For most wine drinkers, cheese is part of the package in life. Basically, if you love wine you probably love cheese. Wine and cheese pairings are definitely still a thing and we are here for it. There’s nothing better than that last glass of wine at the end of the evening accompanied by a lavish cheeseboard. If you ever want to see what it means for a wine lover to have a twinkle in their eyes, just say “cheeseboard.” Cheese has a special place in a wine lovers heart. None of us can truly say no thanks to the magical combination that is wine and cheese.
Choosing which cheese to pair with your wine can be intimidating even for the most discerning of wine drinkers. There are so many different kinds from Cheddar, Gouda, Gruyère, Camembert, and Gorgonzola. What’s a creamy or hard cheese? Is it aged or young? What’s a nutty cheese? Is it mild or strong?
Nonetheless, you love cheese and perhaps you know a little thing or two about pairing it with wine. But, you’d like to spice things up a little and you’re not sure what to put on offer the next time you want to step up your cheese game. I mean, of course your cheese platters are gloriously instagram worthy and are sure to make your guests happy, but is happy good enough? Does your wine selection match the cheeses you’re putting in front of your guests?
With so much information available on socials, best believe your guests know a lot more than you think about wine and cheese. So instead of the basics, why not turn it up a notch and serve them up wine and cheese that are harmoniously in sync.
So, next time you fancy yourself throwing a dinner party and need some help choosing the perfect wine and cheese combinations, here is some insider information from top wineries in South Africa on the perfect wine and cheese selections. To help us along the way, we asked 10 South African Wineries: What is your favourite cheese to pair with your flagship wine?
“We love showing The Eleanor Chardonnay with brie cheese. It just works perfectly!” – Heleen Rabe, Marketing, Hartenberg Estate
Comté cheese with our Bosman Family Vineyards Optenhorst Chenin Blanc, made from a single vineyard that was planted in 1952. Simply serve the cheese with ripe figs and fresh Baguette loaf bread. Yum!” – Corlea Fourie, Head of Winemaking, Bosman Family Vineyards
“The Delaire Graff Botmaskop (red) pairs beautifully with a two year old cheddar cheese.” – Morné Very, Wine Maker, Delaire Graff Estate
“The grapes for our Estate Reserve are all grown on estate vineyards on the slopes of the Simonsberg mountains. I enjoy the terroir-driven character of this wine with an equally local cheese such as the Dalewood Huguenot. Dalewood Cheesery is just down the road and their cows always look happy so I think this reflects in the cheese!” – Kristopher Tillery, Winemaker, Noble Hill Wine Estate
“Our flagship wine is our Grand Reserve. Currently the 2015 vintage. A blend of predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon and then Cabernet Franc & Malbec. Its name reflects the stature of this flagship wine in the estates highly awarded vinous array. The wine spent 16 months in French oak, hogshead, barrels of which 30% were new and the rest second and third fill barrels. This wine will benefit from ageing up to ten years from bottling. Careful cellaring conditions needs to be maintained during the cellaring of this age worthy wine. A good strong matured Cheddar, we recommend Healey’s Matured Cheddar.” – Danica van Zyl, Marketing Manager, Delheim
“Choosing a favourite wine is like choosing a favourite child. One that performed really well at international competitions recently is our Barrel Fermented Chenin Blanc 2017. This Chenin Blanc will complement chevin goats cheese and good company.” – Heinrich Stipp, Tasting and Public Sales Manager, Stellenrust Wine Estate
“The Estate’s flagship wine, the Groot Constantia Gouverneurs Red. A blend that is packed with ripe black fruit and cinnamon flavours. Black currant and ripe plums are supported by generous use of oak. For me, this wine, which is a blend of 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Cabernet Franc, 11% Merlot, and 8% Petit Verdot, pairs beautifully with soft cheeses – such as a lovely ripe Camembert or a creamy Brie spread over a piece of crunchy baguette, but also with a hard cheese like a classic French Gruyere, with its strong tangy flavours, or a buttery rich Comté.” – Boela Gerber, Winemaker, Groot Constantia
“I like to pair our Steytler Pinotage with matured Gouda, Cheddar and Gruyère.” – Carin Steytler, National Sales and Marketing, Kaapzicht
“Our award-winning, Healey’s Slow Matured Cheddar is simply
the real deal, AND even better when paired with our Circumstance Chenin Blanc. That’s a #nextlevel cheese and wine marriage if you ask me.” – Claudia Young-Kelly, Sales and Marketing Manager, Waterkloof Estate
(Image supplied by Waterkloof Estate)
“Our flagship wine would definite be our Sauvignon Blanc. The crisp acidity cuts beautifully through creamy cheeses, especially camembert and gorgonzola. Absolutely mouth watering. I have it at parties or even as snacks while we watch the soccer. Take a salticrac, top it with a slice of gooey camembert, a basil leaf a thin slice of strawberry and finish it off with a crack of pepper on top, pair with your favourite Du Toitskloof Sauvignon Blanc.” – Mathilda Viljoen, Winemaker/QC, Du Toitskloof Wine Cellar