Category: Wine Spirits
What’s not to love about wine and cheese? Both indulgent and ever-changing, wine and cheese is a preferred and enjoyable pre-meal activity for people of all classes, races, religions, and ethnicities. All over the world you will find various kinds of cheese and wines being produced, and with modern-day importing and exporting, we are lucky to have our pick of many right here in the United States. That’s not to say that local North American wines and cheeses are not worth the choosing. We are also benefited by local wineries and cheese farms that grace us with their passion for quality craftsmanship and value.
But you don’t have to be an enthusiast or connoisseur to create your own wine and cheese pairings at home. Your local grocery store right around the corner is all you need to build the perfect charcuterie tray for your next night in. There are several quick and easy wine and cheese combinations you can go with to ensure you are coupling the right flavors and aromas for the perfect pairing experience. Below are ten examples of grocery store picks you can find at your local Kroger, Trader Joes, or Fresh Market locations.
When choosing a red wine, be sure to store it at 60 degrees Fahrenheit to allow the flavor to fully develop. And remove cheese trays from the refrigerator 30 to 40 minutes before serving to allow the cheeses to soften. Below are some easy red pairings to consider.
- SIMI Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 – $20
- Presidente Soft-Ripened Brie Cheese – $6
- Beringer Merlot Founders’ Estate 2010 – $16
- Tillamook Medium Sharp Cheddar Cheese – $5
- Francis Coppola Pinot Noir 2014 – $16
- Red Apple Smoked Gruyere Cheese – $8
- Castello Di Gabbiano Chianti 2014 – $11
- Galbani Mozzarella Fresca Marinated – $6
WhitesWhen choosing a white wine, be sure to store and serve at 45 degrees Fahrenheit for that perfect flavorful finish. And remember to remove the cheeses from the refrigerator prior to guests arriving. This will ensure every bite is gentle and pleasing. Below are some easy white pairings to consider.
- Cupcake Vineyards Chardonnay 2014 – $8
- Dofino Creamy Havarti – $6
- Barefoot White Zinfandel 2014 – $13
- Boar’s Head Muenster Cheese – $4
- Schmitt Sohne Riesling – $14
- Castello Blue Cheese – $9
- Yellow Tail Sauvignon Blanc 2014 – $15
- Montchevre Chevre Goat Cheese – &5
- Chateau Ste Michelle Pinot Gris – $10
- Private Selection Van Gogh Gouda Cheese – $7
As long as there has been a meal on the table, there has also been the need to have an accompanying beverage on hand. While the ins and outs of what is on the menu have changed over the course of time, right now, the hottest beverage around is craft beer. The small-batch, hand-crafted, detail-oriented world of craft beer has not only drawn many admirers of great beer, it has also piqued the interest of foodies the world over regarding the possible pairings that could be made with their favorite foods.
It’s easy to see why the idea of pairing a good craft beer with certain foods would be of intense interest. Think of craft beer in the same way you’d think of wine. In the same way that certain flavor notes in wine go really well with certain foods, so, too, does well-made beer.
Here are five beer and food pairings you should really take into consideration for your next get-together:
Golden Ale – These light ales are easy to drink and have a balanced taste, making them a perfect pairing with foods that are pretty familiar. Burgers, brats, and Mexican cuisine are safe bets for a killer beer/food combination.
Dark Red Ale – You’ve now moved into some more exotic flavors, but you’re still dealing with a mild, roasted flavor that has both a dose of American hops and Belgian yeast. This beer moves between flavors & styles, which would make it a nice choice when working with spicy foods and even tangy cheeses.
Chocolate-based Stout – A stout beer with chocolate notes is not about to be tame and somewhat subdued. You’re looking at a beer that aims to be noticed. A robust flavor from deeply roasted barley lingers, which goes really well with roasted foods (think root vegetables) and even desserts with more pronounced flavors.
Wit – A Belgian-style wheat beer, a wit is subtle in its spices and its citrus base allows for a refreshing citrus profile to emerge. This is the type of beer that many people wish they had discovered years before because it carries all of the flavor profiles of great beer with a certain “lightness” that makes it easy to enjoy. It goes great with vegetarian dishes, light soups, seafood, and sushi.
American IPA – American IPA combines malt, citrus, and the floral notes of American hops, balancing flavors that figuratively set your taste buds on fire. That said, you have quite an interesting array of foods that can go with this particular beverage. Spicy dishes from all corners of the globe are fair game, as are more tried-and-true snacks like salty & fried foods more familiar to your average beer drinker. Curries are also a very worthwhile option.
Craft beer, much like modern art, can be daunting to the person who is not so sure stepping away from their usual adult beverage of choice is the best idea. However, when you realize how much fun it can be to explore the cuisine of the world with a frosty drink in hand, you might just wish you’d discovered craft beer earlier. So, indulge in the goodness (and plentiful options) that is craft beer, and enjoy your next meal with a cold one.