One of my favorite activities is to plan a wine and cheese gathering. Last week I travelled to my local cheese maker, Golden Ears Cheese in Maple Ridge to purchase some cheese for a tasting. When I thought about matching wines it occurred to me that there is a lot of information on the web regarding ideal matches but because they are typically from the US or Europe they feature suggestions that are not easily available here in British Columbia.
To assist fellow British Columbians I have created wine and cheese selections that are widely bought at most grocery stores and local wine shops. After all it’s very frustrating to have a list and find that most are not available with 100 kilometres of your home.
There are four basic categories of cheese and so I will recommend the cheeses in those categories and the matching wines that are easily purchased:
Soft cheeses: These include goat cheese, camembert and brie which are the perfect foil for Sauvignon Blanc, a lightly oaked Chardonnay or a refreshing Prosecco.
Semi-soft cheeses: Cheeses in this style include popular selections such as Swiss, Colby, Fontina and Havarti. Riesling, Pinot Grigio and sparkling wines like Spanish Cava and German Sekt are value driven wines that will deliver great taste.
Semi-hard cheeses: favorites like Cheddar, Sonoma Jack, Gouda and Blue reside in this category. Look to reds like Cabernet Sauvignon, Chianti Reserva or Ruby Port to impress guests at your next gathering.
Hard cheeses: Gruyere (look for the Swiss version), Edam, Manchego and Asiago pair well with Sauvignon Blanc (yes, a white wine!), Rote du Rhone (a value blended French wine) and Rioja from Spain.
These selections will make it easy and fun to plan your next soirée and as a note many of these grape varietal wines and cheeses are crafted right here in our own province. More reason to shop and buy local this summer! Wine and cheese tastings at BC Uncorked Wine Festival. Visit bcuncorked.ca