Wine and Cheese- The Perfect Couple!

By Michelle Plummer

June is for weddings—Wine and Cheese that is! What better reception hall than the Vintage Indiana Wine Festival on June 2, 2012 at Military Park!

Here is why the marriage works. The higher the acidity and alcohol in the wine, the better to cut through the butterfat coating, thus marrying with the cheese’s creaminess and allowing for a balanced wine and cheese flavor interaction.

Contrasting Intensity is important- pairing contrasting characteristics in cheeses and wines creates very desirable flavor profiles, much like pairing sweet with sour or smooth and crunchy textures, which add complexity and interest to foods. An example would be the contrast between the saltiness of Gorgonzola and the higher residual sugar of a Port-like dessert wine.

Every wedding offers dessert! Wine and cheese boards are perfect. Select two to three wedges of cheese in a variety of intensity such as a sharp white cheddar, gorgonzola and brie. Add fresh ripe fruits that have their leaves or stems for visual appeal. Dried fruits will also add interest. Toasted nuts, chutneys and assorted breads- from rye to French baguettes, toasted, fresh and sliced are also luscious additions. Select a tray or platter and include a cheese knife for slicing.

Q & A from our readers and followers:

Q: It is well and good to talk about, marriages of wine and cheese but I want to be an active participant, can I do this in Indianapolis?

A: The answer is yes! Check out these Local Wine Events.

Q: What is a unique gift for a special wedding couple?

A: Make your own platters! Add a few cheeses and bottle of wine, an opener and cheese knife and the special couple truly has a memory! This process is called slumped glass and is wonderful fun for everyone involved!

Q: What if I am lactose intolerant?

A: Hard cheeses such as aged cheddar, Swiss and aged blue cheeses are lower in lactose and generally more tolerable. Don’t forget to go slowly and try small amounts.

Q: I am just getting started and don’t want to make a poor selection. Do I have to buy expensive cheeses and wines?

A: No, begin where you can afford and remember with all the other items you only need a small amount of everything to fill your board. Many cheese shops will let you sample before you purchase as will wineries.  Vintage Indiana is also a great time for this activity and you get to so many other things there as well!

Just so you know- my first wine was Strawberry Hill with American—I have since moved up but you have to start somewhere!

Hope to see you at Vintage on June 2nd and tell us your favorite pairing!

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