26 February 2013

Donor request: it's a wine and cheese party!

This one is going out to Eric Kent and Tiffini Electra X, who recently made a generous donation to DFT and requested a post on wine and cheese pairings.  You, too, can request a blog post if you donate here.  Thanks a million, Eric and Tiffini!

Cheese + sauce + bread = happiness
     + booze = perfection

Sharp cheeses (white cheddar, Irish cheddar) + spicy/sweet chutney (call me tacky, but I love cheap old Crosse and Blackwell's Major Grey's Chutney which is distributed by Smucker's in the States) + water crackers
     Best with: lagers, crisp white wines, gin cocktails

Nutty cheeses (sharp cheddar, Parmesan, Asiago) + tangy mustard (preferrably whole grain with some heat) + pumpernickel or rye toasts
     Best with: German beer!  Maybe some cut up flavorful sausage and little dill pickles, too!

Salty, milky cheeses (queso fresco thinly sliced) + tamarind paste (also thinly sliced) + [cracker optional]
     Best with: semi-sweet white wines, good rum or tequila on the rocks (This also works for dessert)

Stinky cheese (bleu, gorgonzola) + pear conserve  or marinated grapes + rye or fennel crackers
     Best with: Chardonnay, champagne

Creamy cheeses (brie, manchego, chevre) + balsamic fig spread + fluffy baguette slices
     Best with: a chilled glass of rose or a smoky Scotch on the rocks

Fresh mozarella + tomato slices + basil leaves + crusty bread (= deconstructed Caprese)
     Best with: Lambrusco or a fruity Merlot

I like to offer one of each--a sweet and a more pungent offering--and also put out a neutral nut like Tamari roasted almonds to act as a palate cleanser.  You can try to get away with offering one drink that works with both plates, but why be stingy?