At Shepherds Purse, we believe that pairing our artisan cheese with the right beverages can elevate the flavour and enjoyment of both the cheese and the drink. Whether you prefer wine, beer, or another beverage, there are plenty of options for pairing with artisan cheeses. In this blog post, we'll offer some tips and suggestions for pairing artisan cheese with different beverages.
Wine is a classic pairing for cheese, and there are many options to consider. We have an in-house expert in Bartek. We asked him to create some general guidelines but remember, like any rules, they’re made to be broken!
- White wines: Generally pair well with many cheeses - very very flexible, traditionally paired with milder cheeses like fresh chevre or brie but also a go-to for our blues and ewe’s milk. If Bartek had to only choose one bottle of wine to serve a whole cheeseboard, it would be a white wine.
- Red wines: People think Red is synonymous with blue cheese but actually, a red can often be a trickier pairing, this is due to the level of tannins which can overpower the flavours of the cheese, even a blue sometimes! So generally red wines do pair well with more complex and robust cheeses like aged cheddar or gouda and the right ones with the right blue cheeses - look out for a more in depth post on these pairings.
- Sweet wines: Pair well with stronger and saltier cheeses like blue cheese or stilton. Excellent with our blues!
- Sparkling wines: Pair well with creamy, buttery cheeses like triple cream brie or camembert, our Bluemin White and Olde York .
Beer is another popular option for pairing with cheese, and there are many options to consider. Here are some general guidelines:
- Light beers: Pair well with milder cheeses like fresh mozzarella or ricotta and our Olde York
- Amber beers: Pair well with nutty and tangy cheeses like gouda or aged cheddar our Bluemin White
- Brown ales: Pair well with creamy and buttery cheeses like brie or camembert, Bluemin White and our mellow and creamy blue cheeses like Buffalo Blue and Mrs Bell’s Blue..
- IPA's: Pair well with strong and pungent cheeses like our blue cheeses.
If you're not a wine or beer drinker, there are still plenty of options for pairing cheese with other beverages:
- Tea: Pairs so well with cheese and its more like wine! It has astringency, tannins, and herbaceous notes just like wine, so teas pair well with food and require the same level of expertise to create the best pairings. Bartek will be creating a more in depth look at this in a separate post too. And in the meantime take a look at this excellent post over at Eater to learn more.
- Coffee: Pairs well with rich and robust cheeses like aged cheddar or parmesan and mature goudas, we rolled Olde York in coffee for a very special cheese which we may bring back one day soon!
- Cider: Pairs well with tangy and fruity cheeses like goat cheese or our Mrs Bell’s Salad Cheese.
- Spirits: Pair well with strong and flavourful cheeses like blue cheeses or smoked cheddar. We have a beautiful pairing with Filey Bay Single Malt Moscatel Finish and Mrs Bell’s Blue
No matter which beverage you choose to pair with your artisan cheese, there are a few general tips to keep in mind:
- Match the intensity/ flavour: Pair mild cheeses with mild beverages and strong cheeses with strong beverages.
- Contrast flavors: Try pairing a sweet beverage with a sharp or salty cheese to create a balance of flavors.
- Consider the season: Lighter beverages like white wine and light beer can be better suited for summer, while darker and richer beverages can be better for winter.
- Consider the provenance: Food made in the same area can carry characteristics of the land, the air and the water and the culture over centuries. So pairing local ingredients can also add extra dimensions.
At Shepherds Purse, we love experimenting with different pairings and discovering new flavour combinations - it’s one of the joys of food. We hope that these tips and suggestions inspire you to try some new and delicious cheese and beverage pairings at home.