The Art of Cheese Pairing

10 June 2019, 11:06 AM
  • Providing customers with a good quality cheese offering is important, but having staff that can advise with authority how to best enjoy those products is key. So what are the essentials when it comes to pairing different cheeses with food and wines? Morgan McGlynn, cheesemonger and owner of Cheeses of Muswell Hill, shares her advice

Fresh cheese
This type is so wonderful because you can taste those milky, fresh flavours, so when pairing them I look for food and drink that will not overpower the taste of the cheese.

Food accompaniment: My favourite pairing at this time of year is a beautiful rich and creamy Brie de Meaux with fresh British strawberries.

Wine pairing: I love crisp, dry, young bottling with soft cheese like Pinot Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc or a young Chardonnay.

Soft cheese
Food accompaniment: Is there any thing better than a flavoursome Camembert with fresh figs, basil and honey? That on a sunny day is just heaven.

Wine pairing: For soft and bloomy cheeses I would go for dry, traditional-method sparkling wines such as a Brut Champagne. Also a light-bodied Chardonnay, Sancerre and a young dry Riesling.

Hard cheese
Food accompaniment: Hard cheeses have got to be my favourite, whether it is a mature Cheddar, aged Comté or a nutty Gouda, they are a real treat. I like to have mine with a good preserve such as homemade chilli jam and quince.

Wine pairing: A dry white wine with a touch of oak like Pinot Gris or Rioja or, for a red option, a good Côtes du Rhône or Chianti.

Blue cheese
Food accompaniment: A great way to eat blue cheese is with gorgeous ripe gritty pears, truffle honey or with strong dark chocolate.

Wine pairing: For milder, creamy blues I would say Sauternes or Riesling Beerenauslese, for a strong blue Vin Santo.

My favourite pairing at the moment is the Choco 21 cheese, which is a blue cheese covered in chocolate, with rich ripe cherries. This one is an upgrade on any cheeseboard, it’s like a dessert and so delicious. The best, and most fun, way to pair cheeses is to experiment and try all sorts as you may find a winning combination.

Morgan’s new book: The Modern Cheesemaker is out now.

Image credit: Jamie Orlando Smith

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