Wine and Cheese Pairing

My work in progress … my search for the best pair … my journey into the world of unfamiliar aromas and taste  … my brave feat into the unknown … finding my perfect match …. join me in this travel 🙂

MERLOT AND GOUDA

MERLOT is a “drink now” wine as most American Merlots do not benefit much from bottle aging. The tannin level is lower than that of the Cab.  Tannin contributes to the two characteristics of red wine : astringency and bitterness. Since it is lower in tannin, it is low in acidity and softness. For someone who is new in wine, this is a safe choice.  Descriptions of this wine are plum, cocoa/chocolate and black cherry/ berry.

SALUTE! This is versatile when it comes to food pairing: poultry, red meat, pork , pastas, salads. 

ADIEU!  Not to be paired with spicy food because the capsaicins (burning sensation produced by chili) can heighten the alcohol in this wine making it more tannic and bitter. Not for blue-veined cheeses because it can overpower the fruit flavour of Merlot.

GOUDA – this is a semi-soft cheese made from cow’s milk which was 1st introduced to me even before I came to study and love cheese by Dr. Levy Jasul with a cheese slicer from Europe. This was named after a city in Netherlands.  There is nothing salty about this cheese. This is mild and creamy. This develops sweetness as it age.

 THE PAIRING: Merlot and Gouda goes well together simply because the cheese does not change its taste even if paired with this wine. It is still distinctly Gouda. The wine does not produce any change in its taste because the cheese is mild and not spicy. The mildness of the cheese does not overcome the taste of Merlot. This pair is subdued, safe and shy without shouting to the world they are a pair but in their quiet confidence knows that they are meant to be consummated now without waiting for ages.

Merlot and Gouda

Note: I experimented with Gouda and had with Slow-Roasted Tomato and Garlic Jam.  This is a good pairing as well with the wine.  This gives the ummphh in the cheese … propelling it to greater heights.

Gouda and Slow-Roasted Tomato and Garlic Jam by Artiste

RIESLING & ROQUEFORT

RIESLING – most versatile in pairing . This is the “go-to” when it comes to white wine.  One of the top 3 wines sharing with Chardonnay & Sauvignon Blanc . This is a fruity and aromatic wine with the aromas of citrus fruits, apples, honey and peach.  This is known for its balance of acidity and sugar. This particular variety from Australia isn’t as sweet as the Sweet Riesling from Germany.

Riesling

SALUTE: Can be paired with any blue cheese and Monterey Jack . This can also be paired with spicy foodlike Thai or Carribean or Tex-Mex or Chinese because this refreshes the palate.  This can also be paired with roasted pork, goose and salad with vinaigrette. Slightly sweet wine but have faily high levels of acidity that makes one salivate thus creating a cooling effect on the mouth.

ROQUEFORT – blue sheep’s milk from South of France. This white, tangy and slightly moist.  The French Blue that melts in your mouth. I am a lover of  blue cheese – an acquired taste for many .

Legend has it that the cheese was discovered when a youth, eating his lunch of bread and ewes’ milk cheese, saw a beautiful girl in the distance. Abandoning his meal in a nearby cave, he ran to meet her. When he returned a few months later, the mold (Penicillium roqueforti) had transformed his plain cheese into Roquefort. – Wikipedia

When you are looking for something else … you might stumble upon something that you like. This is destiny.  It has been written in the stars and just waiting for that right moment to appear.  When it is there … you’d know it.

As the song goes … ” A thousand stars came into my system. I never knew how much I had missed them. Slap on the map of my heart you landed. I didn’t know I was looking for love until I found you.”  This is how my love affair with Roquefort aptly started.

Roquefort

THE PAIRING :

Riesling and Roquefort – This white wine being the most versatile of all , one can never go wrong .  I’ve got a very spicy and adventurous taste in food … and I would love to make more moments with this wine.  Combined with Roquefort – this is a match made in heaven – the cheese is so tangy and crumbly and wine is citrusy and sweet.  Nothing would melt the Roquefort in my mouth better than with a Riesling.

Riesling and Roquefort

SWEET RED WINE & DANISH BLEU CHEESE

SWEET RED WINE

This is one very sweet wine , my sister’s fave but not mine.  I cringe at too much sweetness . This is dubbed as the “transitionary wine” … from white to red. It has 10% alcohol content which means that the wine fermentation stopped before the natural sugar of the fruit (grape) was able to convert it to alcohol … meaning it has a higher level of sugar. Levels to look out for 8-12%  and anything higher than that is not as sweet.

SALUTE: This can be enjoyed as an aperitif or with light pasta. Good also  with Crème Fraiche and Marscopone but for me best with a bleu.

Sweet Red Wine

DANISH BLEU CHEESE

Goes with the name Danablu in Denmark . This was the 1st bleu cheese that I came to love after I’ve known Roquefort … but is always a pleasure to go back to your 1st love … this is uncovering the core of what made you who you are and the feeling that made you happy the most .  You’d always find another love … a better one … but the soul and the palate never forgets. This is characterized by the blue veins and white to yellowish edible and moist rind .  Cow’s milk aged from 10 to 12 weeks .

Danish Bleu Cheese

THE PAIRING: Sweet Red Wine & Danish Bleu  – simply a very good pairing.  The sweet red wine’s red berry flavor which too saccharine for me is being dampen by the salty and sharp taste of the Bleu.  This is one perfect combination but let me warn you though , the love for this type of cheese is an acquired taste.

CHARDONNAY & CAMEMBERT

CHARDONNAY

This is the world’s favorite white wine … the well-loved, the most popular.  This is rich and buttery , fresh and fruity . Originally, this came from the Burgudy Region of France and is also the most important component of the sparkling wine, Champagne.

SALUTE: This can be paired with roasted chicken, turket, seafood salad, mixed fish, white meat on rice and tender chicken breast. Other cheeses for a Chardonnay: Provolone, Brie, goat cheese, Gouda, Parmesan and  Gruyere .

Chardonnay

CAMEMBERT

This originated from Normandy, France.  This is a soft and creamy cow’s milk cheese.  This is left to ripen for 3 weeks as a small round cheese and mostly sold in thin wooden containers. This literally melts in your mouth.  The taste is subtle and with my taste buds that love bleu cheese … this is too subtle for me like cream cheese.

Camembert

THE PAIRING: Chardonnay & Camembert : Elegant Subtlety .  This is nothing explosive about this tandem … but you know it is right.  This is stability without highs and lows … just pure unadulterated pair. 

Chardonnay & Camembert

MOSTRA & FETA

Mostra Red Wine
Photo from Greek Wines & Beers

I found my RED WINE … in Greece.

Bright red color with red-violet streaks. Spicy notes prevail in the nose, clove, cinnamon. Soft in the mouth with good duration and balance. Sweet vanilla and cherry notes. – Tsilili

This is not tannic and acerbic … not too sweet as well . Just right for my palate.

FETA Cheese

Tangy , crumbly, salty but ranging from mild to sharp.

MOSTRA & FETA

It had to be of the same origin … it is a marriage of 2 souls of the same lineage.  Nothing complicated … not much adjustment to do … it is stable, easy and just right.

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