Wine + cheese + holiday gatherings = perfection.
Wine and cheese are soul mates, but there’s a science to choosing varieties that weave well on the palate. Here, we’ve pulled together four great wine and cheese pairings for your holiday festivities.
Riesling + Gorgonzola
Rieslings are crisp with strong floral aromas. Contrary to legend, not all of them are super-sweet, particularly those from Austria, the Alsace region of France, Washington State, and the Finger Lakes region of New York. Wine and cheese pairings are easy with Rieslings—most couplings work—but an ideal choice is Gorgonzola, the wine’s sweetness playing well with its earthiness. We pierce our 90-day aged Gorgonzola cheese, made from cow’s and sheep’s milk, so air can enter to create gorgeous blue veins, little zaps of flavor. Refrigerate wine for 30–40 minutes.
Chardonnay + Provolone Extra
Chardonnay boasts tropical flavors when grown in warm climates, but apple and earthy aromas when grown in cooler climates. Oaked, it has a hint of vanilla. (Over-oaked, it tastes like drawn butter.) Provolone Extra is a match made in heaven for Chardonnay, made from local milk, brined, roped, and hung in special curing rooms. Two years later, its distinctive picante flavor and sharp aroma are ready to dance with a chilled glass of Chard. Refrigerate wine for 30 minutes.
Pinot Noir + American Grana®
Look to this wine’s birthplace, the Burgundy region of France, for great bottles packed with flavors of ripe red berries, sweet black cherries, mushrooms, and damp leaves. Pinot Noir’s bigger, fruitier, and richer in flavor are bottles from California, Oregon, Australia, Chile, and New Zealand. Its ideal bride is cheese with deep, nutty flavors, like American Grana, a gorgeous Parmesan made from extra-rich milk aged on wooden shelves for an ultra-long 24 months. Refrigerate wine for 15–20 minutes.
Cabernet + Peperoncino®
Cabernet Sauvignon is the ultimate whoops baby, from accidental breeding between red Cabernet Franc grapes and white Sauvignon Blanc grapes. Dry and full-bodied, it’s often flavored with a hint of green pepper as well as tobacco, cassis, dark fruits, and, if the wine was oaked, a vanilla tease. This sultry number is ideal for cheese with a kick. Pair it with our Peperoncino, a blend of Asiago and spicy red peppers crafted from premium milk aged five months. Refrigerate wine for 10–15 minutes.
Head to Facebook for a chance to win two La Bottega di BelGioioso holiday cheese boards – one for you and one for a friend. Once entered, download our free holiday guide for a complete list of wine and cheese pairings.
For more cheese pairings and entertaining ideas, visit our blog at savorlabottega.com/blog. There, you’ll find decadent chocolate and cheese pairings, tips for making a balanced cheese board, and more ideas for incorporating our La Bottega di BelGioioso family of cheeses into any occasion.