A Cheese and Wine is often used to describe a cocktail party where a glass of wine and an array of canapés or a buffet of snacks – and usually a wide variety of cheese – are served. And while your favourite glass of wine and a few delicious cheeses on a platter, may sound like a dream come true on a Friday evening, wine and cheese can often be each other’s worst enemy!
Rules for wine and cheese pairing are quite tricky. Not only are there countless variables to consider – the variety of the cheese, how mature it is, the type and style of wine, the serving temperature, etc. – but some cheese and wine combinations will just never work.
South African authority on Food and Wine Pairing, Katinka van Niekerk, says, “…there’s still much to be said for serving a board or platter of mixed cheeses with its enticing variety of aromas, textures and tastes, but finding a wine to accompany a selection of widely differing cheeses is not possible”. If you would like to have a wine and cheese combination that works, her advice is to choose your wine and then select a cheese that works with it or otherwise first pick your favourite cheese and then find a wine that complements it.
Click here for Fiona Beckett's guide to cheese and wine pairing.