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The wine flavour spectrum has infinite characteristics, from full-bodied and complex to light, fresh or sweet so it can be tricky to know what cheese to serve alongside to match the flavours perfectly. With these pairings, we've got it covered
Here are 8 of our favourite fine wines from Waitrose Cellar, paired with some delicious Waitrose cheese.
All cheeses are avaliable at www.waitrose.com
1. Journey's End Sir Lowry Cabernet Sauvignon with Keen's Mature Cheddar Cheese
With 18 months' barrel ageing, this rich wine is packed with dark plums, chocolate and sweet spice flavours. Its bold South African style will match up well to the intense flavour of this aged cheddar.Journey's End Sir Lowry Cabernet Sauvignon
2. Waitrose Saint-Émilion with Gorgonzola Dolce
This is a wonderfully complex and mouth-filling red and made predominantly from Merlot grapes with a small percentage of Cabernet Franc. With blueberry and cranberry flavours and a slight smokiness, and rounded tannins that offset the rich butteriness of the Gorgonzola perfectly.
3. Cune Rioja Reserva with Manchego
Soft and supple on the palate with good integration of wood and attractive fruit character, this Reserva Rioja from a well-respected traditional bodega made from a careful blend of Tempranillo, Garnacha and Graciano grapes. The perfect Spanish pairing.
4. Dr. Loosen Ürziger Würzgarten Riesling Kabinett with Berthaut's Epoisses
This wine is made from grapes grown on the legendary, precipitously steep Würzgarten (spice garden) vineyard in the village of Ürzig, where almost all the work must be carried out by hand. A light-bodied but very concentrated wine that's brilliantly fruity with a mineral character. Its spicy overtones match brilliantly with the pungency of the Epoisses.
5. Rustenberg John X Merriman with Cave-Aged Gruyère
A brilliant Merlot-dominated Bordeaux blend showing red berry fruits, chocolate notes and a certain, spicy earthiness, this wine strongly complements the spice of the Gruyère.
6. Masi Campofiorin with Applebys Farmhouse Cheshire
A rich, full-bodied red from the exceptional vineyards of iconic family-owned producer Masi. This is one of Masi's unique speciality wines, made with the double fermentation technique. Deep ruby in colour, it has an attractive nose dominated by aromas of fresh fruits, sweet cherries and plums on the palate. The powerful characters stand up well to the sharp, savoury character of Appleby's Cheshire.
7. Felsner Moosburgerin Grüner Veltliner with Moody's Rosary Ash Goats Cheese
The Felsner family have a small estate in Kremstal, one of Austria's best regions for dry whites. This glorious Grüner comes from a single vineyard plot and is fresh, fruity and aromatic. The taut acidity works beautifully with the purity of the Rosary Ash.
8. Waitrose Sauternes Château Suduiraut with Cropwell Bishop Blue Stilton
This very fine, luscious and honeyed sweet wine is a wonderful example of its type. It's a fantastic match with this spicy blue cheese. The perfect end to a meal!
Lamb is easily one of the most wine-friendly foods there is, its versatility means there are almost infinite possibilities when picking a wine to match.
If in doubt reach for Rioja, this is a classic match for lamb, the red fruit flavours and subtle vanilla notes really do work well. A Cabernet Sauvignon/Bordeaux blend would also be a great match with its deep dark fruit flavours and subtle oak. The tannins in these wines particularly complement more full-flavoured and robust lamb dishes.
If you prefer your meat a bit pinker then opt for something which is slightly lighter, and like the meat, juicier. The fruity, perfumed style of Pinot Noir makes a great match for rare lamb and is perfect for Easter roasts. You could also try Côtes du Rhône, the acidity means that it cuts through the fattiness of the meat and the dark spicy fruit flavours would also work well if you plan to marinate your meat in herbs and garlic.
Wines to match fish can be a lot more varied than you might think; different tastes and textures provide you with an exciting range of options for delicious pairings. One such pairing is salmon matched with a rich,
oaked white, especially if there’s a creamy sauce, or you’re serving it with buttery potatoes. A great example
would be the Rustenberg Chardonnay, or for a truly elegant choice try a delicious white Burgundy.
If the dish has more herbs and a lighter touch, it’s worth moving to a lighter style of wine. Italian whites are often brilliant with herbs, such as the St Michael Eppan Pinot Grigio.
Herbs are great fun to match, but finding wines to pair with spicy food can be quite tricky. In general, a hint of sweetness works really well with chilli heat. This means that wines from varieties such as Gewürztraminer, Pinot Gris or Riesling can be fantastic – look for those from Alsace that have a bit more weight and fullness than those from Germany, as a general rule.
Italian wines are wonderfully versatile with food too, so a good Pinot Grigio might surprise you! For reds, try ripe fruited examples of Carmenère or Grenache (New World Shiraz can work brilliantly too).
For many British families a Sunday roast is the staple meal of the weekend, an afternoon where family come together over homely food and more often than not a special bottle of wine. A superb match to the rich flavours of a roast chicken is Pinot Noir. There's something about the quality and purity of fruit flavours, combined with a slightly savoury overlay that makes it work brilliantly with gravy, stuffing and vegetables too.
If you're pushing the boat out with red meat, you might want something richer than Pinot Noir, so try a Malbec or a Rioja with your roast lamb or beef, they come with a structure that helps balance out all the different intense flavours and textures.
If you’re having a citrussy style of chicken with garlic and herbs, and maybe kale or spinach, you could go with a fresh style of Chardonnay such as the Waitrose Chablis or head to Italy, with a Pinot Grigio, Vermintino or a good Soave.
As you move to dessert, it’s really worth picking up a sweet wine. The main principle here is that the wine should be sweeter than the food, or both might taste a bit odd.
When you’re looking for the sweetest of sweet, look out for the classic wines of Tokaji, a real treat would be the Disznókö Tokaji Aszú 5 Puttonyos. For chocolate there’s the fortified Rutherglen Muscat from Australia, which is ideal with richer desserts, or even the slightly unusual, sweet red, Waitrose Seriously Plummy Maury. Fortified wines often have the depth and richness that work so well here – so don’t forget about sherry, madeira and port as fantastic matches for desserts with dried fruits, coffee or chocolate.