Successfully Pairing American Cheeses with wines gives us the opportunity to select some terrific American wines from California, Oregon and other states now producing fine wines. You can certainly choose French wines if that is your preference, or Chilean, Australian, Italian wines. The choices are vast.
I think your best bet when trying to pair up your cheese selections with some good wines, is to base your decisions on reliable recommendations and your own past experience. If you are new to cheese-wine pairings, by all means rely on suggestions from the owner of your local wine shop, or take my suggestions as a starting point. There is lots of advice out there and not all of it is good.
But bottom line, when you taste a bit of cheese with a sip of wine, and take a moment to savor the mingled tastes ... you will know if you've got a winner or not. It's a good idea to keep track of your pairings and note down what works and what doesn't. You can build on your successes and begin to experiment a bit more.
If you are planning a wine and cheese party, decide on the cheeses first, then select the wines, or vice versa. Try to sample both before making your decision, if you can.
Think along the lines of simple, rustic cheeses with more complex, robust wines ... and cheeses with great depth and complexity of flavor with straightforward wines that don't overpower. White wines tend to work better with cheese, but not always. An aged goat cheese will pair well with a dry white wine such as a Sauvignon Blanc. Rich triple crème cheeses that ooze deliciously when you serve them properly ripened and at room temperature ... will make a perfect marriage with a lovely sparkling Champagne or Italian Prosecco. A washed-rind "stinky" cheese stands up well with a robust red wine like a Cabernet Sauvignon or a spicey white wine like a Gewürztraminer.
LAURA CHENEL GOAT CHEESES
Fresh: Chef's Chèvre, Chabis, Blossom
Aged: Crottin, Taupinière, Tome
White wines: Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Riesling, Sancerre
HUMBOLDT FOG (Goat's milk) from CYPRESS GROVE CHÈVRE
Red wines: Pinot Noir
White wines: Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Sancerre, dry Rosé
VERMONT SHEPHERD CHEESE (Sheep's milk) - This cheese pairs well with many wine partners!
Red wines: Beaujolais, Red Burgundies, Rhône Syrah, California Shiraz or Syrah, Pinot Noir (Best Partner)
White wines: White Burgundies, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay
Fortified/Dessert wines: Port, Sherry
CAPRIOLE FARM O'BANON (Goat's milk) (This is the cheese that has been wrapped in leaves soaked in Bourbon)
Bourbon (No surprise here!)
FONTINA (Goat's Milk) from VERMONT BUTTER AND CHEESE
Red wines: Chianti, Pinot Noir
White wines: Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, a light Chardonnay
RED HAWK (Triple Crème) from COWGIRL CREAMERY
White wines: Fumé Blanc, Gewürztraminer
Sparkling wines: Champagne
WESTFIELD BLUE LOG (Goat's milk Blue) from WESTFIELD FARM
WESTFIELD CAPRI (Goat's milk chèvre)
White wines: Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc
Sparkling wines: Champagne, Prosecco
HUBBARDSTON BLUE from WESTFIELD FARM
Fortified/Dessert wines: Port, Madeira, Sherry, Sauternes
HUDSON VALLEY CAMEMBERT (Cow & Sheep's milk) from OLD CHATHAM SHEEPHERDING CO.
White wines: White Bordeaux, White Burgundy, Riesling, Chardonnay
Sparkling wines: Champagne
SHEPHERD'S WHEEL (Sheep's milk) from OLD CHATHAM SHEEPHERDING CO.
MUTTON BUTTON (Sheep's milk)
Red wines: California Cabernet Sauvignon
White wines: Riesling
CONSTANT BLISS from JASPER HILL FARMS
Sparkling wines: Champagne
WINNIMERE from JASPER HILL FARMS
White wines: Gewürztraminer
If you are just beginning to read about cheese pairings and want to move beyond Pairing American Cheeses, I have provided some links to other sections about Pairing Cheeses with Wines - you can click on the links below to go to Pairing British Cheeses, Pairing French Cheeses and Pairing Italian Cheeses.
Need a Cheat Sheet?
The Wine and Cheese Pairing Wheel features 40 cheeses and the wines to pair with them. Quickly answer the question, "What cheese goes with what wine?" Perfect for last-minute entertaining that needs to look like you planned for weeks! Click the image to order today! - G.C.D.
Go to Pairing Italian Cheeses with Wine
Go to Pairing French Cheeses with Wine
Go to Pairing British Cheeses with Wines, Ales and Ciders
Go to American Artisan Cheesemakers Index
Go to American Artisanal Cheeses
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Cowgirl Creamery Cooks by S. Conley and P. Smith
Collecting the wisdom of two of the world's great cheese makers makes this
book is an indispensable addition to the gourmet cheese lover's library. It is an engrossing read that shares the story of the
Cowgirls, but also of the rise of the organic food movement and creation of
an artisanal creamery. Click on the image to order and read it the same day - this book is avaliable on KINDLE! - G.C.D.
It's Not You, It's Brie by Kirstin Jackson
Featured cheeses include Queso Oaxaqueño, a Mexican-style cheese
that is hand-stretched in California; Scholten Weybridge, a double- crème made in
Vermont from the milk of a rare Dutch Belted cow; and River’s Edge
Mayor of Nye Beach, a funky washed- rind goat’s milk that knocks its
French rivals out of the water. Complete with recipes that use every cheese style in refreshing new ways. Click on the image to order your copy! - G.C.D.
The Life of Cheese: Crafting Food and Value in America by Heather Paxon
As "unfinished" commodities, living products whose qualities are not
fully settled, handmade cheeses embody a mix of new and old ideas about
taste and value. By exploring the life of cheese, Paxson helps rethink
the politics of food, land, and labor today. Click on the image to order your copy and start chewing on this! - G.C.D.
The All American Cheese and Wine Book by Laura Werlin
Guidelines for combining American cheese and wine, clues for making
perfect pairs, and extensive charts showing the ideal combinations at a
glance make this book an indispensable resource. The book also includes
profiles of 50 American cheesemakers and winemakers. Click on the image to order your guide today! - G.C.D.
Put the Gourmet Cheese Detective on the case! -G.C.D.