Entries in appetizer (1)


Pairing food and wines. Part 1-Cheese and Wine

My husband and I belong to the Virgin Wines Explorers Club. Four times a year we receive 12 bottles of red and white wine from across the world. This month, our selections include JB Atkinson Sauvignon Blanc 2010; Il Papavero Sparking Pinot Grigio 2010; Les Dix du Pallet Muscadet 2010; Schroeder Estate Malbec Rose 2010; Joseph Castan Corbieres Reserve 2010; Don Manuel Reserva Carmenere 2011; Baileyana Pinot Noir Cuvee du Clos 2010; and Siete Pecado Montsant 2009. The countries represented include France, Italy, United States, Chile, Argentina and Spain.

In our box we received a wonderful guide to food and wine entitled "The Rules of Engagement". What really caught my eye was a chart that described the type of food, some specifics about the food, what the various wine styles are like and a selection of appropriate wine types. 

Since the weather is rapidly turning warmer with each passing week here in New Jersey, I thought I would tackle everyone's favorite porch/deck/lawn pairings: wine and cheese.

Wine and cheese seem to have a natural affinity for each other. However, a few wines are not as cheese friendly as others. For example, a heavy red with strong tannin can overwhelm most cheese and taste bitter. It is always advisable to stick with whites, rose, light fruity reds and sparkling wines. Most of us like soft or semi soft cheese, but not everyone likes the stinky or strong cheeses. When setting out a cheese platter be sure to include a variety of soft, semi-soft, semi-firm, firm and blues. It is also helpful to "bridge" the various cheeses with some dried fruit, nuts and salty olives.

At our house, there is a definite preference for brie, gouda, parmigiano reggiano and some chevres. We also like a variety of crackers to enhance the various cheeses and provide a platform to consume the softer cheeses.