The easiest accompaniment to wine was, is and always will be cheese. Simple or complex, oily or light, salty or sweet, it is the best wine partner. And because cheeses are just like wine, I'm here to guide you making the best combinations for unforgettable "wine-lover" winter gatherings or the coolest Christmas parties!
We begin with white cheeses. White, mild and fresh cheeses such as manouri, anthotyro and Mozzarella need white, light and fresh wines like Malagouzia. Malagouzia from Estate Kitrvs is an excellent choice. If you go for more intense, salty cheeses like goat's chevre, then you should prefer a Sauvignon Blanc like Sauvignon Blanc from Domaine Florian. On the other hand Feta loves Retsina very much! Its acidity is perfectly balanced with the cheese's acidity, and its strong character can tame the "savory-spicy personality" of Feta. Tear of the Pine from Kechris Winery is one of the most elegant retsinas that will surely impress everyone! Camembert and Brie are paired perfectly with elegant red wines like Pinot Noir or light Xinomavro. If you are lucky and find a truffle brie then you will take off the combination. My suggestions here are Barda Pinot Noir Bodega Chacra and of course Xinomavraw Oenops.
Bonus tip 1: To make things a little more interesting you can do the following. Take a Camembert and with a sharp knife make holes and put in a small piece of garlic and rosemary. Bake in preheated oven at 200oC until melted (about 15 minutes) and serve with toasted bread and cranberry sauce. It's amazing combo with the Pinot I mentioned or a Beaujolais Villages.
Let's move to the semi hard and hard now. Young gravieras and kaseri demand for an oaky Chardonnay, such as the rich and buttery El Enemigo Chardonnay. If you choose an aged graviera then red wine is almost the only choice. A robust Cabernet Sauvignon, like Cabernet Sauvignon from Gikas Winery, will become 'magically' velvety and fruity! Parmesan is considered the king of cheeses, so she deserves the king of wines, a Champagne! Try it with the Greek version, Cuvee Speciale from Domaine Karanikas. Spicy and savory pecorino will match perfectly with Sangiovese or Chianti. I love Elia Sangiovese from Karavitakis Vineyards. Aged gouda is a cheese that everyone loves. It is buttery, salty but with irresistible notes of caramel and nuts, Le Roi des Montagnes cuvee from Papargyriou Winery is a perfect match since it has rich, ripe fruit and notes of vanilla and caramel.
Bonus tip 2: Metsovana, the Parmesan of Tositsa Foundation from Metsovo, is an exceptional and rare cheese that if you are lucky enough to find it, you shoukd pair it with a local wine, from Vlachiko variety preferably (because as you know, what grows together, goes together!!)
Blue cheeses such as Roquefort, Stilton and Gorgonzola are uniquely combined with dessert wines such as Mavrodaphne or Liatiko like Euphoria of Dourakis Winery. The contrast between sweet and salty is very interesting (remember the fried feta cheese appetiser served a drizzle of honey that is available in all taverns).
Bonus tip 3: Kariki is a white cheese from Tinos that ages in a pumpkin and has the spicy taste and complexity reminiscent of Stilton. The combination with Riesling Beereauslese Dr Loosen is mind-blowing.