As featured in the Victoria Classics special issue French Cooking & Entertaining, cookbook author and entrepreneur Georgeanne Brennan fell in love with the Gallic philosophy of enjoying life at a slower pace and celebrating everyday moments with joie de vivre. In this web exclusive, the chef offers guidance for pairing cheese with wine. “There are so many options,” she says, “it’s good to have a few basic concepts in mind when making choices.”
Light with Light
“Think light, fresh, or only slightly aged young cheeses, such as a fresh Humboldt Fog goat cheese with a crisp, acidic Sauvignon Blanc, a Pinot Grigio, or a dry rosé,” Georgeanne suggests. For Brie or Camembert, she recommends a light- to medium-bodied red wine, such as Beaujolais or Pinot Noir.
Strong with Strong
“Strong cheeses tend to be those that are well-aged, like Gouda, fontina, Taleggio, and Morbier,” she says. “Pair these rich, aromatic offerings with an unoaked or lightly oaked Chardonnay, Viognier, or Vouvray.”
Salty with Sweet
“The salty cheeses include the powerful blues, such as Gorgonzola and Stilton,” the chef explains, “and are well-matched with dessert wines, such as amontadillo and oloroso sherries, vintage or tawny port, and Sauternes.”
Sparkling with Almost Anything
“Because cheese coats the mouth, the bubbles in the wine cleanse the palate,” she says. “This pairing works equally well with a creamy cheese, such as a triple-cream, and a hard, salty cheese like Parmigiano-Reggiano, as well as most blue cheeses.”
For favorite offerings that have stood the test of time, Georgeanne recommends serving chèvre with Sancerre, triple-cream cheese with Champagne or sparkling wine, and Stilton with port.