

Sparkling wine is the ultimate wine to enjoy with cheese, as its carbonation helps break down the coating of butterfat that cheese leaves on the palate, reducing clashes and leaving a clean taste in the mouth.

The bubbly exuberance effervescence and ample acidity and toasty, nutty flavours complement most cheeses, ranging from fresh to aged. Sparkling wine works well with mild or spicy cheeses but is versatile enough to be used for any cheese.

The tradition claims that sparkling wines pair beautifully with fatty and creamy cheese, when the wine acidity balances the dense texture of the cheese.


Cava

AKA: Cava Rosado – Cordon Negro – Codorniu – Spanish sparkling wine – Champán – Champaña*

Notes: but by agreement with the European Union it should not be called Spanish Champagne

Spanish Cava is a fine refreshing sparkling wine with amply and bright scents of citrus and apples. It matches well with soft and creamy Fresh Chèvre (goat). This is a versatile beverage which enhances perfectly the flavours of meat, fish and pastas as well.

Cheese Pairings:

Dry:

Off dry:

  • Brick
  • Colby
  • Double Glouster
  • Edam
  • Fontina
  • Gorgonzola
  • Gouda
  • Gruyère
  • Havarti
  • Langres
  • Vermont Shepard
Sweet:

  • any rich cheese
  • blue cheeses
  • “cheese cake”

Characteristics:

Body Acidity Sweetness Tannins
Brut Nature light dry dry – no added sugar < 3 g/l low
Extra Brut light high dry < 6 g/l low
Brut light high dry <15 g/l low
Extra Seco/Extra Dry medium medium off dry 12-20 g/l low
Seco/Dry medium medium semi-sweet 17-35 g/l low
Semi Seco/Semi Dry medium medium semi-sweet 33-50 g/l low
Dulce/Sweet full perceived as low sweet > 50 g/l low

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Champagne / Rosé Champagne

Notes: To be called Champagne, the wine must be from the Champagne region of France

Notes: Champagne usually medium-bodied and varies from dry to off-dry and sweet. Though being the most popular sparkling wine type worldwide, officially it is produced only in the Champagne region of France. This is a complex drink with a wide diversity of floral or fruity odours and tastes, usually it has toasty citrus and apple flavours.

Champagnes shine with Brie, Camembert and soft Fresh Chèvre (goat) cheeses, as well as greatly accompany any meal.

The bubbly exuberance of champagne complements just about any cheese.

Cheese Pairings:

Dry:

  • Brie (with rind)
  • Brin D’Amour
  • Camembert (with rind)
  • Emmental
  • Feta
  • Garroxta
  • most Fresh Chèvre (goat) cheeses
  • Muenster
  • Monterey Jack
  • Raclette
  • Reblochon
  • Saint-Nectaire
  • Swiss
  • Vacherin
Off dry:

  • Brick
  • Colby
  • Double Glouster
  • Edam
  • Fontina
  • Gorgonzola
  • Gouda
  • Gruyère
  • Havarti
  • Langres
  • Vermont Shepard
Sweet:

  • any rich cheese
  • blue cheeses
  • “cheese cake”

Characteristics:

Body Acidity Sweetness Tannins
Brut Nature light dry dry – no added sugar 0-3 g/l low
Extra Brut light high dry 0-6 g/l low
Brut light high dry 0-12 g/l low
Extra Sec/Extra Dry medium medium off dry 12-17 g/l low
Sec/Dry medium medium semi-sweet 17-35 g/l low
Semi Sec/Semi Dry medium medium semi-sweet 33-50 g/l low
Doux/Sweet full perceived as low sweet > 50 g/l low

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Prosecco

AKA: Prosecco di Conegliano Valdobbiadene – Prosecco di Conegliano – Prosecco di Valdobbiadene – Cartizz – Glera

Notes: Proseccos, lightly fruity white sparkling wine originating from Italy, differ in sweetness, but they all feature light citrus and floral flavours, and coarse bubbles.

Prosecco pairs with soft cheeses such as Fontina, Fresh Mozzarella, Ricotta, including the cheeses soaked in the Prosecco wine itself, like Ubriaco. With its cleansing fresh qualities this is a fine wine to have at the beginning of the party.

