Red Blend Cheese Pairing You Need to Try
Cheese and wine aren’t just cliché pairings. Nothing goes with wine quite like cheese. At most wine-tasting gatherings, one can rest assured that some type of cheese will be on the menu. This great dairy product comes in a variety of flavors, aromas, ages, and textures, thus making it easy to match with many types of wines, including a red blend cheese pairing.
First, all cheese is made from milk, but the type of dairy used to make cheese greatly influences its flavor and color.
- Cow’s milk: In general, cheese made from cow’s milk has 3-5 percent fat content. While the flavor of cow’s milk cheese can vary, in general, the cheese tends to be sweeter and richer. Common cow’s milk cheeses include Harvati, Balderson Cheddar, Swiss, Camembert, and Parmesan.
- Sheep milk: Cheese made from sheep milk contains about 7 percent fat and tends to have an obvious musky flavor. Classic sheep milk cheeses include Manchego, Feta, and Roquefort.
- Goat’s milk: Cheese made from goat’s milk is very similar to cow’s milk with similar fat content. But since goat’s milk contains numerous enzymes, the cheese will have a tangy taste. Common cheeses from goat’s milk include Feta, Bucheron, Chevrotin, etc.
- Buffalo milk: Buffalo milk is also used to make cheese but is not as common. It contains the highest amount of fat. Common buffalo milk cheeses include Bocconcini, Mozzarella, Burrata, etc.
FOOD PAIRING TIPS
With so many types of cheese to choose from, how does one select the right cheese for a red blend cheese pairing?
First, it is important to know that there is no one type of cheese that can pair with all red blends. You need to first select a range of textures and flavors you prefer. The broader the range of cheeses, the more success you will have with a red blend cheese pairing. In simple words, this means you need to select a variety of cheeses that will suit both novices and cheese fanatics alike.
The key to red blend cheese pairing is taking small bites. This way, the aroma and flavor of the cheese will not overpower the taste of the red blend.
Pair with mild soft cheese: If you never want to disappoint your guests, always go with the soft creamy cheeses that are usually mild in flavor and pair well with red blends like Pinot Noir. In addition, have some firm and bold cheeses on hand for those who want a more unique experience.
The next tip is to pair the cheese well with wine produced in the same region. For example, Cougar Gold cheese (a Washington product), which is popular in the Northeast, pairs well with a red blend made in the state.
Another tip is to choose wine and cheese that have opposite flavors. For example, a sweet red blend, like Pacific Rim Wicked Good Red, will pair well with blue cheese, Havarti, fontina, brie, and fresh ricotta.
If the cheese is salty, like Roquefort, a sweet red blend will help reduce the saltiness of the cheese and provide a more balanced taste.
While not a blend, Cabernet Sauvignon is considered a great cheese-pairing wine because of its complexity and rich flavor. It pairs well with aged cheeses like aged gouda, Comte, and sheep milk cheeses. A light cabernet will pair well with blue cheese or Havarti.
Some other cheese pairings with red blends include Parmesan and Cheddar.
In general, when you serve cheese, no matter which type, it is highly recommended that you also have crackers as well. You can also enhance the red blend cheese pairing by having other side dishes. like dried fruits and/or nuts or even go the savory route with deli meats. If you are not sure about the cheese, always try a, sample or buy a small amount.
At the end of the day, pairing cheese with wine is a matter of personal preference. But if you are picky, then remember red blends, in general, pair well with aged cheeses, like Gouda and Cheddar. If the cheese is more delicate, like a light creamy blue or Baby Swiss, then pick a light or medium red blend.
Some great quality red blends that are affordable include: