Sweet Cheeses Paired with Wine

Fruit is common at wine tastings and on cheese boards, but they are usually the only bits of sweet on a sea of savory, even when served with sweeter wines.  But just like there are sweet wines, there are sweet cheeses, but sweeter cheeses usually are not found at the normal parties’ cheese boards. This is a tragedy that seriously needs some help, because sweet wines are probably tired of being relegated automatically to being paired with cakes and other desserts. Wine naturally so it makes sense that sweet wine should be paired with similarly complicated and fruity cheese.  The complex flavors of wine are meant for equally complex flavors, so if it is too far out of the comfort zone for some to leave brie and the like off the menu, try just a simple dessert with cheese; like pears and stilton.                 This little thought about variety of pairing is a real treat to get into. More satisfying than the average piece of cake or doughnut, and with the added benefits of calcium in the cheese and antioxidants in the wine, these sweet pairings are one of the smarter ways to satisfy a dessert craving. Getting the hang of picking out the right cheeses can take some time, but there are a plethora of resources there to help.

Diet Pairings

Wine is not usually one of those things that get kept in a diet when people decide to try and lose weight. But keeping that daily glass of wine can still be a good option for a healthy diet, not to mention it is a great way to keep sane when dieting. Pinot Noir in particular is good for dieting wine lovers because it pairs so well with many lower calorie foods. In fact salmon is a classic pairing for pinot noir, and salmon is a great food to eat while trying to lose weight.  So don’t pack up those decanter accessories just to help fit look good this summer because wine can easily be a part of a healthy diet. Other pairings with pinot noir that are good news for the dieting individual are mushrooms and leaner meats like chicken and turkey. Clearly these are great foods to eat for those trying to lose weight and fit into that swimsuit or light summer clothes.                  Yes, even higher calorie things like wine can be a great part of a healthy food regime just in the same way it is bad to restrict oneself too much. A simple glass of pinot noir with that healthy dinner can do wonders to keep dieters from abandoning their diet. 

Wine and Salad

While a bit unconventional, pairing wine and salad is quite easy and rewarding.  With spring coming fresh local greens will start to go on sale at grocery stores and farmers markets and it makes perfect sense to make them into healthy, wonderful salads.  Traditionally the drink to go with fresh greens was mineral water, but times are changing and it is being realized that wine can really compliment a salad and bring out hidden characteristics in both.                  Pairing a salad with a wine is less about the salad and more about what is on it.  Greens, even delicate or unusual ones like dandelion or watercress, take fairly well to any flavor but dressings like Caesar or blue cheese need to have their intense flavors taken into account.  Pair a salty yet fresh greek salad with a reisling, it has what it takes to compliment feta cheese.  A Caesar salad will need something more like a Beaujolais or Sangiovese to have a smooth ending.  A cobb salad can be paired with a glass of Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio for a light weekend lunch.  Celebrate spring by making a bunch of a crowd pleasing salad and get some complimenting wine in three bottle wine bags for a dinner with friends that won’t soon be surpassed.

Wine and Cheese

Ah, the age old pairing of wine and cheese; it never fails to invoke thought at a simple gathering or elevate a dinner to the next level of elegance.  In fact the act, no the art, of pairing wine and cheese has been around for at least 4000 years.  Some different ways exist to pick which cheese to pair with which wine, but there really is no true method.  It is more about what works for you personally. The different ways of finding a suitable pairing can get pretty complex, or you can keep it simple.  Some people like to pair based on regions; believing that wine from various regions have similar qualities to the cheese produced there.  Others use strength to determine their pairing. While it is true that a strong red can overpower a light white cheese, it is not always a solid rule.  The best rule is to just try it all and smile and move on at the few inevitable failure pairings that you find.  You could even make a game out of it.  Get some friends and an apple cheese board laden with your cheese picks and plenty of wine to try with them all.  You may even find that some like pairings that others find horrible.

Champagne and Pizza

While a popular drink at celebrations, it is uncommon for the average wine drinker to enjoy a glass of champagne with a normal meal.  Some feel like it is only for special occasions, or maybe you just don’t know what to pair it with.  Well experts and amateurs that have experimented both agree that champagne is actually a very versatile and easily enjoyed drink.  It goes great with mushrooms of any kind, making it good for a vegetarian meal that replaces the filling chewiness of meat with mushrooms; but it also works well with lighter things like seafood.  In fact it goes especially well with lobster.  You can even pair it with more everyday foods like pasta, risotto, and even pizza; just go light on the tomato sauce because the acid in tomato doesn’t go well with champagne.  Dry or brut champagne is even well known for going good with sushi! This wonderful flexible wine is even good with spicy Asian food or Mexican dishes.                  So the next time you are having dinner and want to add a touch of class, bring out the Bacchus champagne flutes and pour yourself some of one of the most adaptable wines out there.

Mango and Wine

                Some fruits just seem obvious to pair with wine, but other combinations are a far stretch of the mind.  While apples and grapes are pretty standard, tropical fruits for though are not the first thing most people think of. People usually go for a fruit flavor that flavor that the wine already has in it. But think outside the box for a minute and try this, mango with your wine.  In any way you want it, mango goes well with sweet or crisp wines reds and even some whites.  Try even putting the mango in savory dishes and serving them with a slightly dryer wine.  You can also try out mixing the complex sweetness of the mango with your favorite lighter cheeses as well as wines; for a more complete drinking experience.  You will quickly fall in love with the taste sensations that this pair create.  Try decorating some cheese boards with an array of light cheeses and cut mango, get some different varieties of wine and you can have a small party to introduce your friends to this unusual but splendid combination. Also take this as a lesson to enjoy experimentation with different flavors. Mango is such a summer flavor, but so are fruits like watermelon.  Enjoy your wine and experience it, not just drink it.

Wine and Spicy Food

                Sometimes it is hard to pair a spicy food with a wine without feeling like the whole meal is too heavy.  If you have spicy food than you typically want a drink to go with it that can neutralize the spice.   So reds are usually not a good choice with spicier foods because they are not as light and refreshing as say a white or rose.  But it also depends on how spicy the food is and what type of spice it is.                  Always consider things like how spicy the food is when making your wine choice.  A light to medium Spanish spice goes great with a light, fruity blush wine for example.  Dry whites are a nice general wine to pair with spicy food.  This would be good say if a friend says they are making a spicy dinner and want you to bring the wine to the dinner party.  Another great thing to do would be to would be to set up a wine barrel stemware holder with your spicy meal for a brilliant tablescape addition.  Be bold and experiment with spices and wines and find a combination that works for you because while suggests exist, it is more about personal preference.