Experience the full potential of your wine, cheese, and charcuterie pairings by tasting each element individually, then together. Start with a sip of wine to experience the taste and textures. Next, take of bite of cheese and charcuterie to enjoy the aromas, flavors and textures in their entirety. Finish the tasting with another sip of wine to experience the pairing together.
Begin your tasting experience by looking at your wine, cheese and charcuterie.
How does it look? What colors would you use to describe the items? Does it look appetizing? Is the color right?
Go ahead, take a whiff! The aromas of wine, cheese and charcuterie should match the flavors.
What does it smell like? Try to describe the aromas you note. Are they fruity or savory? Complex and hard to describe, or easy to discern the different aromas?
Now the fun part! Take a sip or a bit and pay attention to the texture and mouthfeel. Ask yourself these questions as you progress through the stages. And yes, these are true for wine as much as cheese and charcuterie:
How does it feel on the tongue? Smooth, grainy, creamy, velvety.
How does it taste? Is it tart or tangy, sharp or mellow, fruity or savory? What notes in the aroma carried through with the flavor?
Allow yourself to experience the entire flavor curve, from initial taste to finish. Be patient as you may not experience the full flavor until 30 seconds after first taste.
How does it finish? Is it long-lasting, like a fine wine? And, above all, is it balanced?
Work your way through the wines, starting with sparkling wine and progressing to the more robust red wine varietals. Finish your tasting with a sweet dessert wine.
There is no defined order to taste your cheeses; however, progress in order of strength, starting with the most mild flavors and working your way up to the bold and intense cheeses. Here is a quick tip to get you started: