How often do you eat blue cheese? Does the thought of having a wedge in front of you make you want to plug your nose? Or do you love a good, stinky, blue cheese? Either way, join us as we explore a variety of blue cheese and wine pairings.
Do you know how the cheese becomes blue? Most of you have heard that the mold is injected directly into the cheese during the cheese making process. Maybe that’s where people’s aversion to this cheese comes from? Mold is actually a big part of all cheese making, it just might be a little more obvious in these delicious blue cheeses.
Blue cheese can be made in many ways including hard, soft, cow’s milk, goat’s milk, etc. All that is required is that the specific strains of mold including penicillum glaucum or penicillum roqueforti are used in the process. They were originally found in nature and occurred in damp caves, so that’s how they got introduced into the game. Now they are added as an ingredient to make the cheese. Later on, the wheel is “needled” to create openings for the air to feed the mold inside and create space for those colorful veins to form.
Now that you know a little more about the cheese, let’s talk about pairing it with wine. Many wine lovers will suggest a sweeter dessert wine to complement the funkiness of the blue cheese. In order to double-check with the experts, I headed over to the Wine Enthusiast website. They said that you are more than welcome to pair all different wines with the wide range of blue cheeses. They do suggest that you might want to save the blue cheese until after dinner though since it has such a strong lingering flavor.
See the snippets below for some of our favorite Wine and Blue Cheese Pairings:
Sauvignon Blanc and Blue Cheese
We tasted a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc during this pairing with Neil’s Sister. She was so excited to have WineAndCheeseFriday with us when she got home from work that day. And although she isn’t a fan of blue cheese, she did find it to be an interesting wine pairing. Are you curious about the new flavors that appeared from the combination of Sauvignon Blanc and Blue Cheese? Then read the entire entry on our website.
Viognier and Rogue River Blue
Rogue River is a creamery in Oregon that carries many different blue cheeses. If you are a blue cheese enthusiast like us, you should definitely try one of their cheeses. They have a few different seasonal cheeses including the Rogue River Blue, which is usually ready in the Fall. When you look at the photo you’ll notice that this cheese is wrapped in Syrah grape leaves that have been soaked in pear brandy. No wonder it’s so delicious! If you want to read more specifics about why Neil described this as a “solid pairing”, check out the full entry.
Florida Muscadine White Dessert Wine and Harbourne Goat Blue Cheese
The Harbourne blue cheese from London is made using goat’s milk. Remember you just need that magic Penicillium mold and you can turn all kinds of cheeses blue. The tanginess of the goat’s milk came through, but that token blue cheese flavor was there too. The wine was made using grapes grown in Florida. Yes, it’s crazy, but delicious and so representative of the South. Read the full entry, to learn about this sweet white wine and some other suggestions for pairings.
Wine and Cheese Pairing with all our Berkeley Goodies
There’s four cheeses to enjoy in this one but Fourme d’Ambert is the blue. Can you sound out that French pronunciation? Don’t worry, you don’t have to speak French to enjoy this soft moist blue cheese. We found it to taste better without the rind, but you are welcome to try it both ways. The wine was a Lambrusco from Italy. Really it was worth a taste, and the pairing brought out some extra funk for us. Interested in those other 3 cheeses, you should be. Read all about them here.
Pinot Noir and Petite Blue Triple Cream
We randomly chose this cheese when we were buying wine one day; but wait, it doesn’t look blue? If you read our last article for Avina, you learned about soft ripened cheeses. This cheese is a soft-ripened blue and I’m sure you already guessed that it must be made using that same mold to become a blue. So interesting that one cheese can fit into so many categories. When I researched it today to remind myself about the cheese, I found out it’s discontinued so you’ll have to settle for reading about it in our entry. The Pinot Noir by Ranch 32 is still available though, so you don’t have to be too sad.
Dessert Wine and Stilton
Although you don’t have to pair blue cheeses with dessert wine, we found a sweet red to taste in this entry. We definitely had dessert on the mind when we tasted it and began imagining blueberry pie and dark chocolate cherry cordials. The cheese was silky, briny, and as funky as a punch in the mouth. Would you expect less from a Blue? Don’t worry, the wine calmed that intensity down. Curious about some of the other flavors we identified? Here’s the full entry.
Speak and White Stilton with Apricots
For those of you who read all these entries but don’t like blue cheese, we saved an entry for you! Our final cheese is the non-blue version of Stilton. When you find this type of Stilton cheese, it will have fruit in it. We’ve come across lemon, apricot, mango, and cranberry Stilton before. Similar to the blue Stilton, the white Stilton can only be produced in certain areas of England. The white version doesn’t contain that token blue mold ingredient and is aged for a shorter amount of time. Do you think you’d like a cheese with fruit in it? What about a wine that tastes like a campfire? If so, here’s the entry for you.
What a fun time creating another article for Avina Wine Tools, featuring the wide range of blue cheeses out there! It was a great way to remember that we’ve had a goat blue, a soft-ripened blue and some of those great, strong, traditional blues. We’ve paired wines with all types of cheeses.
Speaking of perfect pairings, Avina Wine Tools Easy grip wing corkscrew and bonus bottle stop are the perfect pairing for any cheese and wine tastings, find them here.
Would you like to read some of our other entries? See our site http://wineandcheesefriday.com We like to focus on wine, cheese and all things related.
About the Author: With almost five years in the wine industry, Maria’s love of wine has grown. She has held many jobs, considering herself a jack of all trades, but recently realized her passion is education, learning and teaching. She began in the wine industry when she determined that her previous jobs were preparing her for a job at a winery.
Maria has developed a wine and cheese pairing website, WineAndCheeseFriday. As a great way to become more familiar with California wines, as well as taste some of the local cheeses.