Pairing Italian Wines and Cheeses: A Short Guide
Wine and cheese - the ultimate pairing in the culinary world; and there is nothing more satisfying than finding the perfect match. However, many consider the task to be quite challenging as there are thousands of cheese and wine combinations. In Hotel Miramonti, we love to use local Italian cheeses for our delicious Italian Dishes in our Restaurant in the Alps. We believe it is important to select the right wine to complement the dish so that the flavours harmonise with each other. So, if you are attempting to match wines and cheeses together, look no further! Below, we have simplified it by creating basic rules to follow when pairing Italian cheese and wine:
SOFT, FRESH CHEESE
Think, ‘mozzarella’ and ‘burrata’ cheese - light, creamy and indulgent. They are perfectly paired with bubbly, floral, white wines like Prosecco or Franciacorta. Sparkling wines contain higher levels of acidity and carbon, helping it to break down the creaminess, and also create a nice contrast between the firmness of the wine against the freshness of the cheese.
For hard, aged cheeses like parmesan’ or ‘pecorino cheese’ - intense red wines are the perfect pairing. This is because aged cheese loses its water-content over time, and therefore has richer flavour with higher fat content. The tannins in red wines like ‘Chianti’ or our local ‘Valtellina Superiore’, made from Nebbiolo grapes, neutralises the fat content in the hard cheese.
In the province of Lombardy, famous for its Italian Lakes, is where the famous ‘gorgonzola’ cheese was born! If you love the pungency of blue cheeses, try pairing it with sweeter, fruitier wines like Prosecco or Lugana. The ‘stench’ of the cheese will balance with the ‘sweetness’ of the wine, creating a beautiful combination.
For the orange-toned, washed-rind cheeses like Taleggio or Fontina - they match well with light-bodied, dry white wines like Franciacorta. Just like blue cheeses, they tend to be pungent particularly when they mature, so sweeter wines will pair nicely with washed rind cheeses.
For more articles about Italian Cuisine, read the blog: