Guest Post by Natalie McLean
6 Quick Tips: Pairing Canadian Wines and
1. The easiest to pair are mild-flavored fresh and semi-fresh Canadian cheeses, such as mozzarella. They go especially well with light whites, of 12 percent or less alcohol, that have bright notes of fruit and crisp acidity, such as Prince Edward County Riesling.
2. The classic match of French goat cheese, or chèvre, is Sauvignon Blanc from France’s Loire Valley, as both carry the essence of fresh air and wild meadows. Try Canadian goat cheese with Niagara Sauvignon Blanc. The racy acidity of those wines cuts through to the chalky heart of this cheese, and enhances the grassy notes in the cheese.
3. Double- and triple-cream cheeses are tough to match with wine because their creamy texture can smother wine and make it taste thin. A good match is a robust white wine, such as a barrel-fermented or barrel-aged Okanagan Chardonnay. Both the cheese and the wine have creamy, buttery aromas and texture.
4. Another good match is Nova Scotia Sparkling Wine—a great fall-back for many tough-to-match foods and many Canadian soft cheeses. Bubbly helps to diffuse salt and cut through fat with its palate-cleansing acidity and effervescence.
5. For hard cheeses, such as cheddar, try a Niagara Cabernet Sauvignon or Cabernet Franc. Their flavors even mimic some of those in mature, full-bodied reds, such as notes of earth, nuts, and coffee.
6. The most difficult cheeses to pair with wine are the blues, as their strong taste and powerful saltiness tends to make red wine taste bitter and hot. The best foil for salt is sweet, so avoid dry and off-dry wines and go straight for the sweeter ones like a Quebec Icewine or Hard Cider.
Best Canadian Wine & Cheese Pairings?
Wine lovers from coast to coast are voting via social media for their favourite Canadian wines to match with Canadian cheeses to get ready for July 1 celebrations and summer entertaining.
“The Great Canadian Wine & Cheese Match puts the glass in the hands of the people for the grater good,” says Natalie MacLean, editor of Canada’s largest wine review site at www.nataliemaclean.com. “We’re breaking the mould from Coquitlam to Chance Cove to show Canadians the whey forward.”
Unlike traditional competitions judged by experts, The Great Canadian Wine & Cheese Match allows wine and cheese lovers themselves to choose their favourite pairings via real-time, online voting. The Twitter hashtag is #CdnWineCheese.
Participants can nominate and vote for their favourite Canadian wines to pair with Canadian cheeses in six categories: cheddar, feta, mozzarella, goat cheese, creamy cheese and blue cheese. Voting ends May 31 with the top wines in each category named the best match with each Canadian cheese.
“This is a coast to coast toast to celebrate our own wines and cheeses,” says MacLean. “I think we can all drink to that.”