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Which wines - or beers - pair best with cooked cheese?

Cheese and wine is a notorious minefield but is it any easier when the cheese is cooked? See my suggestions to match Mark Hix's delicious recipes in the Independent today:

Angel hair fried halloumi
Mark sees these as a deep fried snack with drinks or possibly served with pickled peppers as a first course - a slightly tougher proposition wine-wise with which I think you’d need a sharp white like a Greek Assyrtiko. Otherwise fizz is always good with deep-fried nibbles. I’m not thinking Champagne at this time of year, more an inexpensive sparkler. Cava would be fine.

Sprouting broccoli with garlic fondue
The broccoli won’t cause you any problems here - the key element to the dish is the fondue which is traditionally accompanied by a very dry white wine like a Swiss Chasselas. This is pretty hard to find so I’d go for something like a Muscadet or a very dry, simple country white vin de pays from southern France based on one of those neutral grape varieties like white Grenache or Terret. Avoid reds and don’t even think of serving iced water which makes fondue indigestible.

Piccata of veal with taleggio and spinach
An Italian trat classic with tomatoes, rich cheese and spinach. The latter two components tend to make it hard for reds though oddly I think the whole dish will get by thanks to the tomato. A case for a classic Chianti: its dryness and acidity will cut through the richness of the cheese and deal with the slight bitterness of the spinach. Equally good would be a smooth dry Italian white like a Verdicchio, dry Orvieto or even a decent Soave.

Chicory salad with gorgonzola and walnuts
A tricky dish with blue cheese and a sweet-sour dressing based on cider vinegar and honey that would be much better with a good artisanal cider (not too dry) or a beer than with wine. I’d go for something like a rich amber ale or Belgian Saison-style beer

Buck rabbit
Another beer-friendly dish given a kick with Worcestershire sauce and mustard. It’s made with Guinness so you might think it a bit wasteful to drink anything else. Personally I think a classic British ale like Timothy Taylor Landlord would work better so save the Guinness for a cracking onion gravy or beef stew.

Got other ideas? Do email your favourite pairings to us at greatmatches@matchingfoodandwine.com. To subscribe to our free monthly newsletter and be eligible to enter our fabulous prize draws click here or to get notice of posts as soon as they're published click here.

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