The debate over whether to pair cheese with wine or beer appears to have been raging for a very long time, and it’s a matter which every self-respecting food connoisseur has an opinion on.
The Battle Between Beer and Wine
It has long been assumed that wine is the perfect drink for serving alongside cheese – and furthermore, white wine often wins out over red. However, saltier or fattier cheeses could be better served by a drink offering more immediate refreshment, for which beer might just do the trick. The same applies to softer, richer cheeses with a buttery aftertaste. In recent years, beer has been growing in popularity as a valid choice to serve alongside even the most luxurious of cheeses. No longer relegated to serving simply as a refreshing cool-down after hotter dishes, beer could offer significant competition to its more refined rival.
Experimenting with Beer and Cheese
Whilst Brits might have taken wine and cheese to heart, around the world other countries are already drinking beer with their cheese. Belgium has been enjoying wine and beer together since the Middle Ages, in part due to its wider availability and lower price point. Experts recommend opting for a lighter beer to compliment milder cheeses, but sticking to less intensive beers for strong, flavourful cheese to avoid too much of a good thing. Younger, fresher cheeses like mozzarella could be paired beautifully with a light and delicate beer, while blue cheeses such as stilton and Roquefort call for either a sweet wine or a sweet beer to provide a beautiful contrast of flavours.
Choosing Your Perfect Beer
Moderation and experimentation are the key to finding the perfect pairing, and marvellously for cheese and beer loving foodies, there is no ideal rule yet in place dictating which beer you should choose – it’s all a matter of finding what works for your needs. Ask for a quick show of hands at any social gathering, and you may find the response swaying overwhelmingly towards wine as the beverage of choice to serve alongside cheese, but after trying the alternative, this opinion is likely to become a little more divided! It’s best to keep an open mind and allow your palette – and perhaps also your dinner guests – to decide on the ideal drinks pairings for the cheese you’ve chosen. With time, it’s likely we’ll all become more accepting of pairing cheese with a beverage a little less ordinary – and the current culinary rebellion will begin to take hold as more and more people discover this delicious alternative to wine.
You can decide if you would like wine, beer (or both!) with our Cheese Lover gift box hamper.