Prosecco is also Asiago and Parmesan/Parmigiano classic Pairing, the bubbles in Prosecco cut through the saltiness of those hard cheeses. Plus, they’re all Italian!

Cheese Pairings:

Dry:

Off dry:

  • Brick
  • Colby
  • Double Glouster
  • Edam, Fontina
  • Fontina
  • Gorgonzola
  • Gouda
  • Gruyère
  • Havarti
  • Langres
  • Mimolette
  • Vermont Shepard
Sweet:

  • any rich cheese
  • blue cheeses
  • Cashel blue
  • “cheese cake”

Characteristics:

Body Acidity Sweetness Tannins
Dry light high dry low
Off Dry light medium off dry low
Semi-Sweet medium medium semi-sweet low

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Sparkling Reds / Rosé

AKA: Rosé Champagne – Sparkling Rosé – Blush Sparkling – Blush Prosecco – Cava Rosé – Sparkling Rosé Moscato – Brachetto d’ Acqui – Lambrusco – Sparkling Rosé Shiraz(Syrah) – Sparkling Rosé Malbec

Notes: Sparkling red and rosé wines as a group have quite a range of styles.

Cheese Pairings:

Dry rosé:

Off dry rosé or light red :

  • Brick
  • Colby
  • Double Glouster
  • Edam, Fontina
  • Fontina
  • Gorgonzola
  • Gouda
  • Gruyère
  • Havarti
  • Langres
  • Mimolette
  • Vermont Shepard
Full-bodied sparkling red:

  • Mild Cheddar
  • Edam
  • Glouchester
  • Manchego
  • Muenster
  • Provolone (aged)
  • Parmesan
  • Pecorino
  • Roncal
  • Smoked Gouda
Semi-sweet red:

  • any rich cheese
  • blue cheeses
  • “cheese cake”

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Sparkling White Wines

AKA: Blanc de Blanc – Blanc de Noir – Cava – Champagne – Sparkling moscato – Sparkling wine – California sparkling wine – Sparkling riesling – Cremant – Prosecco – Spumante – Francicorta – Vinho Verde

Notes: European countries such as France (Champagne, Cremant), Italy (Prosecco), Germany (Sekt), Spain (Cava) have trademarked names for their sparkling wines whereas most of the new world wine producers do not. They just call their wines “Sparkling” and their location such as California, New York, Australia, Chile, Argentina etc. These wines can be made by the traditional Champagne method or several different techniques such as the Charmat or tank method, the transfer method or simply by adding carbon dioxide with machine carbonation. The longer a wine is left on its lees (dead yeast cells) the more toasty and bready the taste becomes and the finer the bubbles appear in the wine.

Cheese Pairings:

Dry:

Off dry:

  • Brick
  • Colby
  • Double Glouster
  • Edam
  • Fontina
  • Fontina
  • Gorgonzola
  • Gouda
  • Gruyère
  • Havarti
  • Langres
  • Vermont Shepard
Sweet:

  • any rich cheese
  • blue cheeses
  • “cheese cake”

Characteristics:

Body Acidity Sweetness Tannins
Brut Nature light dry dry – no added sugar 0-3 g/l low
Extra Brut light high dry <6 g/l low
Brut light high dry <12 g/l low
Extra Sec/Extra Dry medium medium off dry 12-17 g/l low
Sec/Dry medium medium semi-sweet 17-35 g/l low
Semi Sec/Semi Dry medium medium semi-sweet 33-50 g/l low
Doux/Sweet full perceived as low sweet > 50 g/l low

One easy rule of thumb if you don’t find what you’re looking for here:
Pairing a wine with a cheese that comes from the same region is usually a fair bet.

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Note: I get really excited about cheese and wine, so it’s difficult for me to be brief when there is so much wonderful information to share!

Also check:

***In Development, please keep checking.


Reference: Content and images based on information from: https://www.wikipedia.org/ https://cheese.com https://www.cookipedia.co.uk
https://culturecheesemag.com https://www.gourmetsleuth.com https://winefolly.com/ https://www.tasteatlas.com https://www.wine.com/ https://winemonger.com https://www.terroir-france.com/


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