red wine / white wine..... best matches for cheese plate?
I would really enjoy some help here?
Depends on the cheeses . I would have both red and white with flavor profiles to match the cheeses (the stronger the cheese, the more full bodied the wines should be). If you are going with basic cheddars and maybe some chevre or feta, keep the wines basic also maybe a Pinot Noir and a Sauvignon Blanc. If you are going to be a bit mor adventurous, maybe a Nebbiolo and a Spatlese Riesling (great with Blue Cheese).
More explaination (plus how to serve etc):
You could also go out on a limb and try wines with cheese they are not traditionally paired with (as an experiment and adjunct to actual proven pairings) and see for yourself what goes and what doesn't and why. A good excuse to chow on cheese and swill wine.
For young soft cheeses, go with a Savignon Blanc or another aggressively dry white
A decent red Rioja is heavenly with a variety of aged cheeses.
Blue cheese is lovely with heavy, luxurious white dessert wines like ice wine or tokaj. Riesling is also a nice choice--and works with more mellow cheeses as well
I am in agreement with many of the posters, regarding the ease of matching many white wines, rather than reds, with "cheeses." By "cheeses," I mean a general selection from your grocery, not cheeses chosen to accompany specific wines. I'm also in agreement with the inclusion of a white and a red (or maybe more than 1 each) for the cheese course. I work with my caterer, or my grocer, to pick the specific cheeses, and will often serve a full-bodied white Burg (Chardonnay) with some cheeses, and an older CalCab, or Bdx. with others. Exceptions might be some of the wonderful hard Spanish cheeses, which seem to call out for an older Rioja, or Priorato. Something about the Tempranillo & Garnacha Tinta fits with these cheeses.
One should also consider the mouthfeel/texture of the cheeses being served and use that as a guide - creamy cheeses with creamy wines, etc. Same can be said for a salty cheese - choose a wine with a bit more fruit-forward character, or maybe even a tiny bit of RS.
I always give my guests the encouragement to try each cheese, with each wine, but, over the years, it is almost certain that some will go with the white far better, and some will go with the red(s), though with a bit less regularity. I've found that many cheeses are ruined, as is the wine, when randomly paired with reds.
PS some very good links in the earlier posts!
My favorite cheese wine is a young, rustic Bordeaux, such as a Cotes de Bourge. They can't be beat with ripe Reblochon, Camembert, or the like, and go well with most other cheeses.
Not great with some goat cheeses or most blues.
Over the years I've tried a very wide range of wine/cheese combinations. Here are my favorites, the very best matches being capitalized:
With White Wines:
Chardonnay: Brie, CHEVRE (goat cheese), COMTE, Aged Gouda, GRUYERE, Havarti and Parmesan Reggiano
Sauvignon Blanc: Cheddar (4yr old), CHEVRE (goat cheese), GRUYERE, PROVOLONE (real italian, not the american stuff), TOMME BASCO
Riesling: Colby, EMMENTAL, Gouda, Aged Gouda, Leyden
Gewurztraminer: EMMENTAL, GRUYERE
For Red Wines:
Cabernet/Merlot: CHEDDAR, CHEVRE (goat cheese), Gloucester, GOUDA, Aged Gouda, Morbier, PARMESAN REGGIANO, PROVOLONE
Rioja: Appenzeller, Beaufort Savoyard, Cabrales, Camembert, Cheddar (8yr), CHEVRE (goat cheese), Comte, Edam, Feta, Fontina, Gloucester, GORGONZOLA, Aged Gouda, Gruyere, Havarti, IBERICO, Montasio Mezzano, Ossau-Iraty, Parmesan Reggiano, Pecorino Toscano, PECORINO STAGIANATO
Pinot Noir: Cheddar (4Yr), CHEDDAR (8Yr), CHEVRE (goat cheese), EPOISSES, Feta, Havarti, Parmesan Reggiano, ROQUEFORT
Syrah: APPENZELLER, BEAUFORT SAVOYARD, Cheddar (4Yr), CHEVRE (goat cheese), COMTE, Feta, Gloucester, Gorgonzola, AGED GOUDA, GRUYERE, Iberico, MONTASIO MEZZANO, PARMESAN REGGIANO, PECORINO TOSCANO, PECORINO STAGIANATO, Raclette, RONCAL, Zamarano
Zinfandel: Camembert, Cheddar (4Yr), CHEDDAR (8Yr), CHEVRE (goat cheese), Epoisses, Feta, PARMESAN REGGIANO, PROVOLONE, ROQUEFORT
I just bought my girlfriend a book called "What to drink with what you eat". It seems pretty cool, as it lists foods & what to drink (not just wines), and also has another section listing drinks and what foods go with it. The cheese section is quite large, and it does go into some detail in certain cases (for example, it will specify a new world pinot).
Here is a list of wine pairings the Wine School did with DiBrunos in Philly a few weeks ago:
However, for simplicity sake, here are a few basic rules:
Cheese with lots of salt and fat, go with a high-acid white wine.
For blue cheeses, go with a low-acid white wine (never a red).
For wine with high-protein content, go with a moderately tannic red.