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Five Cheeses to Pair With Sparkling Wine

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Whether it be Champagne from France, Cava from Spain, Sparkling wine from the US or Prosecco from Italy, pairing cheese with bubbly is one of life's pleasures. These five cheeses pair especially well with dry sparkling wines.

What is your favorite cheese to pair with sparkling wine? Share your suggestion here.

1. Triple Crème

Mt. Tam cheese. Photo by J. Meier
Luxurious cheese meets luxurious wine. Triple Crème cheeses are rich and buttery with a whipped texture and fairly mild flavor. The high butterfat content in Triple Crème cheeses is balanced out by the refreshing bubbles in sparkling wine. Look for Triple Crème cheeses like Mt. Tam, Brillat-Savarin, Saint Andre and Pierre-Robert.

2. Camembert

Camembert Cheese. Photo by J. Meier
Camembert is highly flavorful but not overpowering (unless it's super ripe). Its woodsy, mushroomy flavor pairs nicely with the yeasty qualities in sparkling wine. Similar cheeses that are not technically Camembert but share some of its qualities also pair well with sparkling wine. Look for Pave d'auge or Roucoulons.

3. Gruyere

Gruyere cheese. Photo by J. Meier
Gruyere is a hearty mountain cheese with a dense texture and rich flavor. The light touch of sparkling wine elevates the cheese into something more elegant, highlighting its sweet, nutty qualities and masking its mustiness. Serve Gruyere as part of a cheese plate paired with sparkling wine or melt it into a fondue, bite-sized grilled cheese sandwiches, or a Gruyere Quiche for a Champagne breakfast.

4. Truffle Cheese

Sottocenere Truffle cheese. Photo by J. Meier
Truffles and sparkling wine are a classic pairing, if only because both are seen as a expensive indulgences. With more affordable sparkling wines on the market and numerous truffle cheeses to choose from, this is a pairing that is no longer just for special occasions. Sottocenere is a truffle cheese commonly found in cheese stores. Other truffle cheeses to look for are Pecorino Tartufo, Caciotta al Tartufo and Truffle Tremor.

5. Epoisses

Epoisses cheese. Photo Courtesy of PriceGrabber
Epoisses (eh-PWAHS)is notoriously stinky and full-flavored, making it one of the most popular washed-rind options in cheese shops. As it matures, the cheese is washed in brine and local brandy, creating a moist environment for good bacteria to prosper. This creates the orange-colored rind and the meaty, salty flavor of the cheese. The bubbles in sparkling wine, especially in a full-bodied Champagne, help wipe your palate clean after a bite of Epoisses and balance out the saltiness of the cheese.

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