How to Find an Excellent Cheese for your Wine

We believe that food and wine should not be complicated, rather expressive. For many, exploring flavor is a journey in itself. Intense culinary pleasures are very often with the simplest ingredients. Some pairings have become so iconic, it is hard to think they ever existed without each other. Peanut butter and Jelly, Chocolate and Vanilla, Cream and mushroom, and cheese with wine. In the book ' The flavor Thesaurus' Niki Segnit investigates nifty ways to observe flavors and create matches of your own.

In the book she boils down all palatable foods into a wheel of flavor that you can use to match foods and perfect recipes at home. Inspired, we challenged ourselves to find the perfect wine and cheese pairings. What with amazing Paso Robles wines available from the Wine Wrangler's partnering wineries, we discovered ways to make pairing wine with cheese utterly easy.

Using the book and our food and wine pairing guide,we focus the spotlight on cheese.

First thing that jumped up was how important the fat content in cheese is. Some like Epoisses have a 75% fat content, assertive wines with substantial body will work well with these. One might turn their nose up on the bare mention of goats' cheese. However, these delicately flavored cheeses are a miracle pairing with fine red and white wines. That said, try out different milk cheeses like goats, cow and sheep on a cheeseboard.

Types of cheese

Bloomy, full fat, Creamy cheese are fantastic in their prime. When ripe and with a soft rind, they make great partners to quality wines. Brie, Camembert and Pony L'Evêque. Milder versions are Italian Ricotta and Swiss Fontina.

Hard, Matured cheeses are often salty. Aged, they develop great consistency. Aged ones like Gloucester and Cheddar pair marvelously with Syrah or any Rhône style wine like xx. If their flavor is too intense, try Gruyère or Emmental with fruity wines like Gewürztraminer or the Grey Wolf Cellars  2014Jackal (Zinfandel).

Blue cheeses are famous for their pungent, salty taste and blue streak. They pack quite the punch in flavour and work with wines that can match their integrity. Find a Robust full bodied red wine like L’Aventure 2015 Optimus  to match your Danish Blue or Cheshire. There are gentler versions of these in Roquefort, Gorgonzola and Bleu de Bresse that can pair with lighter, fruitier wines with some acidity.

Tip: Serve Blue Cheese like Stilton with a dessert wine for a classic fool-proof pairing.

Fresh, soft, spreadable cheeses are not usually aged. You can find some with a mix of milks: cow, goat and ewe. Others, like Greek Feta and the hereby French Boursin have some salty taste. Pair the latter with light reg wines of ample assertiveness. Nonetheless, go off the grid and find medium bodied sweet wines with some acidity. Try the Adelaida CellarPicpoul Blanc 2015.

As we mentioned in the food and wine pairing guide, pairing is mostly about comparing or contrasting flavour.

Serve a cheese platter with some cheese from each category after the main course to polish the wine off, but before dessert. It's a great palate cleanser that flatters the wine.