Did you know that July 25th is National Cheese and Wine Day? If you need an excuse to enjoy some good quality cheese and wine for an evening, then this is the ideal opportunity to do so. But with so many delicate flavours to balance and thousands of potential combinations, it can be difficult to know which wines and cheeses to put together. Here, alcohol gift set and hamper specialists Bottled & Boxed share a few of the most popular pairings to help you get started.
It would be hard to discuss popular cheeses without mentioning cheddar. This is an overwhelmingly popular cheese not only in the UK but parts of Europe and the USA too. The best wine to pair with it depends on the sharpness of your cheddar. A mild version will sit well alongside a white wine with green notes, such as a Chardonnay, but an extra mature cheddar deserves an equally powerful partner. A dry red wine like a Merlot, Zinfandel, or Cabernet Sauvignon will do the trick.
Brie is another beloved cheese, particularly here in the UK. It is wonderfully rich and creamy, with a very high-fat content and a soft edible rind. With all that creaminess and brie’s soft, runny texture, you would be right in assuming that a crisp white wine would make the ultimate pairing. You should always aim to pair cheeses with wines from the same country (in this case France), so a Sauvignon Blanc would be ideal — or Champagne if you can get it! However, an Italian Pinot Grigio would do just as well in a pinch.
Gorgonzola is an Italian blue cheese, and like stilton — its slightly firmer British counterpart — it has an extremely strong and salty taste. An equally bold and aged Barollo would be a great match in intensity for this semi-soft yet intense cheese, or you might prefer to pair a Chianti with younger gorgonzola. In cooking, gorgonzola is often served with pears, so look for notes of pear and other sweet fruits if you’d like to serve a glass of white wine.
Manchego is a hard Spanish cheese and a staple of tapas bars and restaurants. It’s also exclusively made from sheep’s milk, which gives a unique taste and texture to this popular cheese. You will often find Manchego being served with the Spanish red wine Rioja, as this is a tried and tested pairing that always tastes sublime. However, Manchego will also shine when paired with a dry, bubbly Cava or even a Spanish beer.
Emmental (or Emmenthal) may be slightly harder to find in the UK than cheddar or brie, but it is one of Europe’s most popular cheeses. This semi-hard cheese features the iconic round holes synonymous with Swiss cheese, as well as the unusual nutty flavour you come to expect from that part of the continent. As a result of this mild taste, a dry white wine or a light red wine is the best pairing for Emmental.
Quote from Bottled & Boxed:
“Cheese and wine have been a classic combination for centuries, and pairing the right wine and cheese is considered by many to be a fine art. It can seem intimidating at first, but knowing which flavours and textures complement each other can elevate your taste experience and make for a very exciting evening in.
When choosing your wine, it’s often recommended that you look at wines from the same region as your cheese for the optimum pairing. For example, if your cheese board comprises brie, Roquefort, Comte, and Munster, French wines such as Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Bordeaux, and Champagne are the best suited. However, it’s important to take the intensity of your cheeses into account too, as a strong cheese will overpower a delicate wine and vice versa.”
– Steve King, Managing Director at Bottled & Boxed
Bottled & Boxed: Bottled & Boxed specialise in bespoke gift sets and hampers of prosecco, champagne, craft beer, spirits, and an array of fine foods. Along with prompt UK and overseas delivery, they pride themselves on excellent customer service and the opportunity to personalise or engrave their products. Whether it requires tailoring your hamper to a family member or organising a large-scale order for a corporate event, Bottled & Boxed works alongside their customers to provide high-quality gifts for any occasion. For more information, please visit: https://www.bottledandboxed.