PAIRING CHALLENGE: WINE & CHEESE VS. WINE & CHOCOLATE
Wine has two favorite pairings: cheese and chocolate, so we’ve pitted them against one another to determine which is the preferred combination to serve after a good meal.
Dive in with Chateau Grand Traverse to find out the positives of each pairing, pairing tips and tricks, and which pairing rules supreme.
Below, we extoll the virtues of each. But only one combo can win the title! (Right?)
Reasons Why Wine & Cheese Pairings Are Better
Not only does wine enhance the flavor of cheese, cheese also enhances the flavor of wine. As a fatty food, cheese decreases the perception of both astringency and sourness in wine. Also, in moderation, various types of wine and cheese can be good for your well-being.
How to Pair Wine & Cheese
With complementary flavor benefits, health benefits, and more, wine and cheese pairings have been a favorite for hundreds of years.
Here are some wine and cheese pairing suggestions to serve as an appetizer, after dinner, or at your next get-together with friends.
Gruyère and Nutty Cow Cheeses
Nuttier cow cheeses such as Gruyère pair nicely with Pinot Noirs such as the CGT Pinot Noir, as it matches the delicate flavors of these cheeses. If you were to pair this type of a cheese with a Merlot, for example, the wine would overpower the cheese.
Cheddar, Gouda and Aged Cow Cheeses
Cabernet or Merlot like the CGT 2013 Merlot Reserve, for example, pair nicely with aged cow cheeses like cheddar and Gouda. Both the wine and cheese have more intense flavors, which is what makes them a perfect pairing. Another good rule is to pair aged cow cheeses with intensely flavored wines above 12% ABV and wines under that percentage with more delicate cheeses like Gruyère.
Raclette, Emmental, and Havarti
A dry, crisp Riesling like the CGT 2017 Dry Riesling pairs perfectly with raclette, Emmental, and Havarti. As a versatile wine, Riesling can range in sweetness and pair with many cheeses. View the ones that pair with our signature Chateau Grand Traverse Rieslings.
Chèvre and Goat Cheese
Muenster and Swiss
Gewürztraminers, like the CGT 2017 Gewürztraminer, pair nicely with Swiss and Muenster. The wine has earthy, citrus, and floral nuances that complement distinct and strong-tasting cheeses such as Muenster.
Reasons Why Wine & Chocolate Pairings Are Better
There’s nothing better than indulging in a sweet treat after dinner, which is just one of the reasons we love wine and chocolate pairings so much. Pairing wine and chocolate, however, can be a little more difficult than pairing wine with cheese.
Find out our tips and tricks to make sure your wine pairing perfectly matches your chocolate selection to bring out the best in your wine and satisfy your sweet tooth.
How to Pair Wine & Chocolate
The delicately balanced chocolate and cream that you find in milk chocolate makes it a well-known favorite. There are a few types of wine that perfectly complement milk chocolate and they include Pinot Noir and Merlot. Consider the CGT 2013 Pinot Noir Reserve or the CGT 2013 Merlot Reserve to pair with your favorite milk chocolate.
With no milk added and a higher cocoa percentage, dark chocolate will not pair well with wines that pair nicely with milk chocolate. Instead, pair your dark chocolate with a Cabernet Franc or port like the CGT Cherry Reserve Port.
The absence of cocoa solids is what gives white chocolate its color. Cocoa butter, milk, and sugar give white chocolate its signature sweetness and creaminess. White chocolate pairs well with late-harvest Rieslings like the CGT 2018 Late Harvest Riesling, Late Harvest Chardonnay, or ice wine, such as the 2016 CGT Ice Wine.
Wine and Cheese or Chocolate? And the Winner Is …’
So, who ultimately wins? Here’s the good news: You don’t have to choose! We recommend ending your meal with a cheese course and then a chocolate course or serving your wine, cheese, and chocolate together, because no one should have to choose between the two.
How to Pair Wine, Cheese & Chocolate
Here are some great examples of ways to pair wine, cheese, and chocolate together. Try some of these or mix and match to make your own perfect tasting. Try to match the intensities of your wine, chocolate, and cheese to create a successful pairing.
- Milk chocolate, port wine and sharp cheddar
- Milk chocolate, Pinot Noir and Gruyère
- Dark chocolate, Cabernet Franc and blue cheese
- White chocolate, Semidry Riesling and Swiss cheese
Visit Chateau Grand Traverse for Wine Pairing Tips and Tricks
The best way to find your perfect pairing is by tasting, mixing, and matching your favorite flavors. Visit us at Chateau Grand Traverse to taste your favorite wines today or shop our online store to start building your pairings.