Poll: Wine and Cheese - what's your choice?

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What type of wine do you prefer to drink with a cheese or cheese course?

Poll ended at Fri Nov 21, 2008 12:23 pm

Dry white wine
7
12%
Off-dry white wine
8
14%
Sweet white wine
12
21%
Dry, light or medium bodied red wine
9
16%
Dry, rich/heavy red wine
7
12%
Port/Banyuls or other sweet red
9
16%
None of the above (please be so kind as to post an explanation)
6
10%
 
Total votes : 58

Re: Poll: Wine and Cheese - what's your choice?

Postby Hoke » Fri Nov 14, 2008 4:53 pm

David might not want to debate with you, but I'd be happy to, Alex. :D

I sort of doubt you speak for the average Frenchman. Maybe the average Alex, and maybe even the average Bordelais, sure.

But what I have experienced in my extensive travels through many areas of France---including some of the areas you mentioned----simply does not comport with your claims, Alex.

Muscadet and cheese, okay, fine. But I have had plenty----plenty---of cheeses with wines, sponsored by the locals, in the local boites and restaurants, and consumed eagerly by the locals. I'd counter Muscadet with Sancerre: the match of a Montrachet and Sancerre, or Pouilly-Fume is unavoidable (and rightly so!)

And the sturdy folk of Alsace don't consume cheese with their wine? Since when, pray tell?

It has been my experience that each province, each region, sometimes each town, has it's own combination of typical cheese and wine, and when that happens, the cheese and the wine almost inevitably ends up together (along with the local bread, of course, to complete the Holy Triumvirate). :D
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Re: Poll: Wine and Cheese - what's your choice?

Postby Hoke » Fri Nov 14, 2008 4:54 pm

wrcstl wrote:Only one answer. I agree with Mark, Jon, Shaji and Hoke, it depends. Wow, I agree with Hoke, must be getting old.
Walt


You better watch that, Walt. :wink:
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Re: Poll: Wine and Cheese - what's your choice?

Postby Tim York » Fri Nov 14, 2008 4:57 pm

Mark Lipton wrote:The problem with this poll is that there's cheese and then there's... cheese. Both a ripe Brie and an aged Manchego are cheese, but totally different in character and what wines pair well with them. FWIW, the only cheeses that I will pair with red wine or Port are hard, aged cheeses. Fresh cheeses call for Sauvignon Blanc and soft, ripe cheeses to me call for a high acid white with at least a touch of RS. I'm sure that blue cheeses pair best with completely different wines, but since I can't abide their flavor, I have not conducted a thorough study.

Mark Lipton


I agree. For the sake of playing the game, I chose the best matches with my preferred cheeses, i.e. dry white with goat cheeses and port/Banyuls/Maury with Stilton. In fact, the palette of cheeses is almost as wide as that of wines and fine tuning of pairings can bring great rewards and vice versa. What I criticised in the other thread was the French/Belgian assumption that fine mature Bordeaux or Burgundy is the ideal pairing for ALL cheeses; IMHO they only work with unassertive hard textured cheeses, like Cantal, Emmenthal, Cheddar and fine Gouda. Pairings with soft textured assertive cheeses like Camembert and Brie which stick to the palate are very difficult, especially if the crusts are not removed; high acid whites are less disastrous than mature reds and the Normans recommend brut cider, Norman of course.
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Re: Poll: Wine and Cheese - what's your choice?

Postby wrcstl » Fri Nov 14, 2008 5:16 pm

Hoke wrote:
wrcstl wrote:Only one answer. I agree with Mark, Jon, Shaji and Hoke, it depends. Wow, I agree with Hoke, must be getting old.
Walt


You better watch that, Walt. :wink:


Hoke,
A comment of endearment

Walt
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Re: Poll: Wine and Cheese - what's your choice?

Postby Shaji M » Fri Nov 14, 2008 5:18 pm

Hoke wrote:
wrcstl wrote:Only one answer. I agree with Mark, Jon, Shaji and Hoke, it depends. Wow, I agree with Hoke, must be getting old.
Walt


You better watch that, Walt. :wink:


I have been waiting for this day....somebody agreed with me!
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Re: Poll: Wine and Cheese - what's your choice?

