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Through trial and error, I've learned that at least when it comes to my palate, soft->red, hard->white, blue->sweet.

I also noticed that goat cheese goes well with syrah and rhone wines because the meaty aspect matches well.

Am I way off the mark with this? What other guidelines are there to consider when you pair wine with cheese?
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For me,
1) The more sour the cheese (such as Goat Cheese), the more acidity I look for in the wine to match; like Goat Cheese with Sancerre. 2) I don't start moving into reds until I get into stronger, aged (higher protein-ratio) cheeses; like cheddars and Parmigiano- Reggiano with Rioja and Chianti.
3) Sweet wines are good to match extremely intense cheeses, like Roquefort with Port.
One thing I would add is that if you are pouring a properly aged red wine (which in many cases is delicate if Pinot Noir, Nebbiolo, or Bordeaux) then I recommend against actually pairing them with cheese unless the cheese is incorporated in the dish it is served with. For example, a slightly less fully matured Cabernet or Merlot would pair fine with a strong cheese but the same cheese would overpower a delicate red. It is not so frequently that one will be drinking such a delicate red wine unless splurging.
I agree with the Sancerre and Goat cheese- I have always thought that was the classic pairing- but I guess in the wine world rules are made to be broken? Smile

If I can add another question to the string...what would be good with a nice Manchego? Do I stay in country and stick with Riojas?

How about an herby or garlicky Boursin?

And what about Raclette?

Sorry- just naming off my favorites- would like to know how to do it right!

As usual, looking forward to the always useful feedback!

Cheers! Smile
With a good Manchego (like a 15-month aged), you can actually enjoy a Tawny Port. obviously out of the country if you like. Or for that matter a sweet wine. There are plenty of wines from Spain you can also have like an Oloroso Sherry that has a caramel flavor. When you buy Manchego like that, also pick up some Quince paste. A good cheese store carries that if it is within a gourmet shop. or fig jam works.

Garlic herb goat cheese goes nicely with an oaky white. You are right about the goat cheese with the Sancerre. Riesling works well with Raclette. Chasselas is another one.
Originally posted by BRR:
Explorateur with Red Bordeaux or New World Cab-based blends. Mmm!

Funny, I recall seeing this recommendation years ago...posted by grunhauser. I'd usually had Explorateur paired with Champagnes and thought it sounded strange. Tried it. Loved it. Cool If I recall correctly, better with Right Bankers, but very good across the board.


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