Tag Archives: cheese

Wine and Cheese Pairings

Wine and cheese: two of life’s greatest treasures. As with any food and wine pairing, experts suggest pairing strength of flavors. Hearty red meat, for example, traditionally pairs best with a bold red, like a cabernet sauvignon. White meat and fish, on the other hand, often lean on the lighter side and can be pleasantly accompanied by a buttery chardonnay or a refreshing Riesling. The same theory is at play with cheeses.

As with pairing meats, it’s best to think of the variety of combinations as either complementary or contrasting. A wine with high acidity will cut into the cheese’s sweetness, whereas a lush wine works rather nicely with a triple-cream cheese like brie.

What kind of cheese are you looking to pair? Is it bloomy (creamy, decadent, soft rind), hard (stiff, sharp), blue (pungent, salty, blue tinge), or fresh (soft, often spreadable, mild)? Many connoisseurs argue that white wines tend to pair better with cheeses, but we shouldn’t discount reds altogether. Half the fun is experimenting. Decide on a cheese you’d like to pair, try a taste and see how the flavors connect when you mix in wine. Too opposing? No worries. The combination possibilities are endless.

Here are some common wine and cheese pairings examples courtesy of Wine Enthusiast:

Bloomy Cheeses

Camembert – Champagne

Brie – Chardonnay

Robiola – Sparkling Wine

Taleggio – Pinot Blanc

Hard

Gouda – Merlot

Cheddar – Cabernet Sauvignon

Parmesan – Chianti

Double Gloucester – Zinfandel

Pecorino – Valpolicella

Gruyere – Sauvignon Blanc

Fontina – Bardolino

Blue

Gorgonzola – Port

Stilton – Sauternes

Blue – Riesling

Cambozola – Eiswein

Fresh

Ricotta – Pinot Grigio

Mozzarella – Sauvignon Blanc

Goat – Chenin Blanc

Feta – Beaujolais

Burrata – Tocai Friulano

 

Interested in learning more about wine? You may enjoy some of our other blogs:

You can also browse our large assortment of wine supplies here. Cheers!

Foodservice Week in Brief: January 20

Looking for some of the week’s top information? Here are five stories from the foodservice industry for Jan. 16-20.

Image: seriousfun/MorgueFile

Breakfast at Taco Bell
From Nation’s Restaurant News, Read Article

Burritos, wraps, hash brown patties, Cinnabon Delights and Seattle’s Best coffee are just some of menu items NRN mentioned would be on Taco Bell’s new breakfast menu, which will debut in 10 different states.  This isn’t the first time they’ve rolled out breakfast.  They tried it before with spicy and unique menu items, but the items weren’t favored as much by consumers.  So this time, they’ve added products that are more common.  Read more on the NRN website.

Paula Deen Announces She Has Type 2 Diabetes
From USA Today, Read Article

It was hard to miss Food Network Chef Paula Deen’s announcement this week that she has had Type 2 diabetes for the past three years.  Deen is famous for her indulgent recipes ranging from fried chicken to twice-baked shrimp stuffed potatoes. The USA Today article says Deen will be the spokesperson for Novo Nordisk, who makes a diabetes medication she takes called Victozza.  Read more on the USA Today website.

Burger King Delivery Comes to the United States
From Nation’s Restaurant News, Read Article

Pizza restaurants are known for delivery, and in some major metropolitan areas such as New York City, delivery from different restaurants are common.  Burger King is jumping on board with a delivery service after a successful run with them in some non-U.S. locations.  NRN says four Washington, D.C. locations are currently testing delivery and will add 16 more lotions by Jan. 23.  (Those locations not yet announced).  NRN also mentions if Burger King makes their delivery service nationwide, they will be the first QSR to do so.  The delivery website can be found here, and read more on the NRN website.

