With International Wine and Cheese Day on the 25 July, Aldi’s Mistress of Wine, Sam Caporn MW gives her expert advice when it comes to picking wines to match with cheese. Contrary to popular opinion, Sam says white wine and sparkling are in fact the best options for those looking to ‘cheese’ the day and celebrate the occasion:
“While most people think of matching cheese and punchy red wines, as a rule of thumb white wine is typically easier to pair with cheese. Red wine can be known to overpower most cheeses (the robust ones are safe) but the white grape is devoid of tannin (compounds found inside grape skins, seeds and stems). This means the acidity and sweetness of white wines can cut through the cheese to allow the rich and creamy flavours to shine. Sparklings also pair well too!
“My top tip for pairing is to embrace the nuance and don’t be afraid to experiment. Try to consider age and flavour intensity of both the wine and cheese to balance the weight of the dish and the weight of your chosen wine, ensuring neither overwhelms the other. Also, a great saying to remember is what ‘grows together, goes together’, for example, Cremant du Jura pairs nicely with Comté, because it’s also from the Swiss region of Jura!”
Whether you fancy a traditional cheese course or are looking for pairings to elevate a grate starter or main dish, Aldi has you covered with brie-lliant choices that won’t break the bank.
When it comes to versatility, a quality Riesling really can’t be beaten. Mistress of Wine Sam Caporn recommends that if you only plan to serve one type of wine with a variety of cheese then Riesling is the go-to grape. This quality dry Riesling pairs particularly well with soft ripe cheeses like Aldi’s Specially Selected Brie (165g, £1.79) or even buttery Raclette making it the ideal wine and cheese serving.
Veuve Monsigny Champagne Brut, (£12.49, 75cl)
Rich creamy cheeses pair well with the contrast of quality bubbles, almost scrubbing your tongue clean to encourage you to have another bite. An Aldi bestseller and highly acclaimed award-winner from the excellent Champagne house Philizot & Fils, the Veuve Monsigny Champagne is the perfect accompaniment for Camembert, like Aldi’s Specially Selected Baking Camembert (250g, £1.79) or Comté.
Pierre Jaurant Alsace Pinot Blanc (£5.99, 75cl)
This delicate, balanced wine with subtle notes of apple and peach pairs well with the salty, acidic flavour profiles of Feta cheese. This fresh pairing would be perfect for summer al fresco dining with the gentle palate of the Pinot Blanc complimenting rather than overwhelming the cheese.
Freeman’s Bay Sauvignon Blanc (£5.99, 75cl)
A fresh Goats Cheese, like The Cheese Emporium Goats Cheese, (150g, £1.59) pairs particularly well with an unoaked Sauvignon Blanc and is renowned for being a classic combination. The zippy acidity of the wine matches that of the cheese, preventing one from overpowering the other. If serving the Goats Cheese grilled or in a salad this pairing still works well, particularly if there are fresh herbs to compliment, or vegetables with corresponding flavour profiles such as asparagus to enhance the match.
Exquisite Australian Shiraz (£5.79, 75cl)
If you’d rather stick to red wine, stronger cheeses with firmer textures, like Aldi’s Extra Mature British Cheddar (400g, £1.79) will suit the muscularity of a bold Australian Shiraz. As Shiraz is a generously flavoured wine, it pairs particularly well with rich aged cheeses. This makes it a pleasant option for pasta dishes complete with generous parmesan shavings as the tannins from the red bind to the protein and fat, cleansing your palate with every mouthful.
French Red Sancerre (£11.99, 75cl)
While Goats cheese also pairs well with a classic Sauvignon Blanc, another classic example of ‘What grows together, goes together’, wines from the Loire region such as Sancerre pair well with this fresh cheese, complementing its acidity. A new July seasonal, this juicy French Red Sancerre will give even the most complex Burgundian wines a run for its money and makes a great accompaniment to a fresh Goats cheese and walnut salad using Aldi’s Cheese Emporium Goats Cheese (150g, £1.59).