Postby David M. Bueker » Fri Nov 14, 2008 5:19 pm

Well of course there's cheese and there's cheese. It would have been a rather tedious poll to try to match up hundreds of wines with hundreds of cheeses. :wink:

I do have favorite matches though:

Sauvignon Blanc with fresh goat cheese (about the only time I like Sauvignon Blanc)
Riesling Spatlese or Auslese with soft cheeses that are not too mature (once they get fully mature the rind makes the wine taste funny)
Cab or Syrah with cheddar
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Re: Poll: Wine and Cheese - what's your choice?

Postby Ian Sutton » Fri Nov 14, 2008 5:32 pm

One classic match is cheap rustic wine and cheddar (or similar hard cheese)

What's the phrase? .... "Buy on apples, sell on cheese"

Blue cheese is a great example though, of a cheese that works well with certain wines, but is a major disaster with many others

For a good all-rounder, Gruyere is often a good choice for a general tasting
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Re: Poll: Wine and Cheese - what's your choice?

Postby CMMiller » Fri Nov 14, 2008 5:39 pm

I voted for dry or sweet whites as my favorite matches for cheese "as is", thinking in particular of the two classics - Sauvignon Blanc with goat cheese and Sauternes or Muscat with blue cheese. I think a mixed cheese plate is also one of those places where you can actually use the big oaky Chardonnays that everyone complains about matching food with.

But I have some major caveats:

If it's a cheese course, you often end up finishing your last wine with it, which may well be a red. It would be kind of an odd transition to go from a big red to a tart Sancerre or Kiwi Sauvignon Blanc.

My absolute favorite match for soft cheeses like brie and camembert is sparkling Normandy cider. I'd also put in a good word for many ales and cheddar or gouda.
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Re: Poll: Wine and Cheese - what's your choice?

Postby Hoke » Fri Nov 14, 2008 5:49 pm

wrcstl wrote:
Hoke wrote:
wrcstl wrote:Only one answer. I agree with Mark, Jon, Shaji and Hoke, it depends. Wow, I agree with Hoke, must be getting old.
Walt


You better watch that, Walt. :wink:


Hoke,
A comment of endearment

Walt


I know, Walt, I know. You just oughta watch the agreeing stuff. That could get to be a habit. :wink:
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Re: Poll: Wine and Cheese - what's your choice?

Postby AlexR » Fri Nov 14, 2008 6:35 pm

Sorry David.
It's said, and said again: irony doesn't travel well in this medium.
Sorry for misinterpreting you.

Alex
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Re: Poll: Wine and Cheese - what's your choice?

Postby Otto » Fri Nov 14, 2008 7:04 pm

None of the above was my choice, because though you added levels of sweetness, you didn't put differences of texture that to me are all-important: fizz. I find that still wines and almost all cheeses clash because no matter the style of cheese, most of them cause coat the mouth to a greater or lesser degree and still wines then taste dirty. Fizzy wines, or even better beers, work for my palate much better. Champagne and old Parmiggiano is heaven; beers with the more softer cheeses are heaven also. I know cheeses and wines are hugely popular for most people, so my dislike for the combination is obviously a personal idiosyncrasy. Bear with me. :)

Though another idiosyncrasy for me is that I love an oxidative style Port with a drier type of Stilton. There are a couple other good matches with wines, but as a general rule, I stick to beer.

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Re: Poll: Wine and Cheese - what's your choice?

Postby David M. Bueker » Fri Nov 14, 2008 8:47 pm

Sounds like a plan Otto. What works for you is what is most important.

And if you look at the poll, the results are almost even for ALL types of wine, so there's clearly no consensus.

Alex - no problem. I actually appreciate the info and statistics anyway, so it's all to the good.
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Re: Poll: Wine and Cheese - what's your choice?

Postby Ron C » Fri Nov 14, 2008 10:12 pm

Depends on what the cheese is. Also depends on the season- rich reds can be a bit heavy on a summer evening sometimes. Mood can be a factor too. It's all very subjective to me.

I will say I tend to enjoy a Bordeaux, cab, or merlot with a good aged cheddar. Also like a nice brie or camembert washed down with a prosecco.
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Re: Poll: Wine and Cheese - what's your choice?

Postby Art Morris » Fri Nov 14, 2008 10:20 pm

Hoke wrote:None of the Above: no guideline works sufficiently well; and any guideline is constraining individual discovery, exploration, and the greater opportunity to have more "Wow! I didn't see that coming!!! moments)

A bunch of you guys keep talking about "French Wines". What are those? The only "French Wine" I know is so cheap and wretched, we probably shouldn't be discussing it (and definitely shouldn't admit to drinking it, lest we lose our geek license).

