Throwing a wine and cheese party or including these combos as an appetizer is a great idea for the holiday season. While wine and cheese pairing doesn’t require a lot of preparation, you do need some basic knowledge and planning to make it a success. After all, not every cheese is going to go well with every wine.
Wine and cheese complement each other due to various factors like texture contrast, flavor balance, palate cleansing, aromatic interplay, and even cultural traditions. The interaction between the wine’s sweetness, acidity, and tannins with the cheese’s saltiness and richness creates a pleasing experience.
Here are some tips to make your upcoming wine and cheese gathering a success.
Wine and Cheese Pairings for November Gatherings
Not everyone has the same tastes in wine and cheese. To deliver the most delightful experience to your guests, you’ll want to offer several wine options along with complementary cheeses. Here’s a good list:
1. Riesling and Brie
You can find Riesling in many different flavor profiles, ranging from super sweet to dry. A dry to semi-dry Riesling pairs well with a creamy, soft brie. The wine’s acidity tempers the cheese’s richness.
2. Sauvignon Blanc and Cheddar
Sauvignon blanc is known for being highly acidic. It pairs well with cheddar cheese because the cheese enhances its earthy flavor.
3. Champagne and Mascarpone
Many people like to serve champagne at their holiday gatherings. If you’re planning to pop some corks, you can pair your bubbly with a smooth, rich, and spreadable cheese like mascarpone.
4. Pinot Grigio and Mozzarella
Because opposite flavor profiles often pair well, you may wish to combine a light-bodied yet dry Pinot Grigio with a slightly sweet and soft mozzarella.
5. Rose and Havarti
Sure, there’s a nip in the air. But many people still prefer a lighter, fruitier wine like a nice rose. You can balance the light, crisp qualities of this wine by pairing it with the buttery and mild qualities you’ll get in Havarti cheese.
6. Cabernet Sauvignon and Aged Gouda
If you enjoy a full-bodied wine, you’ll want to put a cabernet sauvignon on your list. This wine pairs well with aged gouda, which offers a sweet yet sharp taste that is similar to the wine, making for a delightful combination.
7. Beaujolais and Feta
Beaujolais is a light red wine that offers sweet undertones with hints of red berries. It pairs well with the tangy and salty flavor of feta cheese, which offers a unique contrast of sweet and salty.
8. Zinfandel and Asiago
Zinfandel is a white wine offering hints of black pepper and a spicy, fruity finish. The low bitterness of the wine pairs well with a rustic and buttery cheese like asiago, which can bring out its tartness.
9. Malbec and Aged Cheddar
Both Malbec and aged cheddar have deep, complex flavors that complement each other. Malbec has rich, dark flavors, and aged cheddar has a sharpness that creates a bold and delicious flavor combination.
10. Merlot and Parmesan
The sharp, nutty flavor of a bold parmesan cheese pairs well with the fruity and dry characteristics of Merlot.
Additional Wine and Cheese Party Ideas
In addition to pairing the right wines and cheeses, here are several ideas to make your event a success.
- Keep it simple. Everyone has a lot going on during the holidays. Avoid overwhelming guests with too many demands or options. A handful of carefully chosen wines and cheeses are ideal as long as you have sufficient quantities.
- Offer other foods. Cheese alone often isn’t enough to create a lasting impression. Add some other items like crackers, raw veggies and fruits, and charcuterie meats.
- Avoid breaking the bank. You’re probably spending plenty on other holiday items. There’s no need to buy the most expensive wine and cheese. Moderate selections are perfect for sharing goodwill and joy during the holidays.
Get Everything You Need for Your Holiday Gathering at Nick’s of Calvert
Now that you have the perfect wine and cheese pairings for any holiday cocktail gathering, you need the right place for your supplies. Nick’s of Calvert offers one of the largest selections of wine, beer, and spirits in Southern Maryland — all at the most affordable prices. We also have a full deli with the freshest and most unique cheeses.
Whether you are sure about your selections or need some assistance making the right choice, we’d be happy to help. We carry many brand names you’ll recognize, including some premium labels. Give us a call at (410) 414-7105 or visit us today.