I have heard it said that wine and cheese are the ultimate power couple in the food and wine world.
For many, including me, it is true.
Let’s consider classic Brie cheese. Brie, usually made from cow’s milk, originated in Seine-et-Marne, France. As you probably know, it is a soft cheese with a rich, buttery flavor and a runny, creamy texture. So, do we pair this cheese with an oaky, buttery chardonnay? You can, but consider this: Brie has a fair amount of fat, and you may want to balance that fat with a crisp (acidic) white wine. But which white wine?
The Drink and Pair blog by Maurice K. Beaver suggests sparkling wine to accompany your Brie, and not just any sparkling wine, but Champagne and not just any Champagne but Blanc de Blanc Champagne (Champagne made with only from Chardonnay grapes).
The sweetness category of the paired sparkling wine is mentioned in this blog. Beaver states to stay with a drier sparkling wine, since a sweeter sparkling wine usually has more residual sugar and less acidity. For Brie, we need that acidity to balance the fat, so stick with the Brut classification or drier.
Speaking of acidity, a crisp Sauvignon Blanc is an alternative to sparkling wine for your Brie appetizer. As Beaver says, it is crisp with flavors of lemon, lime, grapefruit, grass, and green herbs. The grassy notes complement the grassy flavors found in Brie. At the same time, the high acidity of Sauvignon Blanc sharpens the earthy, nutty, and fruity flavors of the Brie.
And you say, what if I have a guest that only likes red wine? In this case, Mr. Beaver points to a favorite, Beaujolais-Villages, a light and fruity red wine with flavors of cherries, raspberries, strawberries, and plums (notice that these are just some of the possible toppings for your Brie). Beaujolais-Villages is low in alcohol, something to consider for cocktail receptions or picnic lunches featuring Brie.
If you are looking for a cheese that is easy to match with wine and always a crowd pleaser, say cheese, Brie cheese. Cheers!