I know this is my fourth wine and cheese blog this year, but I think it is a great topic with lots to learn, especially with the summer almost upon us. As I have said before, Mrs. Tiedemann and I really enjoy just having cheese as a meal sometimes. In this article I am going to discuss pairing Merlot with cheese.
Last August I wrote about our Glenwood Cellars Merlot. In that article I discussed what Merlot wine is like and that it has very strong ties to France and Cabernet Franc wine.
2016 Glenwood Cellars Merlot
The Merlot I am using for cheese pairing in this blog is our new 2016 Glenwood Cellars Merlot. This wine is a blend of 87% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc, 3.5% Petite Verdot, 1.5% Petite Sirah and 1% Lagrein. It was barrel aged for 26 months in oak barrels. If you like to drink Cabernet you will like this Merlot.
Cheese That Pairs With Merlot
Merlot is famous for being one of the main components in Bordeaux wine blends. Some mass-produced Merlot wines can be dull and uninspiring, but a fine handcrafted Merlot, such as our Glenwood Cellars Merlots, can rival any other top red wine. Generally, Merlot is softer and less tannic than Cabernet Sauvignon, making it more food friendly.
Let us take a look at some cheeses that Merlot generally pairs well with:
In my article on pairing Riesling wine I reviewed some of the cheeses I am listing for Merlot. Those who read that blog should consider this a refresher course on cheeses.
Brie: Brie is a soft cow’s milk cheese. It is pale colored with a slight grayish tinge with a rind of white mold.
Camembert: Camembert is a moist soft creamy surface-ripened cow’s milk cheese. It is a French cheese similar to Brie.
Cheddar: Cheddar cheese is a relatively hard, off white, (almost a yellowish color). It is a sometimes sharp-tasting, natural cheese that originated in England.
Gorgonzola: Gorgonzola is a veined Italian blue cheese made from unskimmed cow’s milk. It can be firm or crumbly. It tastes salty with a bite from the blue veining.
Gouda: Gouda is a mild-flavored, yellow cow’s milk cheese that originated in the Netherlands. It is one of the world’s most popular cheeses.
Gruyere: Gruyere is a hard-yellow Swiss cheese, made from cow’s milk. The cheese originated in Switzerland. Gruyere is sweet but slightly salty with flavors that vary with age. Typically, the cheese is aged for 12 months.
Parmesan: Parmesan, or Parmigiano-Reggiano, is a hard, Italian granular cheese that is produced from cow’s milk and has aged between 12 and 36 months. It is shaped into a wheel and then cut into wedges just like aged Gouda.
Perfect Wine and Cheese Pairings
- Try not to pair strong wines with a mild cheese
- Do not over-analyze the pairings
- Soft cheese pairs well with sparkling wine or white wines that are light or oak-flavored such as an old-world style Chardonnay
- Sharp cheese or aged cheese (six months or older) are best served with medium to full-bodied wines such as a Merlot. This type of wine will complement the bold flavors of the cheese.
As I have mentioned a number of times, I am certainly not an expert on wine and cheese pairings. I am however a big fan of wine and cheese and believe the more we understand the do’s and don’ts of it, the better we will be at it. This will also improve our enjoyment of wine and cheese.
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Upcoming LEX 530 Events!
LEX 530 Wine & Dinner Club Dinner – Friday, June 26, 2020 – make your reservations NOW
LEX 530 Wine & Dinner Club Dinner – Wednesday, July 22, 2020
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LEX 530 Wine & Dinner Club Dinner – Friday, September 25, 2020
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June 26 – International Rosé Day
June 21 – Lambrusco Day
August 1-5 – International Albariño Days
August 4 – National White Wine Day
August 18 – International Pinot Noir Day
September 3 – International Cabernet Day