Cheese Pairing With Spirits
Arguably, for most epicureans, the best thing to have been invented after alcohol is cheese. Although most of us have a cursory knowledge about cheese and its variants, it has managed to become an essential element in our everyday consumption. From Pav Bhaji to Pizza, our food is incomplete without being generously laden with cheese. However, we ought to evolve our taste in cheese, for the sheer respect of this divine ingredient. Understanding different textures, flavours, styles, processing, aging, and aroma as well as different variants of cheese such as Brie, Gouda, Cheddar, Gruyere, Blue, Raclette, and Parmesan out of the 500 types that have been recognised thus far. Bring out the cheesemonger in you and pair the right kind of cheese with your favourite spirit and globalise your palate:
1. Wine and Cheese
Pair two of life?s greatest gastronomic pleasures. Set on this delicious endeavour and treat your senses in some unimaginable ways. Based on the texture, acidity, tannin, and fat, you can divide cheese in four main categories, namely blue, bloomy, hard, and fresh to simplify this rather daunting task. Depending on your preferential taste, you could either combine contrasting or complementary flavours. Begin your experiment by tasting the cheese first to get an idea of its character. Following this, try some more cheese, this time with a sip of wine, and see how well the two blend. One of the best wine pairings that will enhance your dining experience would be Four Seasons Merlot with Gouda, a Dutch yellow cheese made from cow?s milk.
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2. Whisky and Cheese
The two things most raved about all over the globe can be combined in several ways to revolutionise your drinking patterns. On one hand, it is recommended to pair bold whiskies with aged sheep cheese, aged Gouda, and smoked cheddar cheese, whereas the cheeses with a smoky and meaty texture can best be paired with spicy whiskies on the other hand. Another interesting pairing would be between milder, lowland, and less smoky whiskies with nutty and rich cheeses such as Comté, Stiltons, and aged Gruyere. Perhaps the safest whisky and cheese pairing would be to combine Black Dog Whisky, a whisky with mellow woody, prominently malty, well rounded, and fruity sweet taste with warm peat, with Silton cheese (blue or white), a rich, well-structured cheese with a metallic bite and meaty flavours.
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There is a lot more to explore when it comes to spirits and cheese. Stay tuned for the next article.