We love any excuse to open a bottle of wine, and National Wine and Cheese Day is no exception! Read more for tips on how to celebrate this particularly delicious holiday.
There are few pairings more iconic, or delicious, than wine and cheese. Both have a rich, cultural history and can be enjoyed in several varieties all on their own. The artful pairing of the two, however, elevates them to new heights and experiences. It’s so popular, in fact, that July 25th is officially considered Wine and Cheese Day! And, in case you didn’t notice, we take wine pairing pretty seriously 😉
So today we’re focusing on all things wine and cheese. From more traditional pairings to modern twists on classics, we want to give wine and cheese all the respect they deserve. Set out your cheese platter and grab your wine glasses. Let’s get to celebrating!
What is Wine and Cheese Day?
Only one of the greatest days of the year! Well, at least since 2014 anyway (that’s when it was founded). However, the concept of celebrating wine and cheese is far from new. The pairing of food and wine goes back nearly as long as there’s been wine.
Many classic pairings focus on combining more astringent items (like wine) with fatty items (like cheese). The reason why this particular combination is so pleasing is actually due to a not-so-secret piece of culinary science.
When we eat or drink astringent foods (wine, cranberries, pomegranate, etc.) they have a habit of binding with the parts of saliva that lubricate. This is what creates that dry puckering sensation. Foods with fatty textures (and often pungent flavors and aromas) help to keep the mouth lubricated with fat. Too much can feel almost unpleasantly slimy, but the balance of fatty and astringent items allows you to enjoy both.
Oftentimes, a cheese that seems a bit too funky or overwhelming can end up being one of your favorites after you find the right wine to pair it with. Honestly, it’s pretty magical.
How Should You Celebrate Wine and Cheese Day?
With wine and cheese, of course!
If your only experience with cheese has been the Kraft singles on an occasional grilled cheese sandwich, then it’s time to branch out. The same thing goes for your wines. No matter how you choose to celebrate, however, just make sure you eat some wine and cheese!
If you don’t know where to get started, however, here are a few ideas to get you going…
Indulge in your favorite pairing
If you’re already a wine and cheese pairing master, then snag your favorite bottle and your favorite fromage and plan an evening of delectable delights.
Wine and Cheese date-night anyone?
Wine by itself is a pretty sensual experience (the sound of corks popping, the scent, the way the light glints off each glass, etc). Add the creamy savoriness of cheese and the date practically plans itself 😉
Have a virtual tasting with friends and family
If your virtual chats with friends and family are starting to get a bit stale, then consider using them as an opportunity to practice your wine tasting skills! Plus, since there’s such a huge variety, you could sample different wines and cheeses once a week for QUITE a while and still not run out of options.
Try a new wine and cheese pairing
Whether you’re sampling them solo or with a group, consider expanding your palate with new wine and cheese pairings! If you need a few ideas though, keep reading…
How to Pair Wine and Cheese
For those of you who need to start with the absolute basics of wine pairing, we recommend checking out our Wine Pairing 101 blog. If you’re ready to sink your teeth into the delicious, aromatic world of wine and cheese, however, then the following tips are for you.
Pair wine and cheese with similar intensities
If your cheese has an intense flavor, pair it with a more intense wine (something with an ABV higher than 14%). Obviously, if your cheese is milder you’ll want a less intense wine (perhaps something under 12% ABV).
Pair Old Cheese with Bold Reds
As cheese ages, it loses water content. This boosts the fat content and heightens the complex flavors. To balance that, you’ll want something capable of balancing all that fat. Since bolder red wines have more tannins, that makes them ideal for pairing with older cheeses.
Balance Funky Cheeses with Sweet Wines
Not everyone enjoys the more “pungent” variety of cheeses, but with the right wine they become a complex and delicious experience. This can include several varieties of blue cheeses, stilton, Roquefort, and more. One of the best ways to enjoy them is by pairing them with sweeter wines. The heavy sweet notes tone down the “funky” quality of these cheeses and make them taste creamier.
Elevate Soft Cheeses with Sparkling Wine
Brie, camembert, and even muenster cheese are all absolutely delicious. However, they can often be overwhelming due to their heavy creamy, sticky qualities. Their softness means they’ll really coat your mouth and potentially give you a slimy experience. A sparkling wine, however, has enough acidity and carbonation to cleanse the palate properly.
Pair Wine and Cheese From the Same Region
A big part of its rich history comes from the traditional pairings of certain regions. Many of the best wine-producing areas have traditional pairings that came from the regional ingredients. For example, the area of France that produces Brie also produces varieties of more tannic wines.
These pairings don’t always follow the fat/astringent policy, but they’re a part of the cultural tapestry of that region. If your aim is to really study wine culture, then understanding the pairings of particular regions is a must.
SECCO Wine Club Approved Wine & Cheese Pairings
You don’t have to be a member of our wine club to enjoy our wines. However, if you’ve signed up for a monthly subscription then you should absolutely use this opportunity to practice your wine and cheese pairings!
Here are a few examples of classic pairings for a few of our bottles.
If you like Cheddar or Gouda cheese…
For those of you who aren’t that adventurous with your cheese yet, both Cheddar and Gouda tend to pair nicely with medium to full-bodied dry red wines. We’d recommend our Fattoria di Travalda or Guadalmare, Maremma.
If you like Gruyere…
Our soft cheese lovers out there will enjoy pairing this cheese with a crisp, medium to full-bodied white wine with tropical notes. We think the pineapple and acacia notes in our Santa Lucia Toscana Bianco will make this soft cheese a creamy delight.
If you like Mozzarella…
It might not be at the top of your list for wine and cheese pairings, but don’t sleep on mozzarella. Whether you’re sampling it alone or in a fresh Caprese salad, white wine with noticeable acidity will cut through the heaviness of mozzarella. Serve our Castellani, Pinot Grigio delle Venezie cold with a few slices of fresh mozzarella for a mouthwatering experience.
If you like Feta…
This tangy, salty cheese needs something crisp, lightly sweet, and with a tad more acidity. Our PALO61, Toscana Rosato has notes of raspberry and rose that will perfectly balance the fat content of feta. There’s a good reason why we chose to pair this rosé with our Keto-Friendly Balsamic Watermelon Feta Salad.
Let Us Know How You Celebrated!
There’s a LOT that can go into a wine and cheese pairing. So, if you just want to stick with what you know and like, that’s fine too! No matter what, just make sure you’re enjoying every bite and every sip (that’s kind of the whole point). And if you’re having a hard time finding the right wine, check out our blog all about how to choose a low-carb wine you’ll love.
Be sure to follow-us for all the latest updates and make sure to tag us in your gram-worthy wine & cheese party pics!