It’s hard to even talk about wine without mentioning cheese. I love cheese, like most people do, and I love combining my love of American Cheese with my love of American Wine. Because I’m generally more into white wines, cheese is a great accompaniment because of how well they go together. And if you ever see someone serving cheese with red wine, rest comfortably in the fact that they’re just trying to hard to be controversial.

  • Hard Cheeses, like gouda, cheddar, parmesan and pecorino tend to pair better with reds (eye roll) so if you’re a little bit hoity toity – I’d advise buying a bottle of chianti, a bottle of cabernet sauvignon, a parmesan and a cheddar. It’s easy, it can be cheap, and it’s impressive.
  • If you prefer soft cheeses like camembert and brie, buy one of each, a sparkling white and a chardonnay. It’s delicious, bloomy, and an easy starter platter.
  • I am NOT a blue cheese lover, but maybe some of you are. If you insist upon serving blue cheeses keep in mind how pungent and strong they are – put them on their own damn plate. Grab a simple blue and a gorgonzola to pair with a Riesling and a port. It’s diverse, it stinks, and it’s a great pairing for after dinner.
  • And fresh cheeses are one of my favorites. These are spreadable soft cheeses that are not generally aged at all – hence “fresh.” I just love a ricotta with pinot grigio or a mozzarella with sauvignon blanc. These are great if all you’re having is hors d’oeuvres.

The fun thing about hosting book clubs or cheese clubs or wine clubs, etc, is the vagueness of the subject matter. There is no wrong answer regarding opinions so what you like and don’t like about a book, a cheese, or a wine is entirely valid as long as you have the language to back it up. Wine snobs tend to speak entirely in their own language sometimes and while it may sound pretentious and snooty up front, once you learn the language and get into it, you’ll enjoy hearing yourself speak so eloquently about wine! Next time, let’s go through some of the basics of wine language!