Holiday Entertaining with Cheese and Wine

holidayCollection Holiday Entertaining with Cheese and Wine
From Holiday 2010

When entertaining a large group you may want to keep a lid on the cost of your wine choices, partly so that you can have more cheeses. You don’t have to spend much on your wines to find some that pair remarkably well with a broad range of cheeses.

At a recent Cheese & Wine 101 class we tasted a white wine made with the Malvar grape, in the region of Almansa outside of Madrid. This wine reminded me of a cross between a Sauvignon Blanc and a Chardonnay. (That sounds like a combination that should cover a lot bases in cheese pairings.) The aroma of pineapple has been applied but I detect a little more apple. The wine is not as acid as most Sauvignon Blancs but it does have a little citrus note.

This relatively inexpensive wine paired well with a broad range of cheeses, from milder to stronger: goat, sheep, cow and mixed milk types; younger to older; softer to harder; all of these worked well with the Malvar, all of them except for the blue cheese.

This is where the Gamay grape steps in, as in Beaujolais – quite a festive wine itself, and available at a very nice price too. There is a sidebar in my latest book – Mastering Cheese – in praise of Gamay. The Gamay wines can work wonders with a full range of cheeses, including the blues. Some of the better Beaujolais are comparable to best of the red Burgundies. As wonderful as those wines may be, they don’t have the success as a wine partner that the Gamays have. Part of that success lies in the relative simplicity of the grape, including its lower tannin levels.

You might make it easier to choose what to take to the holiday party by ordering one of the Holiday Collections, and then take a superior Beaujolais such as a Morgon or a Moulin-à-Vent.

Oh yeah, and an autographed copy of Mastering Cheese as well.

Spread the curd!
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