The best wine matches for Manchego, Berkswell and other hard sheep cheeses
Hard sheep’s cheeses are the winelover’s friend.
Nutty, tangy and savoury, they show off a good red like no other cheese which makes them a great choice if you’ve picked a serious wine with your main course.
You can also pair them with sweet wines, and with sherry and other fortified wines. Here are the pairings I think work best:
Mature Spanish reds especially Rioja and Valdepeñas (the latter comes from the same region as Manchego, La Mancha). Other oak-aged tempranillos too.
Reds from the south-west of France - an area which specialises in sheep’s cheese - often served with a cherry compote. Madiran, for example. Sweet wines from the same region such as Jurançon and Pacherenc-du-Vic-Bilh also work well
Mature Chianti - especially with aged pecorinos
Sherry, especially dry amontillado, palo cortado and dry oloroso. Aged tawny ports are also good - see this post on Zamorano and 30 y.o. tawny
Aged oaked white rioja - its nuttiness compliments sheep cheese perfectly as you can see here
Orange wines. Maybe not your cup of tea but their quince-like flavours are brilliant with sheep cheese (think membrillo)
Younger, fresher-tasting hard sheep cheeses are good with a crisp dry white such as albarino or vermentino
Image © nito - Fotolia.com
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