If you are a wine and cheese enthusiast, come along with the French Winophiles as we taste and pair French wine and cheese with Whole Foods Market during their celebration of #MadeinFrance throughout the month of October. The collection of French wines in the above photo are the wines selected by Whole Foods Market highlighting the #MadeinFrance celebration. In addition to participating in a live Facebook chat, the French Winophiles will be blogging about their French wine and cheese pairings.
Disclosure: The wine and cheeses in this post were provided by Whole Foods Market. All the opinions expressed are mine.
Wine and Cheese Pairing Tips
Take the cheese out of the refrigerator about 30 minutes before tasting. This brings out more flavors in the cheese.
Think regional, where a cheese is made probably will make a good pairing with the wine that is produced in that region.
Match characteristics/weight of the wine to a cheese that mirrors those characteristics found in the wine. (Think, delicate to delicate and bold to bold.)
Try pairing contrasts in the wine and cheese. Rich creamy cheeses with crisp acidic wines. Strong funky cheeses with sweeter wines.
Taste, taste, taste it’s your palate and everyone is different.
For my #MadeinFrance cheese platter, I wanted to keep my platter simple, focusing on the flavors in the wine and cheese and how they paired together. I included a few different nuts, apples and some gougères made with Comté cheese. I also narrowed down the wines to 4 whites and 4 red for my tasting and pairing.
Jacques Bardelot, Champagne Brut (Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Pinot Meunier)
Criterion, Chablis (Chardonnay)
Domaine de la Fruitière, Gneiss de Bel Abord Muscadet Sur Lie (Melon de Bourgogne)
Trimbach, Pinot Gris Reserve (Pinot Gris)
Vignobles des Roches, Morgon (Gamay)
Paul Jaboulet Aîné, Côtes-du-Rhône (Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvedre)
Château de Lascaux, Coteaux du Languedoc Rouge (Syrah, Grenache, and Mourvedre)
Château Haut-Cadet, Saint-Émilion Grand Cru (Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Cabernet Sauvignon)
My Wine and Cheese Pairing Highlights
Jacques Bardelot Champagne paired with Hervé Mons St. Nuage – A match made in heaven! The triple crème St. Nuage softened the acidity in the Champagne and brought out the earthy flavors of the cheese. The Champagne was a nice palate cleanser to the rich cheese.
Criterion Chablis – I expected the Comté to pair nicely with this wine but my Comté was too ripe with strong aggressive flavors that did not match with the light refreshing flavors in the wine. Next time I would try a lighter cheese like a fresh goat cheese.
Domaine de la Fruitière – A beautifully aromatic wine with fresh flavors of citrus, apples, and minerals paired nicely with the Ossau Iraty, a semi-hard sheep’s milk cheese with herbaceous, fruity, and nutty flavors. Both the cheese and wine were enhanced with this pairing. I also tried it with the St. Nuage, but both wine and cheese fell flat.
Trimbach Pinot Gris – A light, refreshing wine with medium acidity paired nicely with the rich creamy St. Angel. I think it would also pair well with Raclette cheese, ham, and potatoes.
Vignobles des Roches Morgon– A Beaujolais with a nice fruity nose paired perfectly with the Epoisses. As they say, if it grows together it goes together. Both wine and cheese are made in Burgundy.
Paul Jaboulet Ainé Côtes-du-Rhône – A beautiful nose of red fruit. The Epoisses matched the intensity of the wine. The Pave du Nord also worked for me as a complementary pairing with the wine.
Château de Lascaux Languedoc Rouge – The wine has good acidity and notable tannins with dark jammy fruit. The Comté was the best match for me helping to mellow some of the tannins. The Pave du Nord has a salty taste and also mellowed out the tannins in the wine.
Château Haut-Cadet Saint Émilion Grand Cru – Nice red and black fruit flavors of cherry and plum in the wine. Again the Comté was the best match for me, mellowing out the tannins and also the Ossau-Iraty.
#MadeinFrance savoring the wines and cheeses of France is so much fun! I have learned a great deal about the wines and cheeses of France; wine varietals, flavors, geography, terroir… #MadeinFrance is the perfect theme for a wine and cheese tasting party and no better time then October. Cheers to #MadeinFrance!