All those sommeliers can turn their little noses up when it comes to the subject of red wine and cheese. Screw 'em. I happen to generally like red wine and cheese combinations, if for no other reason than it delivers entirely different flavor combinations than does white wine and cheese.

So I resort to my usual fallback: it depends. It depends on the wine, the cheese, the moment. Any other answer is meaningless.


Well said,Hoke. I'm in complete agreement.

CHEERS!
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Re: Poll: Wine and Cheese - what's your choice?

Postby AlexR » Sat Nov 15, 2008 5:59 am

Hoke,

I can, in fact speak, for the average Frenchman. I've lived here for 32 years, in 4 different regions.
I nearly became French when Bush invaded Iraq, but decided against it.

So when I disagree with your analysis, it has to do with my experiences in various walks of life in various parts of the country.

I'm not denying your expriences in white wine producing regions, simply confirming that are not indicative of a population as a whole.

Best regards,
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Re: Poll: Wine and Cheese - what's your choice?

Postby Jashue » Sat Nov 15, 2008 1:40 pm

I'm not going to participate in the poll for reasons already noted above. But if you held a gun to my head and asked me to pick a one-size-fits-all wine to go with cheese, I say Alsatian Riesling.

Now, having said that... I used to pair food and wine for a living at a restaurant that specialized in that sort of thing. I was amazed at all the patrons that expected red as a matter of course-- regardless of what cheese was being served. This was compounded, of course, by the fact that the cheese course was served after dinner and before desert --and assuming the guest had an entree requiring a red wine it seemed that I was obliged to offer a red to follow.

BUT... I'll go on record her say that nothing, nothing goes better with chevre than sauvignon blanc. The chalkiness (big calcium?) of the cheese tempered the big acidity of the S.B. allowing the wine to express more of what it might otherwise were it not hiding behind all that firmness. I loved it when people ordered that kind of cheese.

I also loved it when people would order a blue. The cliche about Port and blue is a cliche for a very good reason and it made that moment of my job easy. Of course, it could get a little hairy when someone would order a desert to follow that might also warrant a port... what then? Id be hesitant to go tawny with say, stilton. But I'd also be hesitant to go LBV prior to tawny... In the end it always worked out provided the guest allowed me to deliver an appropriate spiel.

Hard cheese? Tannic red. No brainer.

Stinky, washed rind cheese? Tough. Some would say Pinot. Better yet, old world pinot with some better firmness (even with a touch of bret to make for a celebration of stinkiness!). But here, my instinct (intuition, or whatever you call it) tells me to run home to Alsace.

Less intense soft cheeses like brie? Lighter rieslings. A true Kabinette (as opposed to the declassified spatelese that I seem to have been encountering lately) works well. The acid cuts through the cream nicely. But if someone is coming off an entree that was paired with a monster red, then I need to think hard about it.

Its not a science. It's not an art. It's everything in between. I really loved that aspect of my old job, and I had a lot of guests that seemed to enjoy it too. It's a shame the restaurant business is so fusked up in so many other ways. I would have enjoyed doing that for a lot longer than I did.
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Re: Poll: Wine and Cheese - what's your choice?

Postby David M. Bueker » Sat Nov 15, 2008 2:59 pm

Jashue wrote:Its not a science. It's not an art. It's everything in between.


The truest statement so far.
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Re: Poll: Wine and Cheese - what's your choice?

Postby Steve De Long » Mon Nov 17, 2008 5:36 pm

One of the great French inventions is the cheese course served after the main courses and before the dessert. The cheese is going to win the fight with the wine(s) you've been drinking with the meal but at this point you've already had a chance to fully appreciate them. It's time for Epoisses with red Burgundy, which seems to be made for this moment. Alex definitely has the right idea to bring out some good old tawny or vintage Port at this time - there's always a wonderful blue cheese that really won't work with dry wines from the meal.

For a straight cheese on wine experience, I'm with Dave on the Sauv. Blanc (esp. Sancerre or Pouilly Fume) with fresh goat's cheese.
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Re: Poll: Wine and Cheese - what's your choice?

Postby AlexR » Tue Nov 18, 2008 3:19 am

Well, it appears that the poll results are mostly in. Obama won! No, seriously folks, this has opened my eyes to the cultural divide, and if the poll results are at all representative, it seems clear that white wine does the trick with cheese in North America.

Best regards,
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