online resources for wine & cheese pairing?
hello fellow winos!
i'm doing a project on wine and cheese pairing for a cheese appreciation course. i have a list to hand out of helpful books, but i'm wondering if there are any great websites about wine and cheese pairing.
Websites and books have limited usefulness in this category. Some of the recommendations may be unimpressive or disappointing, as Chicago Mike says. What the websites can offer are broad suggestions that merely send the reader in a certain direction. So that should be part of your report.
Some of the high-end cheese stores offer good guidance. I especially recommend the Artisinal Cheese Center in New York. It's run by a very bright and passionate group of food and wine experts. They have a rather good website and links to cheese pairings.
The store, and its classes:
From that store:
Red Wine and Cheese Pairings, by varietal:
White Wine and Cheese Pairings, by varietal:
Part of the problem with wine and cheese pairing is that both wine and cheese are complex -- they get their flavors from lots of different components. Lots of wines are called Cabernet Sauvignon and lots of cheeses are called Cheddar. They’re not at all the same. So it's not good enough to say a wine pairs with a certain category of cheese, like goat cheese. Which goat cheese, made where? Some goat cheeses are mild, some are goaty, some are creamy, some semi-hard, some come with ash. A French goat cheese is far different from an American one. And on and on. So a recommendation for a single category of cheese doesn't always work with a certain wine. Or a single category of wine for a certain cheese.
No website or book is specific enough to cover all these variations. Knowledge from a book or website isn't really knowledge in this case. The suggestions have to be tried to be of any use. It’s like a guidebook to France. It’s not at all like experiencing France.
BTW, this is also an area of strong opinions. Many people, like Chicago Mike, have firm, absolutely passionate views about what works and what doesn’t. Of course, this means that opinions will conflict, especially when one opinion rubs up against an equally informed, equally experienced, equally passionate divergent opinion. But there’s room for diversity and plurality of opinion (especially on Chowhound), as there is in wine and cheese.