Wine and Cheese… Tips to Having an Awesome Pairing
Recently Vino 301 launched a Wine and Cheese tour with two amazing partners, Romano Vineyard and Winery (Brandywine, MD) and PA Bowen Farmstead (Brandywine, MD). Obviously, we are pairing Romano’s finest wines with PA Bowen award-winning raw milk artisan cheeses. When we were selecting which cheeses and wines to pair we started with the cheeses. Yes, the cheese not the wine! Most people assume you should start with the wine and build the meal around the wine. Well, you would be wrong. Any good food and wine pairing starts with the food. Food has more impact on how a wine will taste. This is especially true with cheeses. It is more than likely cheese will have a negative impact on the taste of wine. Here are some tips to have an awesome wine and cheese pairing.
Cheese is fatty
Your taste buds immediately perceive levels of sugar, salt and acid when you taste food. And, this is great to apply general tasting principals like sweet food with sweet wine, acidic food with high acid white wines, or salty food with tannic red wines. These rules do not always apply to cheese pairings. Cheese can confuse your taste buds. Cheese is fatty and will coat your tongue, like a thin coat of pollen on your car in the beginning of spring. The mouth coating effect may impair your sense of taste especially with wine.
Go for intensity
Gauge the cheese flavor intensity when you are matching it to wine. You want to make sure the wine or cheese does not overpower the other. For example, an intense blue cheese can be paired with a light flavored Riesling. This pairing is balanced. The Riesling will not overshadow the cheese. Pairing a bold, rich Cabernet Sauvignon with Gorgonzola is a battle of flavors. It is like watching the Ali-Frazier fight, down goes Frazier. The Cabernet and Gorgonzola flavors are competing with each other.
Acid can be fat best friend
Acid and fat combinations are an unlikely pair, but many people enjoy the combo. Acidic wines like Pinot Gris, Albariño, and Grüner Veltliner cut through the fat. Remember the fatty coat we discussed earlier, these wines will cut through that coat. They are the Edward Scissorhands of the wine world. Try mozzarella, feta and goat cheese with these wines.
Fruity with savory flavors
There is a component in food known as umami. Umami is the savory taste. People often refer to mushrooms when describing it. This flavor is found in hard cheeses. Hard cheeses like cheddar, parmesan and gruyere should be paired with fruit forward wines, such as Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc. Look for wines with mild tannin but have a lot of fruity character.
If this is overwhelming, no worries. Below is a 2015 Wine Enthusiast Magazine wine and cheese guide you can use to have an awesome pairing. Share your favorite cheese and wine pairing with us. Leave your wine and cheese pairing in the blog comment section.
Wine and Cheese Pairing Examples
Credit: WINE ENTHUSIAST, 2015
Vino 301’s 5th Year Anniversary
Happy Anniversary to us! It’s our 5th year anniversary. Thank you for supporting us over the past five years. We have had a great time creating memories with you. We appreciate you and look forward to sharing more laughs, more adventures and a lot of wine. We have new activities planned for you this year.
Giving Back To Our Community
Vino 301 offered discounted tours or events to demonstrate our appreciation in prior years to celebrate our anniversary. This year we are celebrating our anniversary differently. We appreciate you more than ever. We are grateful for you uplifting us, so we want to uplift others. Vino 301 is showing our gratitude by giving back. A dollar from each regional wine tour, Chocolate and Wine tour, and Wine, Beer & Spirits tour ticket sold will be used to purchase food for The Bowie Interfaith Pantry and Emergency Aid Fund this year. The Bowie Pantry provides emergency food and financial aid to residents in Prince George’s County. From Vino 301’s the beginning, we have always expressed our passion for supporting local vintners, farmers and businesses and we are sharing our passion by assisting our community. If you wish to donate food or funds to the Bowie Pantry, visit Bowie Pantry website.
We have a lot instore for you this first half of the year. More wine packages, and tour experiences!!!
February – We are celebrating National Drink Wine Day on February 18. It is a real holiday. This holiday celebrates wine drinkers and everything that is good about wine. It is only right that we observe this national holiday at a wine bar. Vino 301 Wine Concierge is hosting a social at Red, Red Wine Bar(Annapolis, MD) on February 18 from 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm. Join us and enjoy wine flights and light hors d’oeuvres. More information, click here.
March – March is Maryland Wine Month. Vino 301 is pairing cheese with Maryland wine. Wine and Cheese tour is a new specialty tour. We partnered with Romano Vineyard and Winery and P.A. Bowen Farmstead. Romano’s finest wines will be paired with P.A. Bowen Farmstead (Brandywine, MD) award-winning raw milk artisan cheeses. This wine tour will take you to Romano Vineyard for the cheese pairing. Your next destination will take you to one of southern Prince George’s County local vineyards (Robin Hill Farm & Vineyards, JaneMark Winery &Vineyard, or Gemeny Winery & Vineyard). More information, click here
April – The girls are out of here! Girlfriends Getaway takes you to Inn Boonsboro (Boonsboro, MD). Spend the weekend at famed novelist, Nora Roberts, bed and breakfast. Girlfriends Getaway is a weekend adventure that includes two-night stay at the Inn Boonsboro, wine tour with lunch, evening happy hours, yoga class, and much more. Stay tuned for more information.
May – Shopping is blooming in May. Sip and Shop is an afternoon of sampling selected fine wines, enjoying delectable appetizers and shopping. W by Worth clothing, high-quality women’s fashions, will be on display for a fun shopping spree – hassle-free with personalized service. More details are coming.
June – Vino 301 is headed for the water in June. We partnered with Atlantic Kayak Company. Take a Twilight Kayak tour along the Mattawoman Creek. There’s nothing more relaxing and engaging than spending time on the water. Leave the crowded streets and bike paths behind, and go on a kayak adventure! Top off your evening with a wine and cheese pairing. More details are coming.
Thank you again for five wonderful years. See you along the wine trails.