It’s officially October and fall is in full force! I honestly could not be happier because if you live in New England you know that it turns into a colorful oasis this time of year. Leaves are falling, football is back on, pumpkin spice is everywhere and the holidays are just around the corner. I soak this time of the year up because of the notorious New England harsh winters quickly approaching.
If you are like me, fall increases your appetite for red wine. Although I can drink red wine anytime of the season, when fall hits after a long hot summer, for me, it’s finally time to open a bottle of Chianti and sip under a blanket! When I was putting together my list of top five wine & cheese pairings, I realized most of the wines are red, making this post even more perfect for the season!
Considering the growing popularity in beautifully crafted cheese and charcuterie boards, one of the top food & wine questions I receive is: what cheese should I pair with this wine? So, in response, I am sharing my top 5 favorite cheese & wine pairings with you!
The black fruit and oak flavors of aged Rioja Riserva pairs perfectly with nutty, toasty and caramel flavors of Manchego. Both offer full body elements and intense characteristics to the pairing and are the perfect example of “what grows together, goes together”. Since they are both produced in Spain, they are particularly harmonious together.
Chianti Classico is the reason I fell in love with wine. Its intense tannin structure and savory flavors make the perfect pair with this hard, aged Italian cheese. Pecorino and Chianti are just another great example of “match local with local”. The black fruit and toasty flavors of the Sangiovese varietal brings out the abundance of herbal, buttery flavors in Pecorino.
Brie is known to be a soft cheese, creamy in texture and nutty in flavor. It has a tendency of coating your mouth due to it’s fatty nature. Champagne’s high acidity can cut through the fat in the cheese allowing you to taste more nutty, toast and brioche flavors in the cheese and the sparkling wine!
One of the most classic pairings of all is Cabernet Sauvignon and sharp cheddar. This is the United States most beloved cheese and it works perfectly with Napa Valley’s most coveted grape varietal. The tannins in Cabernet Sauvignon can hold up well to sharp cheddar’s bold flavors. They become a great pair because of their match in intensity.
This Montepulciano d’Abruzzo is one of my favorite affordable, “value for your dollar” wines. As many of my friends and family refer to it simply as “stick wine” based off of it’s packaging. I pair Montepulciano d’Abruzzo with Parmesan because it can cut through the high fat content in the cheese. This is another bold wine with flavors of red and black fruit and notes of vanilla. This flavor profile combined with the savory and salty flavors of Parmesan make it a delicious pairing!
For more food & wine pairing check, out my top five tips below!