Sending Wine & Cheese as A Gift, How Hard Can It Be?
Wine and cheese are the ultimate combo. Both are delicious, but they’re even better when enjoyed together. This is no secret; the right wine and cheese pairing is more than a bite and a drink — it’s good times guaranteed!
The thing is, there are thousands of different wines and types of cheese out there, so how to choose? Well, here’s a handy guide to choose the right wine for each type of cheese. Now you can gift wine & cheese to your friends and family, knowing you got the pairing right!
The Tools of the Trade
Before heading into successful wine and cheese pairings, remember that to better enjoy these combinations, you (or the person you’re buying a gift to) should have the right tools.
A Cheeseboard and cheese toolset is a must, and stemless wine glasses are a lovely addition to any gift set. Think of corkscrews, too, and everything else your loved one will need to enjoy wine and cheese. Having said that, let’s talk about the most popular classic wine and cheese pairings and how to enjoy them! These are the best wine and cheese pairings for the most popular types of cheese.
Fresh cheese and soft rind cheese
Fresh cheese like goat’s cheese, ricotta, mascarpone, double cream, paneer or queso fresco is not aged at all, and it has noticeable moisture, often along with some saltiness. This type of cheese is quite pleasing, but remember, fresh cheese has a short shelf-life, unlike mature cheese, sometimes aged for months! Soft rind cheese like Brie and Camembert fit this category as well.
This type of cheese pairs best with crisp and refreshing dry white wine with noticeable acidity. Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin, Dry Riesling, Vermentino, Vinho Verde and others are wonderful alternatives.
Semi-hard cheese ages for a while, so it’s firmer, dryer and more flavorful. Gouda, Emmental, Cheddar, Monterey Jack, young Manchego, Gouda and Comte fall in this category. This cheese is often creamy and palate-coating, making it crowd-pleasing.
This type of cheese is best enjoyed with red wine with a fruity, round palate and not overly tannic (astringent). Merlot, Malbec, Pinot Noir, Grenache, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, Valpolicella and many others are just right for semi-hard cheese.
Hard cheese ages for months, and it’s quite firm and even crumbly. Parmesan, aged Manchego, aged Cheddar and Grana Padano are members of this cheese family. These types of cheese tend to be salty and flavorful, but not all that creamy.
Wines that show their best when paired with hard cheese include the ones made with bold and robust red grapes. Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese, Tempranillo and Syrah are great alternatives. The gritty tannins in the wine balance the cheese’s assertive flavor beautifully.
Blue cheese and other funky types of cheese are an acquired taste — they’re not easy to love, but you always end falling in love with them. These stinky types of cheese are hard to pair with traditional dry wine, but they’re fantastic when paired with sweet dessert wines! The sugar in the wine balances the saltiness and intense aromas for a pleasant experience hard to beat!
Wine and Cheese Gifts are Wonderful! Even for Yourself!
And now that you know how to gift wine and cheese to friends; find a few nice bottles and the cheese that goes with them. Gift yourself and your loved ones the joy of experiencing a perfect pairing!