Here’s some delicious advice from Steve Duty, co-founder and head cheesemonger of Cheese+Provisions that you can put to the test for New Year’s Eve – and beyond. He says that pairing cheese and champagne is not only a taste sensation but it’s also beneficial to your health:
- Like wine, bubbles have polyphenols that help reduce blood pressure, bad cholesterol and prevent blood clots.
- Champagne contains fewer calories than a glass of wine – 80 calories vs. 120 calories.
- In moderation, the potassium, magnesium and zinc in champagne are all mood boosters.
- Cheese can increase levels of good cholesterol, protecting the heart against cardiovascular diseases.
- It’s a great source of Vitamin B12 and is protein packed.
Pairing cheese and champagne is easy, according to Duty. The natural effervescence in sparkling wine counteracts the natural fattiness in cheese for the perfect pairing combination. Here are his simple guidelines for presenting champagne and a cheese board at your New Year’s Eve party:
- Match flavor characteristics when possible. For example, if you’re serving a light, lemony, fresh chèvre, the ideal bubbles pairing would be a bright, dry, toasty champagne. If you’re serving a heavier alpine cheese, choose a rosé like Spumante with fresh fruit aromas and a crisp finish, or even a sparkling Lambrusco.
- Go regional. Just as a cheese’s flavor is affected by the natural growing conditions where it’s made, so is a champagne, prosecco or sparkling wine. Pairing a bottle of bubbles and cheese from the same region truly captures a unique taste.
- You can always ask the Cheese+Provisions crew. Duty is an award-winning winemaker and is more than happy to offer recommendations based on past experimentation.
By the way, a while back, we spoke to an expert on BEER and cheese tasting when she was in town – Janet Fletcher! We still follow her enewsletter faithfully, and always learn something new. Take a look.