We all know that cheese and wine is a match made in heaven – but do we know what to do if that cheese is made from goat’s milk? With goat’s cheese becoming more popular, we’re here to help you understand what works best for this alternative option. Here at Ideal Wine Company, we’ve put together our top tips and favourite pairings to make choosing that perfect wine as simple as can be.
Top tips to follow
With goat’s cheese, you can expect a few characteristics that carry across all varieties. Typically, you’ll find a creamy texture with a slight saltiness. This gives us a few helpful tips for pairing it with wine. This isn’t a pairing that you need to overthink too much, as simple rules will guide you most of the way.
Firstly, always remember the classic rule: what grows together, goes together. Look at where the goat’s cheese has been produced and look for any wines that come from this region. Chances are, you’ll find a great match this way.
Secondly, there are already some classic choices that can work for all occasions. Using the first rule, we can use the fact that the most popular- and common – variety of goat’s cheese comes from the Loire Valley of France. There are some great wines produced in the region, but 2 stand out as the perfect classic pairs for goat’s cheese.
- Sauvignon Blanc – a classic for all occasions
Your average piece of goat’s cheese is a blank slate. Although tart and earthy, it is ready to be impressed upon by other bolder – complementing – flavours. Across the board, Sauvignon Blanc wines are the perfect choice for this. Its acidic, mineral-driven and citrusy flavours are the perfect counterbalances for the creaminess of goat’s cheese. As well the extra herbal flavours of Sauvignon Blanc help to prepare and cleanse the palate. No matter what goat’s cheese you choose, Sauvignon Blanc is a light and refreshing option for all occasions.
- Cabernet Franc – the perfect red wine alternative
While Sauvignon Blanc may be the perfect option, sometimes we’re just in the mood for a red. If you’re serving goat’s cheese with a red, Cabernet Franc is a great alternative. The Loire Valley produces lighter styles with more herbaceous notes and tart acidity. Bigger, fruitier wines may sound nice with this gamy cut of curd, but in practice, it overwhelms the soft, impressionable nature of goat cheese. Cabernet Franc is a safe bet for goat’s cheese because of its subtle and delicious taste. It’s definitely worth trying!
While these options work well generally, you may want to tailor your wine if you have a specific goat’s cheese in mind.
Goat cheddar – perfect with Pinot Noir
For an alternative to traditional cheddar, goat cheddar is a unique and tasty option. The tangy flavour of goat milk helps to give this cheddar a strong and distinctive taste. For pairing this with wine, look to Pinot Noir. The earthy flavours of this wine work well to loosen up the equally earthy cheese, complementing its firm texture.
Herb Chèvre – works well with Vermentino
This log of goat’s cheese is rolled in herbs and lemon zest to bring out the creamy flavour of fresh goat’s cheese. With the addition of herbaceous notes, you’ll want to reflect this in your wine. Try for a Vermentino. Bringing many of the same characteristics as Sauvignon Blanc to the cheese, the added complexity works to balance the herbs. With its medium-high acidity, it’s the ideal choice for a Herb Chèvre.
Goat Gouda – look to cool-climate Syrah
This firm, dense and smooth option brings together nutty and milky flavours to produce a delicious cheese. When pairing with wine, opt for a Syrah from a cool-climate location. This will give the firm and nutty cheese a much needed deliberate, delicate touch. A perfect pair!
Pairing goat’s cheese with wine couldn’t be simpler – if you know what you’re doing. Following these simple tips, you’ll find the perfect wine for your goat’s cheese in no time!