If anyone understands the relationship between cheese and beer, it's Steve Jones, owner of Portland, Oregon's Cheese Bar. Here's his advice on learning to pair your favorite cheeses with their best beer match.
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It's New Year's Eve, and your guests are about to come tumbling in. You set out bowls of salty snacks and a grand platter of cheeses. There's creamy white chèvre, a Stilton, some Brie, nutty aged Gruyère, tangy Vermont cheddar, and a splurge-worthy chunk of 4-year Gouda. It's time to start popping corks. There's Champagne, of course, and let's see—what else? What wine goes best with all those cheeses?
With the tips I have for you today, you'll be primed to host the most awesome beer and cheese tasting party ever...and you and your guests might even learn something along the way.
Beer and cheese have a natural affinity. In fact, they are almost the same thing. Both start with grass; barley and wheat in the case of beer, and actual grass in the case of cheese. Putting together a beer and cheese tasting is as easy as assembling an assortment of cheeses of different textures and types and choosing a bevy of beers to go with them. Here are a few suggestions to get you started.
I didn't happen to have a hangover to deal with a couple weeks back during a quick visit to Cincinnati with Laura Arnold (A.K.A. the Cincinnati Nomerati), but if I did, it would have trembled with fear as we dug into the huge plate of choriqueso at Taqueria Mercado downtown. I can't attest to the authenticity of the dish, but conceptually, it's a nearly flawless and peerless plate of junk food: hot, oily, warm-spiced, slightly sour chorizo sausage combined with gooey, oozy, melted cheese.
Hard cider and cheese are a naturally great pairing. When combined, they form a flavor powerhouse of complex earthy aromas and flavors. We recently chatted with Sascha Inram of Murray's Cheese in New York City to find out what makes cider such a good choice for serving alongside your next cheese plate.