Is it possible to throw a sophisticated cheese tasting without an alcoholic accompaniment?
Cheese tastes good with drinks that don’t have alcohol in them. There are drinks without alcohol for people who don’t want to drink alcohol or can’t because they’re too young or don’t like the taste. You can try different kinds of cheese with kids too!
Sparkling cider (or still dry cider)
Cider and cheese go well together. Cider’s bubbly taste helps your tongue wash off the cheese flavour between bites. This works exceptionally well with fatty, rich cheeses. Cider can cut through the fat and saltiness of cheese to balance the taste. Cider is usually sweet and fruity. This helps balance the flavour of earthy cheese. Sweet sparkling cider pairs well with blue cheese. This creates an exciting flavour together. You can pair crisp cider with Camembert and Brie cheese. This pairing is good if you want to keep the same flavoured tastes. Fresh Chèvre (goat cheese) and cider are suitable for a sweet and light pairing that can replace wine.
Non-alcoholic sparkling juice
Use pear and apple instead of white wine and cherry and grapes instead of red wine. You can add carbonated cider or sparkling pear juice to improve the taste and cut the thickness of gooey cheeses, usually paired with fruit. A sharper cheese like Manchego can go well with grape juice due to its grassy, herbal, and nutty flavour. The tart, sweet taste of grape juice complements Manchego cheese well. Adding a carbonated beverage to the grape juice can add bubbles and flavour.
You can try drinking black or oolong teas with cheese. Tea leaves and grapes have tannins, giving a tart, astringent taste. Black and oolong teas have enough tannins to complement cheese, especially creamy goat cheese with honey. Black tea choices among Darjeeling, Assam, Lapsang Souchong, and Yunnan are full-bodied teas that can stand up to the creaminess of the cheese. But if you prefer a milder taste, try pairing green tea with a sharp cheese like Manchego. Manchego is nutty and sometimes a bit gamey, so it begs to be mellowed by green tea. Be careful not to brew the tea too long, as it could taste bitter.
Cheese and coffee are almost too overwhelming
Both espresso and cheese have many different flavours and potential. Espresso has a chocolaty taste that would be good with creamy goat cheese. Gjetost is a cheese that tastes like caramel and is thick, like fudge or peanut butter. It would be good with dark espresso. Nutty Brazilian coffee goes well with slightly sweet aged gouda cheese. This aged cheese has crunchy crystals that taste good with smooth coffee.
Lemon (not appropriate for some cheese), berry, cucumber or mint in still regular water.
- Non-alcoholic beer, especially with strong cheese
- Sparkling mineral water like Perrier or Pellegrino
How to avoid overpowering flavours?
Pairing non-alcoholic drinks with cheese can be a tricky task, as cheese tends to be a dominant flavour that can easily overpower any accompanying beverage. However, there are a few general guidelines to follow.
Firstly, try to match the flavour intensity between the drink and cheese – light-bodied cheeses may pair well with lighter drinks like green tea, while bolder cheeses could pair well with stronger drinks like coffee.
Secondly, consider the flavours and aromas of the drink – acidic drinks like lemonade or soda could complement tangy, acidic cheeses like goat cheese or feta.
Finally, don’t be afraid to get creative – fruity drinks like berry smoothies or apple cider could go surprisingly well with certain cheeses, too.
Ultimately, pairing non-alcoholic drinks with cheese comes down to personal preferences, experimentation, and finding the right balance between flavours.
This article is part of “How to plan an unforgettable wine & cheese party”
These tips are from my own experience;
I’m neither a party organizer, a sommelier, nor a turophile (a cheese connoisseur).
I just love cheese, wine and spending time with family and friends.
I hope my easy tips will give you the confidence to host a wine and cheese party with a handful of close friends.
If you use my tips for your next Wine & Cheese party, please comment below and remember to take a picture, tag @Fast2eat.com and use #Fast2eat so that we can both marvel at how easy it was!
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