Recently a close friend of mine posted an image of her cheese board at home and within minutes she had seventy-three favourites on Twitter. This got me thinking… Being a lover of wine and cheese, what wines work best for your cheese board? Wine & cheese are one of the great pleasures in life and the pairing possibilities are infinite.
As with food pairings you must consider the texture and strength of the cheese as this will affect your choice of wine. For example pairing roquefort with pinot grigio would not work, as this cheese is soft and salty with a powerful flavour which would mask all the gentle flavours of the pinot grigio. It would be better to match the roquefort with Sauternes such as Dourthe Grands Terroirs Sauternes from O’Brien’s Wines.
A creamy cheese will work best with a wine that has a high acidity as it will cut through the sweetness, whilst strong and hard cheeses lend themselves to bigger fuller bodied wines but also work beautifully with many sweet and fortified wines. So off I went to visit O’Brien’s Wines to see what they had to offer me.
Cusumano Shamaris €18.99
This is a lovely aromatic wine with aromas of white peach, mandarin blossom, melon a flicker of blueberry and some light herbal tones.
This is just as aromatic on the palate the more it warms up. It’s clean, fresh with zippy acidity. The aromas lead into what is quite a soft but structured body. Add some mineral tones and hints of pineapple and grapefruit giving you one generous glass of wine.
This wine is clean and juicy when slightly chilled but as it warms a little it opens up a lot more giving a lush wine.
A perfect for creamy soft cheeses such as Camembert, Goat’s cheese, Mozzarella & Ricotta.
This wine has a stunning nose, you will almost forget to sip it. It has tawny like characteristics on the nose (think dried tea). It has aromas of dried fruits such as figs and prunes with a nutty hints such as hazelnuts. There are some dried floral touches too along with some earthy tones and hints of dried orange rind. This wine has such a complex nose.
All the beautiful aromas flow onto the palate with a silky smooth body. This wine is medium bodied and although it has sweetness it is not cloying, it has high acidity and low tannin so as to balance the autumnal and dried fruits such as apricots and prunes. The walnut and dry forest floor tones give this wine even more depth.
A fantastic wine with great age that will work so well with so many cheeses such as Gorganzola, Brie de meaux & Stilton
Volpetto Chianti Riserva 2011 €19.99 now €9.99
This is a modern style chianti but made in a way that will appeal to all made by a multi award winning winemaker. It really is a super chianti, with a intriguing nose of cherries, wild strawberries, leather, earth with a touch or dries orange zest. There is also a light smoky character as well some lightly toasted nuts.
The palate is just as layered as the nose with notes of ripe & over ripe cherries, ripe black and red berries as well as a light undertone of fruitcake. It is an elegant little number and I would give it a few minutes to open and allow the tannins to soften.
It is a well priced chianti but a steal at €9.99. This will work with your harder cheeses such as Parmigano-Reggiano, Pecorino, Cheddar or a young Comte.
Seguin Savigny les Beaune Godeaux Rouge 2012 €31.99
Thibaut Marion acquired Seguin-Manuel in 2004 and coming from an infamous family of winemakers Chanson Père & Fils he knew exactly how to revive this winery. They are also working on getting organic certification and all their grapes are hand harvested so great care is taken from start to finish.
This wine has a super nose, lovely spicy notes from the oak with a touch of meatiness and fruits of the forest, most notably blueberries.
The nose moves beautifully onto the palate, with the additional notes of leather and apples. The supple body, earth tone & fruit really work to make it a well-structured wine and elegant Pinot Noir.
This is a beautiful example of a great Burgundian and will pair well with a lot of cheeses such as Gruyere, Comte, Edam, Port Salut, Cîteaux even Epoisses.
La Rosca Cava €17.99 now €15.99
Made by top cava producer Codorniu this a delightful example of a well made but not over worked cava. It has a lovely clean, fresh nose with subtle notes of bramble fruit, yellow fruits, nuttiness with a lovely minerality.
On the palate this wine is lively with flavours of fresh fruits such as apples, lemons and limes with a lovely herbaceous undertone. The minerality gives it a lovely finish to the wine. It is a soft wine with nice bubbles.
A refreshing cava with enough body and flavour to pair with soft rind cheeses such as Camebert, Saint Andre, young Gruyere and it could even work with fondue.
Suzi is passionate about wine, beer and whiskey too, not forgetting a love of food and travel. She has been a part of this industry for a little over 10 years. She has worked on level 4 in WSET during this time and regularly hosts tastings and staff training in these sectors. She has recently started a blog on all wine, beer and spirit related beverages. You can follow her blog at suzisgrapecrush or follow Suzi on Twitter