Image: Indianapolis Super Bowl Host Committee

Downtown Indianapolis Restaurants Prep for the Super Bowl
From Indianapolis Star, Read Article

There are an estimated 150,000 people who will travel to Indianapolis for the 2012 Super Bowl.  Indianapolis restaurants, not just downtown, are having to prepare for the large number of people.  However, just looking at the downtown area, according to the Indianapolis Star, there are approximately 25,000 seats at the around 200 restaurants.  Restaurants have had to think outside of the box and work extra hard to make sure their customers have a great experience and they can get through it successfully too, whether it’s turning tables quickly or ensuring deliveries are made as seamlessly as possible with the street closures.  Check out this Indianapolis Star article, which digs in a little deeper on restaurants and check back to the Central blog next Thursday, Jan. 26, for a deeper look on what Indianapolis restaurants are doing to ensure the entire event goes off without a hitch!

Happy National Cheese Lover’s Day!
From Punchbowl, Read Article

Did you know Jan. 20 is National Cheese Lover’s Day? The Punchbowl website lists a fun fact, which is: “The average American consumes about 31 pounds of cheese each year”

Image: alvimann/MorgueFile

They compare it to the French, who consume around 50 pounds!

So, in honor of National Cheese Lover’s Day, here are a few great recipes to get your cheese fix. Enjoy!

 

Milk; Image from MorgueFile

Living with Dietary Restrictions: Dairy Free

Milk; Image from MorgueFileThink about what you’re planning to have to eat today.  Does a dairy product make it onto the menu?  If you’re part of the 75% of the world’s population that is lactose intolerant to some extent or a lower 3% with a milk allergy, you may be giving a bit more thought to your daily dairy intake.   Read on to find the differences between an intolerance and an allergy, what is being done for sufferers and a few helpful and delicious dairy-free recipes.

What’s the difference between
lactose intolerance and a milk allergy?

Lactose intolerance is an inability to digest the milk sugar, lactose, found in dairy products.

Milk Allergies are more focused on the proteins or caseins within milk products.

What products should be avoided?

For both you should avoid dairy products such as cheese, yogurt, milk, butter, chocolate, goat’s milk products and any product labeled as containing milk or milk ingredients.

What are some alternatives?

Most dairy-based product have an alternative that uses a soy or rice base although sometimes soy may also cause allergic reactions and intolerances.

Eating Non-Dairy on the Go

While it may take a bit of pre-planning using online allergen guides, many restaurants now have tasty options for those with dairy-free eating restriction.  There is also a handy databases like Allergy Eats and Allerdine which allow you to search for restaurants in your area that have special food safety measures for patrons with food allergies.

The most important tip when eating out (other than avoiding the obvious dairy products) is to be aware of cross-contamination.   This can happen through using the same frying oil, grills, woks or cutting boards for the dairy and non-dairy foods.  Another way to prevent cross-contamination is to bring along your own wet cloth to wipe down any surfaces just in case the allergens were left from the previous diner.

It’s also imperative that you open a dialogue between yourself and the wait staff and/or management.   While you may have already looked at the allergen guides, it’s always a wise idea to double check to confirm that the item you’re ordering is cooked and prepared separately and without any allergy/intolerance inducing elements.  Making these inferences every time and at every location is important since staff, preparation guidelines, etc. may change from visit to visit.

Places like Chipotle, Qdoba and Subway are some of the more obvious options since you’re able to add exactly what you want (be sure to watch out for cross contamination).   However, there are many options at your average sit-down restaurant like Denny’s, Chili’s, Red Lobster and Outback Steakhouse as well.  In fact, Outback not only gives suggestions on menu items, they also give advice on how to request the food be cooked and what extras should be left off to ensure a higher degree of safety.

And just in case you’re planning a trip to Disney with your dairy-free eater, not to worry, there are plenty of tasty options there too including tofu ice cream, waffles with fruit and dairy free whipped topping, rice milk and dairy free pasta.

Deliciously Dairy-free recipes to try at home

Gluten Free & Dairy Free Lasagna

Chocolate Chip Cookie Muffins – Milk Free Recipes

How do you or your family members deal with lactose intolerance or a milk allergy?  Please share your story.

Article sources
1)     Dairy Free Living
2)     Kids Health
3)     Mayo Clinic
4)     National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NDDIC)  
5)     PubMed Health