Story by Sarah Murphy Robertson
I’ve long been a vocal proponent of the wonders of surprising food pairings. Beloved Brie cheese is a beautiful starting point for some spectacular meal-ending pairings with wine. It is tangy, buttery, rich, and works well with a variety of sweeter components.
Crisp apple or pear goes very well with Brie as do vine-ripened berries or sweet citrus like clementines. The fruit cuts through that creamy cheese and the results are delicious. Or try chutneys and preserves made with apricot, mango or fig for that spot of sweet. A variety of luxurious dark chocolates can also take Brie pairings to another level. Try this unique combination as your dessert course. It satisfies the sweet tooth but is light enough to end a decadent meal. For a textural triumph, add some almonds or macadamia nuts to the plate!
So which wines would we serve with these delightful combinations? Light to medium reds such as many Cabs or Pinot Noirs pair superbly with soft cheeses like Brie. We like the accessible and affordable Cabernet Sauvignon by Chateau Ste Michelle. This Californian 2012 vintage is a blend of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Syrah grapes and is aged for 16 months. It sings of lots of dark plummy fruit and has a rich finish. Another domestic beauty to try with a Brie, fruit, and chocolate course would be the 2013 La Crema Pinot Noir from the Sonoma Coast. This wine is made with 100% Pinot Noir grapes and the acidic cherry aromas combine with subtle earthy notes. It has a soft supple mouth feel that lingers at the end.
Try these wines with our suggestions or get creative and form your own combinations of soft ripened cheeses, fresh fruits or chutneys, and chocolate. It will surely keep your palate dancing and your guests excited about the wide world of nuancing wine and food pairings.