Are there more exciting words than “wine and cheese?” We sure don’t think so, here are 4 Oregon chardonnay cheese pairings.
Pairing wine and cheese together is a tale as old as time, and for good reason. The right cheese and the right wine can compliment each other, making both taste exciting, different and better than they tasted on their own.
There are many strategies for pairing wine and cheese together. In our Pinot Noir Pairing Guide post, we talked about congruent and contrasting pairings:
- Congruent – pairing wine and food that have similar qualities
- Contrasting – pairing wine and food with opposite qualities
Here are two other aspects to keep in mind when pairing wine and cheese together:
- The wine should be more acidic than the cheese
- The wine should be sweeter than the cheese
Oregon, and the Willamette Valley specifically have gained a reputation for making unique and exciting Chardonnay wines. To learn more about Oregon Chardonnay, check out this post.
Bottles of Chardonnay can differ drastically from one to the next, thanks to the introduction of oak. Chardonnay’s that are light, crisp, acidic and a bit fruity have been aged in stainless steel. Chardonnay’s that are rich, buttery, and creamy have been aged in oak. Many people find they only like one or the other. But no matter which side of Chardonnay line you fall on, you can find great cheeses to pair with your glass of wine.
Unoaked Chardonnay Cheese Pairings
When pairing cheese with unoaked Chardonnay’s, look for cheeses that are on the mild side and have a lush, creamy, and rich texture. This will balance the crisp acidity you’ll get from the wine.
BURRATA – Burrata is a fresh style of mozzarella, made from either water buffalo or cow’s milk. The outside pouch is a firmer mozzarella and is filled with soft and delicate cream. The best way to enjoy burrata is with a large drizzle of good quality olive oil, a sprinkle of crunchy salt and served with a few slices of crusty bread.
DÉLICE DE BOURGOGNE – Délice de Bourgogne is a classic French triple creme brie made from cow’s milk. It is rich and creamy, with a hint of earthy mushrooms on the rind. This cheese also doesn’t need a lot of accompaniment. Serve the wedge with a drizzle of honey or a sweet fruit jam with crisp crackers on the side.
Oaked Chardonnay Cheese Pairings
Pairing cheese with oaky and buttery Chardonnay’s is a bit trickier. Because the wine is bigger and fuller, you can pair it with bigger and bolder cheese. But you have to be cautious as to not draw out too much of the oakiness of the wine.
CABOT CLOTHBOUND CHEDDAR – The sweet, nutty and caramelized flavors of this cow’s milk American cheddar cheese pairs beautifully with an oaky Oregon Chardonnay. When serving this cheese, slice it into bite-sized pieces and plate it with apples and roasted nuts.
GRUYERE 1655 – Alpine and mountain cheeses are a great pairing with oaky Chardonnay’s, and Gruyere 1655 is a great option. The cheese is grassy and nutty with great caramelized notes that taste great alongside a glass of Chardonnay. To accompany this cheese, add some grainy mustard, cornichons or a meaty salami to the plate and enjoy!