It is #NationalCheeseDay...or as I like to call it...every day that ends in Y.
Mother Nature has not realized that it is JUNE as of yet, so let's sing the blues a bit.
Blue-veined cheeses CAN be difficult to pair with wine...so much personality packed into that little blue bundle. But, for those of us that embrace the blues, it is a challenge that is well worth the effort.
Stilton, Gorgonzola, King Roquefort, Bleu D'Auvergne, Maytag,,Point Reyes...the list of blues is endless. But...the wine pairing options? Not so much. Blue cheeses require pairing with wines of equal oomph and chutzpah.
Look for wines that have a touch of sweetness...or full-ON sweetness to best belly-up to the blue.
Ruby or tawny ports are a classic option, as the nutty components transform the blue into bliss. Sauternes is another classic pairing, particularly with Stilton, but it is fairly tough to find a reasonably priced Sauternes these days. A Finger Lakes Late Harvest wine would be a nice substitute and you won't kill your wallet in the process. Certain sherries that have undergone oxidative aging are also an excellent bet for the blue.
My favorite pairing, however, is a nice, rich Amarone! Why not? Particularly if someone else is paying! Valpolicellas that contain the same grapes and are sometimes referred to as Ripasso (or re-passed) are an excellent and less expensive option that Big Brother Amarone.
The bottom line on the blue is this: Choose a wine that will balance the bold, salty, and savory BODY of the Blue that you are pairing. if you insist on a white wine other than a dessert-style...opt for a Semi-Sweet/Semi-Dry Riesling. If you taste it with a New Zealand Sauvie? Well--don't say I didn't warn you! And..if you've experimented and discovered some additional options...drop me a line and tell me all about it!