Hamptons Eats: Wine and cheese: what milk is-­‐to cookies, with slightly more sophistication. Two glorious (food groups?) that when joined together create double the tasting pleasure. For those of you who are familiar with the many varieties of wines and cheeses, you may also be aware of the many possibilities for pairing them. For those in which wine and cheese are a foreign territory, a land in which you do not speak the language, there’s good news! You can learn. Here is a brief (and very general guide) for pairing wine and cheese that will leave you more knowledgeable and possibly with your mouth watering!
To understand a pairing is to recognize the flavors from the wine you are sipping, the cheese you are nibbling, and how it will taste when they collaborate. The goal is for each to complement the other. It is also, as many things are, about balance. Finding the right balance between the characteristics of what you seek to pair will ensure a satisfying flavor experience.

Let’s say you are celebrating a big accomplishment (go you!) You are sipping on some sparkling wine and are in need of a snack (all those bubbles!). Lucky for you the carbonation from those bubbles will cut through a thick and creamy cheese, making the two a perfect pair. I would suggest a triple cream Brie for between those sips of bubbly. The combination of the two is really something to celebrate!
White wines. There are so many options! Picture a relaxing afternoon at one of the vineyards on the North Fork. New world chardonnays, mostly made in the USA, (and those from our very own north fork vineyards), can evoke a buttery, oaky flavor as well as notes of tropical fruits. A chardonnay with these flavors invites a medium-­‐sharp cheddar to make a match. The softness of the wine compliments the sharpness of the
cheddar. Feeling like a kid again? Try it with a cheddar grilled cheese!
One could easily compare red wine to a lover. It can make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. So it’s a really good thing it couples so well with many delicious cheeses. It’s a dynamic duo and the 3 of you will be very happy together. Pinot Noir is arguably the most commonly drank red wine. It is a great starting red, for those whom are not typically red-­‐wine drinkers but are looking to branch out and expand their palates. Light, fresh, and fruity; pinot noir pairs nicely with a pungent, fierce, and flavorful goat cheese. A little bit goes a very long way when it comes to goat cheese thanks to its fantastic tang. When the pinot noir softens the pungency of the goat cheese, the flavors harmonize.
A successful pairing is the result of the wine and cheese complementing each other and creating an enjoyable tasting experience. By following the examples above, or just experimenting with your own palate (there really is no right or wrong!), get ready to get tasting! And if all else fails, you can never go wrong with cookies and milk.


Laurain is a die-hard foodie currently living in Manhattan, and venturing from East Quogue on Long Island. She spends her weekdays as an Advertising Coordinator at “the” Macy’s and her weekends on food crusades giving in to her never ending urge to try new restaurants and food fests. An aspiring food writer/critic, Laurain is constantly searching for new dishes, new flavors, and new food experiences to tell the world.

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