Confused about what wine to pair with cheese? Take a tasting tour of seven European and American cheeses from the Publix Deli, complete with some background and wine pairings.
Clockwise from top left: imported Danish Blue, Parmigiano-Reggiano, goat cheese, imported French Brie, Swiss, imported French Camembert, and Spanish Manchego.
Imported Danish Blue
- Flavor: Sharp, creamy, spicy, bright, and intense
- Pairs with: Cabernet sauvignon. A full-flavored cheese like Danish Blue demands an equally full-flavored wine. Serve over salads, chicken, or beef, or blend into dressings and sauces.
This type of cow's milk cheese, developed centuries ago, originated in southern Europe. Made in Denmark, Danish Blue cheese is traditionally aged for 12 weeks in a specially designed cave and is available in wedges.
- Flavor: Soft, crumbly, mildly tangy, fragrant
- Pairs with: Sauvignon blanc. Goat cheese and sauvignon blanc are a classic pairing; the cheese also works well crumbled over chicken and pork or stirred into risotto.
Goat cheese may be one of the earliest dairy products. It originated in France but is produced in the U.S. as well as many other countries, and is available in logs. Publix Deli Goat Cheese is made in Lafayette County in southwestern Wisconsin.
Imported French Brie
- Flavor: Creamy, soft, sweet, with hints of hazelnuts and mushroom
- Pairs with: Champagne and chardonnay. Creamy cheeses work well with wines that are more tannic. Brie is also delicious at room temperature, or baked and topped with sweet and spicy nuts.
Publix Brie, a Camembert-style cheese that is available in wedges and mini rounds, is produced by a cooperative located in the Isigny-sur-Mer region of France, an area known for its lush, rolling hills and fertile grasses. The cows that graze here produce flavorful, high butterfat-content milk ideal for Brie.
- Flavor: Mellow, buttery, nutty, with hard, smooth texture
- Pairs with: Gewürztraminer. The nutty flavor of Swiss offers welcome contrast to the fruity flavors of this wine. Try Swiss in sandwiches, melted, or as fondue.
This cheese originated in the Swiss mountains and is known for its characteristic holes, which are formed by carbon dioxide pockets during the cheese-making process. Publix Deli Swiss is made in the Midwestern United States in an area known for its rolling hills and rich farmland; it is available in wedges.
- Flavor: Firm, bright, rich, complex, rustic, with herbal aroma
- Pairs with: Spanish Rioja. Spanish cheese works well with Spanish wine. Dice Manchego in salads, serve with a cheese course, or use in grilled cheese.
Manchego was traditionally made by pressing the curd in plaited esparto grass baskets, which left a distinctive zigzag pattern on the rind. Today the same effect is achieved with a special barrel-shaped mold that imprints the finished cheese with an embossed basket weave pattern. It's produced from sheep’s milk in the La Mancha region in central Spain, south of Madrid, and is available in wedges.
Imported Italian Parmigiano-Reggiano
- Flavor: Sweet, buttery, nutty, dry, slightly salty
- Pairs with: Italian Chianti. Pairings of food and wine from the same region tend to go well together. Grate over red sauce or Caesar salads.
Parmigiano-Reggiano is named after the areas in Italy where it is produced: Parma and Reggio. This cow’s milk cheese is one of the world’s oldest, dating back to the Middle Ages. Publix Imported Italian Parmigiano-Reggiano is handmade exactly as it was 700 years ago in the provinces of Bologna, Mantua, Modena, Parma, and Reggio Emilia. The name is etched into the rind of every 75-pound wheel, and the cheese is available in wedges.
Imported French Camembert
- Flavor: Slightly earthy, nuttier than Brie, decadent, rich, creamy
- Pairs with: Chenin blanc or pinot noir. Citrus and richness—respectively present in these wines—offers balance for the depth of flavor in this cheese. Serve cheese at room temperature as part of a cheese course, or baked with garnishes.
Camembert is produced exclusively in Normandy, France, and dates back to the end of the eighteenth century. It is available in mini rounds.