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What type of wine do you prefer to drink with a cheese or cheese course?

Poll ended at Fri Nov 21, 2008 12:23 pm

Dry white wine
7
12%
Off-dry white wine
8
14%
Sweet white wine
12
21%
Dry, light or medium bodied red wine
9
16%
Dry, rich/heavy red wine
7
12%
Port/Banyuls or other sweet red
9
16%
None of the above (please be so kind as to post an explanation)
6
10%
 
Total votes : 58
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David M. Bueker

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Poll: Wine and Cheese - what's your choice?

by David M. Bueker » Fri Nov 14, 2008 12:23 pm

Alex, Tim and I have been starting up a discussion about wine to drink with cheese. The three of us have varying opinions on what works well. Of course the kind of cheese is potentially more important than the type of wine, but Alex suggested a poll, so I thought we could give it a try.

So the question is, what kind of wine do you like with your cheese? There's no way for me to delineate all of hte choices, so I will ask folks to do the following:

1. Vote for your most frequent wine match(es) with cheese (up to two)
2. Comment in the thread about specific matches you like or exceptions to your choice
3. Don't bug me about the poll options
:wink:
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Re: Poll: Wine and Cheese - what's your choice?

by David M. Bueker » Fri Nov 14, 2008 12:26 pm

For what it's worth, I picked sweet white & Port as my most frequent matches. I also do use some rich reds (Grange is a great cheese wine).
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Re: Poll: Wine and Cheese - what's your choice?

by Mark Lipton » Fri Nov 14, 2008 12:44 pm

David M. Bueker wrote:For what it's worth, I picked sweet white & Port as my most frequent matches. I also do use some rich reds (Grange is a great cheese wine).


The problem with this poll is that there's cheese and then there's... cheese. Both a ripe Brie and an aged Manchego are cheese, but totally different in character and what wines pair well with them. FWIW, the only cheeses that I will pair with red wine or Port are hard, aged cheeses. Fresh cheeses call for Sauvignon Blanc and soft, ripe cheeses to me call for a high acid white with at least a touch of RS. I'm sure that blue cheeses pair best with completely different wines, but since I can't abide their flavor, I have not conducted a thorough study.

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Re: Poll: Wine and Cheese - what's your choice?

by Rahsaan » Fri Nov 14, 2008 12:44 pm

David M. Bueker wrote:3. Don't bug me about the poll options :wink:


Well, I just can't resist..

And not that you should have included this option, but for my tastes all of these types of wines can work depending on the specific cheeses at hand. The key is not to use the finest and most exquisite example of each type of wine because the nuances will likely be lost.

But, interested to see what people prefer. All things being equal I probably do lean more towards Port and white wines (i.e. away from dry red wines) than many people.
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Re: Poll: Wine and Cheese - what's your choice?

by Bill Spohn » Fri Nov 14, 2008 12:52 pm

I honestly prefer no cheese with wine, if the wine is of interest on it's own. It tends to mute certain elements in the wine that you might prefer to be abe to assess in the absence of cheese.

Having said that, Ithink that most white wines are less affected than reds, despite the long standing tradition of cheese with reds.

Of the reds, the younger more tannic wines as well as the more acidic ones (e.g. traditional Italians) seem to work best with, or should I rather say, against, cheese.
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Re: Poll: Wine and Cheese - what's your choice?

by Michael Malinoski » Fri Nov 14, 2008 1:01 pm

I almost always prefer a sweet white wine with a complex cheese course (say 5-6 cheeses and all the raisins/figs/nuts/compotes fixins that often accompany the cheese plate). For me, it is the safest choice across the range and nearly always results in the most sublime match of the evening (even if there are a few misses). I have tried and tried to find good dry red wine and cheese pairings, but have not found a single one I would call any better than palatable (well, there was a Grand Cru red Burgundy and an aged farmer's cheddar one time). Ports/banyuls often excel with certain cheeses, but seem riskier to rely on for the whole course. Just my 2 cents.

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Re: Poll: Wine and Cheese - what's your choice?

by Jon Peterson » Fri Nov 14, 2008 1:24 pm

Needless to say - it really depends on the kind of cheese and even the time of year. Heck - it' even depends on daily temps and if it's raining or not. I am currently eating a lot of Stilton and Cow Girl Creamery's Red Hawk and a light to medium dry red works for me. But if it's a classic cheese fondue - then a rich dry white is the ticket (and I do have fondue often). This week, with wet and very cool temps, a heavy Zin has been the wine regardless of the cheese. In summer with lighter cheeses, lighter wines which are often white.
Last edited by Jon Peterson on Fri Nov 14, 2008 2:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Poll: Wine and Cheese - what's your choice?

by Shaji M » Fri Nov 14, 2008 1:31 pm

David,
Depends on the cheese. Recently, a nice hearty red paired well with a Point Reyes Blue.
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Re: Poll: Wine and Cheese - what's your choice?

by David M. Bueker » Fri Nov 14, 2008 2:01 pm

Keep the comments coming gang. Specific matches are the best of course, but it's interesting to see the range of opinions.

