Why Champagne Is the Only Wine I Serve with Cheese

published Dec 17, 2014
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(Image credit: Vladimir Skopcev)

In the past, when I hosted a party and served a cheese platter or a cheese course, I stressed out about the right kind of wine to pair with it. Should I go red, which would go better with strongly flavored cheeses, or do I go white to complement tangy goat cheese? Should I offer both?

Then I stumbled on the solution, and it’s become the only wine I now serve with cheese: Champagne. Call it sparkling wine if you must, but I just call it the perfect pairing.

Wine Pairing Dilemmas

Pairing wine with food has never been something I enjoy. I like to focus on the food instead, and I find the whole wine picking thing so difficult. Even after you narrow down your choices to a few types of wine, picking a label or vintage is yet another decision to make and usually one I have to leave to the wine merchant.

Wine characteristics are also inconsistent. A Riesling, for example, can be very sweet or very dry, and making the wrong choice can result in a clash of wine and food. That’s a lot of pressure to make the right decision!

(Image credit: HLPhoto)

Why Champagne Is Perfect with Cheese

Champagne, however, seems to work well with all cheeses. It’s light enough to not overpower delicate goat cheese or nutty Comtés and Gruyères, but it also has enough acidity and freshness to cut through the deeply savory, funky cheeses like blue or washed-rind cheeses.

Whenever I have Champagne or sparkling wine with cheese, I feel like it helps to cleanse my palate a bit between each bite, and I find the ice-cold temperature it’s served at refreshing. Bubbles are also always festive, and most people find it hard to turn down.

Once I discovered how much I liked champagne and cheese together, picking wine has become a whole lot less complicated. I focus on picking out a few delicious cheeses instead, make sure we have a few bottles of bubbly in the fridge, and feel confident that it’ll all work together. Whether it’s a dry brut or a sweeter demi-sec, try it yourself and maybe you’ll convert too!