Pairings | Meritage blends
The best wine pairings with Roquefort cheese
Roquefort cheese is unusual in having such a frequently recommended wine match (Sauternes) that you may wonder if it’s worth drinking anything else but depending how you serve it there are a number of other options.
It’s actually used as often as part of a recipe as it is on its own, particularly in salads which may well mean you don’t want to start your meal with a sweet wine.
It’s also unusually salty which can have the effect of making red wines taste thin and mean.
On its own
Sauternes is king but you could also try similar sweet wines from Bordeaux or the surrounding regions such as Barsac, Saussignac, Loupiac or Monbazillac. Late harvest sauvignon blancs from elsewhere would also work. It’s also fantastic with peaty Islay whiskies like Lagavulin as you can see in this match of the week
As part of a cheeseboard
Here there are other cheeses to counterbalance its sharpness but I’d still go for something sweet rather than a dry red. A Banyuls*, Maury or Rivesaltes if you’re want to stick to French wine; an oloroso sherry or a late bottled vintage or vintage port if you want to stray further afield.
If you do want to drink red, Bordeaux is traditional though full-bodied reds from the Languedoc would be the local choice (Roquefort is made up in the plateau de Larzac). Blends of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot such as Meritage blends and mature Cabernet would also work.
In a salad
The most usual combination is with bitter leaves, pears and walnuts** and maybe a dressing made out of nut oil. I’d be inclined to keep your wine quite dry and even a touch oxidised if the dressing is nutty too: Savignin from the Jura would be great, or try an aged Muscadet or even a crisp fino sherry. If the dressing is lighter try an Alsace riesling.
With a steak or a burger
Cabernet is great with beef and blue cheese.
*I also discovered a Languedoc red called Palais Royal from Domaine de L’Arjolle which worked really well as you can see from this post
Photo © Brad Pict - Fotolia.com
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