Last week, my company went out for pizza. Being the resident wine expert, I was tasked with ordering the wine, which I happily did. I ordered one Chianti and one Zinfandel, because I know these wines to be very pizza friendly. But when pairing wine with pizza, did I do my best? I did a little research and thought I would share with you what I learned.[Read more…]
Guess what July 25 is! National Wine and Cheese Day! Woo hoo! Yet another Hallmark holiday to celebrate! If you’re like me, you get a kick out of these holidays, but they drive you a little crazy. Who came up with them? Who benefits from them? What are we supposed to do to properly observe them? Yada yada yada. With that said, National Wine and Cheese Day is one of the few that is simply too good to pass up. So let’s celebrate!
Who Created National Wine and Cheese Day?
Thank goodness for Google, where you can learn just about anything. I learned that this day was created in 2014 by Jace Shoemaker-Galloway who, according to Linkedin, is a “go-getter gal looking forward to new journey.” In 2014 and 2015, she was a newspaper columnist for The Voice, where, “she also wrote a newspaper column dedicated to traditional, not-so-traditional and downright wacky holidays.” Pretty cool.
The Regional Start of Wine and Cheese Pairings
While people have paired wine and cheese for hundreds of years, initial pairings were all about location. Going back for centuries, certain cheeses and wines came from the same village and even from the same farms. According to checkiday.com, “In France, in the Brie region, Brie cheeses have long been paired with local wines like Beaujolais. In Italy, Asiago cheese has long been paired with wines that came from the same region, such as Italian Chianti and Brunello.”
Why Are Wine and Cheese Such a Great Combination
According to daysoftheyear.com, combining an astringent food, like wine, with a fatty food like cheese, creates truly delectable pairings. They say that “astringent foods have a tendency to bind with the elements in saliva that lubricate and cause them to clump and lose their ability to lubricate… The more you consume astringent foods the drier they make your mouth!… This is where the cheese comes in with its fatty texture and often pungent flavors. Each bite tends to coat our mouths just a little more making it lubricated with fat… We love the flavors, but the constant build up of flavor can often be overwhelming, and that’s when wine comes to the rescue!”
Wine and Cheese Pairing Recommendations
One of my favorite wine experts is Karen MacNeil, author of The Wine Bible. She has three simple suggestions for wine and cheese pairing:
- Pair white wines with soft cheese.
- Pair red wines with hard cheese.
- Pair Cabernet and other big, bad reds with blue cheese.
Checkday.com offers a few more helpful tips:
- Pair wine and cheese of equal intensity. That means pairing higher alcohol wines, which are more intense, with more intense cheeses and lower alcohol wines with less intense cheeses.
- Pair bolder red wines with aged cheeses.
- Pair stinky cheeses with sweeter wines.
- Pair Sparkling wines with creamy cheeses.
How to Observe National Wine and Cheese Day
This is your change to combine wine and cheese in ways you’ve never imagined. Be adventurous. Have fun. Find a favorite wine (or two or three) and sample it with some of your favorite cheeses. Do some regional tastings as describe above. Follow the tips I outlined above. But throw in some misfits to see what you think.
Very importantly, observe the social media worthiness of the day by posting pictures on your favorite social media channels and using the hashtag #NationalWineAndCheeseDay.
As an independent wine consultant with WineShop At Home, I absolutely enjoy bringing a taste of the Napa wine country home to you one sip at a time. Whether you simply love to drink wine, seek a special personalized wine gift, or are in search of a new wine jobs opportunity as a wine consultant, feel free to contact me for a truly unique wine tasting experience!
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