I wasn't trying to get a scientific result. Heck it's not like we're trying to find out if Finger Lakes Riesling is better than German Riesling. :twisted:
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Re: Poll: Wine and Cheese - what's your choice?

by Peter May » Fri Nov 14, 2008 2:09 pm

I've voted none of these because I can't eat cheese (and I hate being at a tasting where someone next to me pulls out a block of the stinking stuff.)
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Re: Poll: Wine and Cheese - what's your choice?

by AlexR » Fri Nov 14, 2008 2:10 pm

Oops. I voted for three options, was told that was too many, and chose only one - whereas I could have chosen two. Perhaps I didn't pay enough attention at the beginning!

There is a definite cultural divide too.

The English, for instance, when they have a cheese course (which is not too often in my experience), enjoy it *after* the dessert.
I fully agree that Port is ideal here. A natural red wine is far less suited.

If you are used to having cheese at virtually every meal, as in France, you take it in as a given.
The question of whether or not to have wine (generally to finish your glass, or the bottle) with cheese seems self-evident.
This is as French as the Folies Bergère or croissants in the morning.

Most French wine is red. The Germans, presumably, prefer their white wines with cheese!

Although I'm American, I have not spent my adult life in the States. In my experience, cheese courses are pretty rare there (perhaps I stand to be corrected here).
I've most often seen cheese put out *before* the meal in the US, or served as one of a series of dishes or tidbits i.e. it is not a separate course as such.

I'm pretty much responding to Tim's posts on the other thread, but there is also a long history in France of seeing cheese as in integral part of *any* gourmet meal,
and to match the finest wine of the evening. This is usually red, although people in Chablis or Muscadet may have a different take on this :-).
Not all traditions are grounded in logic, but I have come to see this one as valid.
Another factor is that there is usually a *selection* of cheeses, which most people can recognize at a glance, so you take your favorite one(s), and concentrate on the milder ones if you've got a great wine in your glass.
Furthermore, people take their time over meals in France. This is to say, if you have a subtle wine and strong cheese, you eat a bit of cheese (on bread), take a sip of wine, wait, take another sip, a third sip etc. before reverting to the cheese. The idea of matching does not mean simultaneous consumption. The first taste of wine after cheese is different from the second and third sips without. This is all part of the experience. The wine's subtlety is in most instance's enhanced. I've known cheeses, of course, whose flavor wouldn't go away (the naughty expression in French is "ça sent la jeune fille qui se néglige").*

This is the difference between a serious tasting and a dining experience. And we all know that the two can be quite different.
Personally, I'd rather have my Ch. Margaux at table and, yes, with the cheese, then on its own, clinically so to speak even if, arguably, the wine's merits will show up better in the latter instance when appraised in its "pure" state.

For red wine drinkers, skipping wine with the cheese, or "reverting" to a white wine would seem unnatural. Like starting the meal off with coffee.

On the other hand, my French friends have also been delighted every time I have brought out Port with the cheese (not too often, but it has been known to happen).

Best regards,
Alex R.
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Re: Poll: Wine and Cheese - what's your choice?

by David M. Bueker » Fri Nov 14, 2008 2:20 pm

AlexR wrote:Most French wine is red.


Newsflash for Alsace, the Loire, Champagne, Burgundy...
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Re: Poll: Wine and Cheese - what's your choice?

by Matt Richman » Fri Nov 14, 2008 2:29 pm

Of course each wine can be a better or worse match with each cheese. I voted for sweet white because my favorite match is when a cheese matches a Sauternes or similar.
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Re: Poll: Wine and Cheese - what's your choice?

by Wink Lorch » Fri Nov 14, 2008 2:39 pm

Dry white wine is by far the most versatile e.g.
Sancerre (or other minerally SB) + Goats' cheese (soft)
Savoie white + Reblochon
Vin Jaune (yes it is a dry white!) + Comté
Savoie or Swiss white + all cooked cheese dishes e.g. fondue, raclette, tartiflette

Light dry reds e.g. Pinot Noir or very good Gamay can work with hard cheeses or occasionally soft e.g.
Red Burgundy + Maroille or Epoisses (though great Chardonnay works too)
Cru Beaujolais + good English cheddar

The above were my 2 votes, but then there are classics already mentioned with Port but also
off-dry Gewurztraminer + Munster or with Roquefort/nut/pear salad

I'm getting hungry and thirsty.
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Re: Poll: Wine and Cheese - what's your choice?

by Steve Edmunds » Fri Nov 14, 2008 2:53 pm

The old Peter Sellers movie "Shot In the Dark" contained a scene in which the Police Commissioner is speaking to his mistress on the phone about a secret rendezvous, and he whispers to her: "I have zee sheeze and zee Beaujolais!" It was the first wine reference I remember from the movies, and when I've thought of cheese with red wine, it made sense, for the reasons of 1) the naturally high acidity of Gamay 2) the fairly low tannin profile of Gamay 3) the vivid fruit tones of so much (good) Beaujolais.
I tend to agree that dry whites with good acidity will work best with the broadest range of (non-bleu) cheeses. Mimolette is a cheese that is particularly wine-friendly and works better than most cheeses with red wines, in my experience.
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Re: Poll: Wine and Cheese - what's your choice?

by Hoke » Fri Nov 14, 2008 3:01 pm

David M. Bueker wrote:
AlexR wrote:Most French wine is red.


