While most wines, especially reds, marry well with a variety of cheeses, some make more toothsome matches than others. Based on a series of tastings over the last six months, the following wines were at the top of my list to pair with a variety of cheeses.
Made from hand-harvested grapes grown in a single, picturesque vineyard near the Sonoma town of Kenwood, this versatile wine shows a complex bouquet and taste of ripe black currants and dark chocolate — perfect to pair with most cheeses.
FIND IT AT: Station Plaza Wine & Spirits in Bronxville and Rye Brook Wine & Spirit Shop in Rye Brook.
After a few minutes of aeration (or decanting), this elegant French-oak-aged wine, with a bouquet and taste of cherries, blueberries, and dried herbs, is an excellent choice to marry with mild cheeses, like Brie and young triple crèmes.
FIND IT AT: Dodd’s Liquor City in Millwood and Stew Leonard’s Wines & Spirits in Yonkers.
Albeit a bit pricey, this 100% Syrah, aged for 10 months and bottled without fining or filtration, is a complex, mouth-filling wine with deep flavors of ripe cherries, figs, and dried plums that weds harmoniously with young, as well as aged, goat cheese and sharp cheddars.
FIND IT AT: Bedford Wine Merchants in Bedford and Grapes, the Wine Company in White Plains.
This dry wine shows just enough fruitiness to counterbalance the taste of the now-popular cheeses with truffles, as well as young Danish blues.
FIND IT AT: Siemers Wine & Spirits in Bedford and Varmax Liquor Pantry in Port Chester.
While many dry, crisp whites make merely acceptable matches with cheese, this Chablis with a bouquet and taste of ripe apples and fresh-baked bread makes an excellent mate for rich, creamy Brie, triple crèmes, and even well-aged cheddar.
FIND IT AT: Wine Geeks in Armonk and Zachys in Port Chester.
Sweet port and cheese — especially ripe, blue-veined varieties, like Roquefort, Stilton, and Gorgonzola — are said to be matches made in heaven, the fruity sweetness of the wine perfectly balancing the sharp taste of the cheese. And it doesn’t have to be an ultra-expensive vintage port, as this wine will attest.
FIND IT AT: Larchmont Wine & Liquor, Westchester Wine Warehouse in White Plains, and Suburban Wines & Spirits in Yorktown Heights.