Pair Cheese With Sparkling Wine
31st July 2019
Who doesn’t love either of the ingredients in the title – Cheese and Sparkling Wines! Where though do we start when it comes to pairing them together, a growing trend and a very rewarding one too if you can get the perfect match?
I have had many a fine cheese and fizz tasting and there have been some truly magnificent combinations which I have written about and shared the tasting experience of. The diversity of styles and flavours from both these products make them a highly expansive topic to study and enjoy, they both can be anything from creamy in flavours to bone dry!
What different types of cheese are there?
There are said to be seven main types of cheese all of which are made from animal milk. These are:
- Soft White Rind
- Aged Fresh
- Flavour Added
It is interesting to know that we in the UK produce more varieties of cheese than our close neighbours in France, globally there are tens of thousands of different styles / varieties / labels from which to choose from.
The good thing about cheese is that there is very likely to be one type that you will like, once you have your preferred option then there will be hundreds if not thousands of examples to choose from.
Which is the Best Cheese to pair with Champagne / Sparkling Wine?
Many people in the know will say that creamy cheese and some of the harder and drier styles will be the best to pair with sparkling wines. The fatty and sometimes salty texture / flavours that cheese holds are perfect to pair with a Champagne or sparkling wine such as Cremant, Prosecco and Cava. The wine will both compliment the silky flavours of the cheese yet still be able to cut through the fat and salt and leave its fresh fruity flavours having cleansed the palate.
As a rule, I like to recommend the following cheese and sparkling wine pairings:
- Soft creamy white / goats cheese – Quality Prosecco (DOCG / Asolo)
- Hard dry cheese – Champagne / Trento Doc / Franciacorta
- Soft creamy Blue cheese – Cremant Brut / Cava extra Brut
- Strong Blue / Stilton – Red sparkling wine
With many, many different options of cheese and the same with Champagne and sparkling wines, we can simply have an endless and joyous discovery of pairing and flavours – There are many matches made in heaven to be experienced!
A Champagne & Sparkling Wine with Cheese tasting:
We wanted to see how a selection of sparkling wines paired with five different styles of cheese and taking part in this tasting, by giving her feedback, was Eve our Editorial Director.
Capricorn Somerset Goat Cheese – Paired with Prosecco Asolo ‘Cuvée Indigene 2016’ from Loredan Gasparini:
“The choice of Prosecco was important here, we wanted a very fine and full of complex flavours Prosecco over simply a quick fruity burst wine. The vintage from the Superiore region of Prosecco and the producer Loredan Gasparini guarantees us a quality example. The combination is a good one, both the wine and cheese emit a wonderful smooth creamy taste sensation, they more or less become united. The creamy cheese initially delights the palate which when the Prosecco is added it slowly fades the fatty elements to leave a creamy ripe golden fruit taste sensation.” Eve Walkey, Editorial Director of Glass of Bubbly.
Galbani Dolcelatte Creamy Blue Cheese – Paired with Oedoria Cremant de Bourgogne Diamante:
“Balances well. The Cremant cleanses the palate nicely to leave a super creamy smooth after taste which is tempting you to taste more of this pairing. You are really spoiling yourself by trying this combination!” Eve Walkey, Editorial Director of Glass of Bubbly.
Wensleydale with Cranberry Cheese from Sainsbury’s – Paired with Villa Sandi Opere Serenissima Spumante Metodo Classico:
“Here we have The World’s Finest Glass of Bubbly winner for 2018 in the Villa Sandi Opere Serenissima which is a traditional method DOC Italian sparkling wine which holds a wonderful citrus and yellow fruit crisp flavour. The combination with the cheese brings out the sweeter cranberry flavours and neutralises the creamy and fatty characters.” Eve Walkey, Editorial Director of Glass of Bubbly.
Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Grana Padano Riserva Cheese – Paired with Champagne Chapuy Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs:
“The Champagne does very much fight back against the dry and salty elements of the cheese and you get a quick burst of floral / white fruits from the wine, but the cheese is bold enough to fight back again. Here, though promising in some ways, the cheese is a bit too strong for this Champagne, I would suggest an extra brut in order to combat the cheese and give us a nice balance. Dare I say I would have preferred to enjoy each separately.” Eve Walkey, Editorial Director of Glass of Bubbly.
Blacksticks Blue Cheese – Paired with Stoka Sparkling Teran Prima 2011:
“I can well see why it is suggested that drier blue cheese go wonderfully well with a glass of sparkling red wine. The cheese is an amazing burst of flavours that when enjoyed with the sparkling red from Stoka leaves a cleansed palate and a dry red berry fruit flavour in the mouth with a silky blue cheese hint in the background from the cheese. The Stoka was a little on the dry side, I can see a slightly more fruity sparkling red making an even better impression here.” Eve Walkey, Editorial Director of Glass of Bubbly.
Co-founder of Glass of Bubbly. Journalist and author focused on Champagne & Sparkling Wines and pairing them with foods.