Cross Country Connections: American Cheeses Inspire a Map of Perfect Pairings
One of the easiest ways to find a felicitous wine and cheese pairing is to look to the source and see what the locals do.
So we’ve mapped out examples of all the major styles that are made right here in the USA—and offer easy-to-find pairing suggestions, at everyday prices.
Chèvre, Laura Chenel (Sonoma, CA)
Grassy sauvignon blancs are made for fresh goat cheese.
Wine: Kunde 2010 Sonoma Valley Magnolia Lane Sauvignon Blanc ($15)
Teleme, Franklin’s Cheese, Mid-Coast Cheese Company (Los Banos, CA)
Chenin’s broad texture echoes that of Teleme’s silky, spoonable insides while hiding a refreshing acidity.
Wine: Pacific Rim 2008 Columbia Valley Chenin Blanc ($11)
Wabash Cannonball, Capriole (Greenville, IN)
When the chalky center of the cheese begins to get creamy around the edges, there’s nothing like a sparkling wine to point up the contrasting textures and tang.
Wine: Domaine Ste. Michelle Columbia Valley Cuvée Brut Sparkling ($12)
Mozzarella, The Mozzarella Company (Dallas, TX)
Rosés straddle the need for heft and transparency that a milky, dense cheese like this requires. Light reds work well, too.
Wine: Acrobat 2011 Oregon Rosé of Pinot Noir ($13)
Green Hill, Sweet Grass Dairy (Thomasville, GA)
Rich whites are well-suited for the combination of bloomy rind bitterness and lush, milky paste.
Wine: Yalumba 2010 South Australia The Y Series Chardonnay (Negociants USA, Napa, CA $12)
Hooligan, Cato Corner (Colchester, CT)
Pungent, earthy, even meaty cheeses want earthy, rich reds.
Wine: Bridgeman 2010 Columbia Valley Syrah ($15)
Ascutney Mountain, Cobb Hill (Hartland, VT)
An alpine cheese can take on big reds, but also it also works well as a canvas on which to let fragrant whites play.
Wine: Hogue 2010 Columbia Valley Gewürztraminer ($11)
Ewe’s Feta, Bonneview Farm (South Albany, VT)
An intense experience of cream and salt, fetas show best with bright, zingy whites and punchy rosés.
Wine: Gentilini 2009 Robola of Cephalonia ($17)
Written by Tara Q. Thomas