Wine / Cheese Gift Baskets: The Pairing of the Two is Divine
Most wine connoisseurs will tell you that the pairing of wine and cheese is the cream of the crop. Red wines and white wines alike go wonderfully with cheese, depending on what type (of both) that you are dealing with. Wine cheese gift baskets are very popular around the holidays, as they usually only coast about $50 and it’s a no-brainer to get one for the people in your life that love wine. You should first, however, make sure that the wine inlcuded in the basket will go with the artisan cheese included, so let’s see what types of wine pair best with cheese.
First you have Shiraz. Shiraz, which is also known as Syrah, is a red wine that usually comes from California, Australia, or France. Shiraz goes great with red meat and many cheeses found in wine cheese gift baskets. It will often have flavors of wild black fruit, roasting meat and black pepper spice.
Next there is Merlot. Merlot is an oft-maligned red and is grown all over the planet. It is very soft, which is what led to it becoming the “introductory red” for many nascent wine drinkers. Merlot typically features flavors of black cherry, plum and herbs. It goes great just about anything really, so it is a slam dunk when it comes to the “red wine and cheese” model.
Then you have Cabernet sauvignon, AKA “Cab” for short. Cabernet sauvignon grows anywhere except the coldest winemaking regions and is often blended with other red wines. Cabernet sauvignon features a very strong, full-bodied flavor and goes great with simply-prepared red meats and softer cheeses often found in wine cheese gift baskets.
Then there is Pinot Noir. Pinot Noir originated from France and is often very delicate and fresh, with flavors of strawberry, cherry, plum and faint tones of damp earth, worn leather and tea leaves. This red goes great with some kinds of cheeses, chicken, lamb, or grilled salmon.
The first white is Chardonnay. Chardonnay is a sometimes-sparkling wine that is from France. Of all the dry white wine types, Chardonnay is the most voluptuous and velvety. Chardonnay goes great with fish and chicken and will often have rich fruit and buttery flavors that match up well with lighter cheeses oftne included in wine cheese gift baskets.
Next you have Sauvignon Blanc. As with many white wine types, Sauvignon Blanc originated in France. Sauvignon Blanc typically features a very herbal character with sour green and tropical fruit flavors, often with a very smoky qualities. It goes great with salads, seafood, and lighter cheeses found in wine cheese gift baskets.
Then you have the perenially-popular Pinot Grigio. Pinot Grigio is actually a Pinot Gris variety originating from Italy. This versatile white goes with just about anything really (including cheese), which is part of the reason for its popularity. Pinot grigio tends to be very crisp, often with a strong acidic bite.
Gewürztraminer is one of those whites that you’ll rarely hear about due to the popularity of the others. Gewürztraminer goes great with grilled sausages, pork, and Asian dishes. As you’ve probably guessed from the name, Gewürztraminer hails from Germany. This white is great for sipping and tends to be very fruity, but not as refreshing as the other whites.It goes well with aromatic cheeses.