Wine and cheese are an incomparable pair. Each preserves and perpetuates its source — grapes in wine, milk in cheese. Each comes in countless varieties. And each helps the other to show its best. Cheese smoothes wine and highlights its best character, while wine enhances cheese and accents its flavors. But as in all matches, there’s still the matter of compatibility.
Brie, Camembert and other satiny, soft-ripened cheeses, for example, call for regal reds – Cabernet Sauvignon, Bordeaux, velvety Merlot, a Syrahbased Rhône. Or consider a nutty Oloroso Sherry.
Semi-soft cheeses, which include Port Salut, Pont l’Eveque and Canadian Oka, match well to both red and white. Chianti Classico and Oregon Pinot Noir are good red choices. For whites, I’d suggest a not overly oaked California Chardonnay.
Goat cheese is tart and zesty, a natural with dry, light, fruity wines. The Loire Valley’s Cabernet Franc-based reds, Beaujolais Villages and Italy’s Bardolino are companionable choices.
The mild-flavored buttery cheeses — Edam and Gouda of Holland, Taleggio and Bel Paese of Italy, Monterey Jack from California — do nicely with medium-bodied wines: Pinot Noir, Cru Beaujolais, even a dry rosé from Spain’s Navarra region.
With their distinctive marbling and tangy flavor, Blue cheeses call for assertive red wines: Zinfandel from California, Shiraz from Australia, Barolo from Italy, Ribera del Duero from Spain, Chateauneuf-du-Pape from France.
Cheddars — the great cheese of Great Britain and its American cousin — taste best with a fine Cabernet Sauvignon-based wine, a Côte Rotie or, if they are aged and truly sharp, Port or Amontillado Sherry.
Swiss is the best known of the lightly nutty-flavored semi-hard cheeses. Enjoy it with Spain’s Rioja, Italy’s Valtellina or one of Switzerland’s own — Pinot Noir-based Dôle, for instance.
The king of hard cheeses is the sharp, richly flavored Parmigiano. And it calls for one of Italy’s glorious reds — Brunello, Barolo, Gattinara, Amarone, or Vino Nobile de Montelpulciano.
Then there are cheeses — Limburger and Livarot come to mind — whose strong aromas announce their presence. These powerful cheeses demand powerful wines. Look to Portugal’s Dão and Douro reds, Spain’s Toro, France’s Cahors, South Africa’s Pinotage.
Enjoy — to the last bite of cheese, the last delicious drop of wine.
Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group announced plans to take over an existing hotel in Switzerland. The property is undergoing extensive renovations in preparation to open at the end of next year as Mandarin Oriental Palace, Luzern. The property was previously Hotel Palace Luzern, on the shores of Lake Lucerne and in the heart of the city; it originally opened in 1906.
United Airlines’ environmentally friendly efforts lessen the impact on local U.S. communities.
As part of Germany’s climate package, a plan to reduce emissions, the country will raise departure taxes at German airports. Taxes will go up as much as 60 percent, and are expected to raise up to €740 million. The funds will then be used to lower VAT on rail fares from 19 percent to 7 percent.
Norwegian Cruise Line took delivery of its newest ship, Norwegian Encore, ahead of its naming ceremony Nov. 21. The 1,100-foot-long ship boasts a guest capacity of nearly 4,000. Since Norwegian Cruise Line took delivery of the shi, Oct. 30, Norwegian Encore sailed from Germany to England before making its way to New York City, then Miami, where the christening ceremony takes place next week.
Swiss-Belhotel International boasts an impressive portfolio throughout 22 countries, including 10 ASEAN member countries. This growth is continuing with the group’s new plans to debut four properties in Thailand.
One of Palm Desert, California’s, signature hotel properties recently finalized its biggest-ever redesign. The JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort and Spa is home to 884 guestrooms and nearly 250,000 square feet of event space. Every facet of the property has been redesigned ahead of the property’s grand re-opening in January.