Newsflash for Alsace, the Loire, Champagne, Burgundy...


What are those guys thinking? :?
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Re: Poll: Wine and Cheese - what's your choice?

by Hoke » Fri Nov 14, 2008 3:07 pm

None of the Above: no guideline works sufficiently well; and any guideline is constraining individual discovery, exploration, and the greater opportunity to have more "Wow! I didn't see that coming!!! moments)

A bunch of you guys keep talking about "French Wines". What are those? The only "French Wine" I know is so cheap and wretched, we probably shouldn't be discussing it (and definitely shouldn't admit to drinking it, lest we lose our geek license).

All those sommeliers can turn their little noses up when it comes to the subject of red wine and cheese. Screw 'em. I happen to generally like red wine and cheese combinations, if for no other reason than it delivers entirely different flavor combinations than does white wine and cheese.

So I resort to my usual fallback: it depends. It depends on the wine, the cheese, the moment. Any other answer is meaningless.
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Re: Poll: Wine and Cheese - what's your choice?

by AlexR » Fri Nov 14, 2008 3:36 pm

David,

"The total French production for the 2005 vintage was 43.9 million hl (plus an additional 9.4 million hl destined for various brandies), of which 28.3% was white and 71.7% was red or rosé.[8] The proportion of white wine is slightly higher for the higher categories, with 34.3% of the AOC wine being white".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_wine

If you'd like a different source, I'll try to hunt one up for you.

Best regards,
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Re: Poll: Wine and Cheese - what's your choice?

by Michael Malinoski » Fri Nov 14, 2008 3:38 pm

Wink Lorch wrote:Red Burgundy + Maroille or Epoisses (though great Chardonnay works too)


While I agree wholeheartedly with the Sancerre and young goat cheese (particularly from the Loire), I just can't enjoy Epoisses with red burgundy. I know that this is the hallowed magic pairing but I have tried it with at least 2 dozen red burgs and never once has it improved either the wine or the cheese. I really haven't given white Burg enough testing with Epoisses, so that seems like a challenge I'll have to go out this weekend and pursue. :)
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Re: Poll: Wine and Cheese - what's your choice?

by Hoke » Fri Nov 14, 2008 3:48 pm

AlexR wrote:David,

"The total French production for the 2005 vintage was 43.9 million hl (plus an additional 9.4 million hl destined for various brandies), of which 28.3% was white and 71.7% was red or rosé.[8] The proportion of white wine is slightly higher for the higher categories, with 34.3% of the AOC wine being white".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_wine

If you'd like a different source, I'll try to hunt one up for you.

Best regards,
Alex R.


Alex, I don't believe David was debating statistics of production. I think he was making a point about the rather sizable amounts of white wine of different types and styles created around the country, with certain regions being almost totally focused on not only making white wines in general, but iconic and distinct types of white wine as well. "Most French wines are red" rather cavalierly dismisses...Alsace, for instance....where the statement simply does not apply.

It's that irony thing...
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Re: Poll: Wine and Cheese - what's your choice?

by David M. Bueker » Fri Nov 14, 2008 3:52 pm

Hoke has it right. I should have added a :wink: but I am trying to cut down.
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Re: Poll: Wine and Cheese - what's your choice?

by AlexR » Fri Nov 14, 2008 4:14 pm

David,

Since we were speaking of France, the appellations you mentioned would not be associated with cheese by the average French person.

I'm not saying that they shouldn't be, I'm just trying to point out that wine's first duty in France is to be red, by and large, including the fine wine catagories,
and that white wines are often served with the first course, before moving on to red.
If given a choice of just one wine, it is most often red.

If a Frenchman has a Muscadet, its with seafood, for instance. He would avoid it with cheese.
Of course, that may not hold true for people living in the Muscadet region itself. I'm speaking of the population at large.

As you know, Champagne is often not consumed with food.

None of this is questioning your taste or that of anyone taking the poll. Just reporting on how wine is viewed here.

Best regards,
Alex R.
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Re: Poll: Wine and Cheese - what's your choice?

by David M. Bueker » Fri Nov 14, 2008 4:35 pm

Alex - not debating with you. It was a funny little comment & you clearly missed the joke.
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Re: Poll: Wine and Cheese - what's your choice?

by wrcstl » Fri Nov 14, 2008 4:46 pm

Only one answer. I agree with Mark, Jon, Shaji and Hoke, it depends. Wow, I agree with Hoke, must be getting old.
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