Perfect Pairings From the Pros | culture: the word on cheese
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Perfect Pairings From the Pros

Andy Swinscoe of The Courtyard Dairy of North Yorkshire, England

Hello, Culture-verse! Have you visited your friendly local cheese retailer or checked the mailbox lately? If so, you’ve probably spotted our latest labor of love, our new Cheese+ annual. This issue, officially released yesterday, is packed with 193 perfect cheese pairings in more than a dozen categories, including sour beers, bacon jams, spiced nuts, craft ciders, and pickled veggies. It was a massive undertaking—so huge, in fact, that we collected more information than we could fit (oh, the perils of print publishing!). So, without further ado, we’re sharing even more of our pro-chosen perfect pairings. 

Enjoy, and please tell us about your own favorite pairings in the comments below.

Molly Birnbaum

Author of Season to Taste (2011, Ecco)
Gruyère + Templeton Rye Whiskey + Blackberries
“Templeton Rye, a small-batch rye whiskey, pairs in a way that I really love with Gruyère cheese (and fresh blackberries). It’s the sweet and the salty and all the textures together. I don’t know if there’s any science behind why those are good together, but I love it.”

Melanie Wagner

Certified Sommelier and Author of Hello, Wine (2013, Chronicle Books)
Taleggio + Taurasi
“The Aglianico grape, when grown in brutal Southern Italy, can create wines that are simultaneously gritty, gripping, and full of finesse. The wines from Taurasi especially are so carnal tasting. They need creamy food to help soften the blow of their brawny tannins. Taleggio is the perfect cheese for that job. It’s seriously funky, but it’s got this refined, creamy-like-pudding mouthfeel.”

Cristiano Creminelli

Salumi Producer at Creminelli Fine Meats of Salt Lake City
Traditional Cheese Fondue + Cured or Cooked Ham
“Where I come from [Biella, in Piedmont, Italy], we’re right by the Alps, so there are good aged cow’s milk cheeses—alpine styles, such as Gruyère. Fondue and this type of salami—I tell you, it’s amazing.”

Andy Swinscoe

Managing Partner at The Courtyard Dairy of North Yorkshire, England, and Cheesemonger of the Year at the 2013 World Cheese Awards (pictured at top)
Dale End Cheddar + Manzanilla Sherry
“Dale End Cheddar is Yorkshire’s only clothbound, unpasteurized producer of cheese. It’s a very special rare cheese, being made on a Camphill Community for adults with learning disabilities with very small production. It’s made using milk from an ancient breed: Dairy Shorthorn. We age it for 18 months. It is quite a dry, firm cheddar with a strong, rich, and slightly saline flavor. For me this combination of flavors matches perfectly with the salty dryness note of manzanilla sherry.”

Jon Fancey

Cheesemonger at Cheese Plus of San Francisco, Calif.
Sennerei Huban Hubaner + Simple & Crisp Apple Chips + Homemade Onion Jam
“My perfect bite [from the winter 2014 Cheesemonger Invitational] was Sennerei Huban’s Hubaner cheese shaved onto apple chips with a dollop of homemade onion jam. Homemade onion jam is better than anything you can buy in a jar (just be ready for your whole house to smell like onions for a few days).” 

Photo Credit: featured image submitted by Andy Swinscoe.

Katie Aberbach

Always hungry for a good story, editor Katie Aberbach brings an extensive journalism background to the culture team. Formerly a food writer and editor for the Washington Post Express, Katie works to ensure that culture’s print coverage is timely, accurate, and – of course – appetizing.

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