Lightning bugs. Fresh cut grass. Long days on the lake. The warming weather evokes memories of these things we look forward to each year. As the days grow longer, one of the pastimes I anticipate the most is wine and cheese out on the patio.
Pairing wine and cheese is an art form. Just the right cheese can bring out subtle flavor notes in a good wine, and a properly acidic wine can make a bite of cheese that much more delicious. We’ve got experts in both wine and cheese at Mall of America®, so my colleague Tim Pate and I went to Old Vine Wine + Spirits (Level 3, West), Rybicki Cheese (Level 3, West) and Cheese Brothers (Level 2, East) to discover the essential pairings for your next patio party.
Mettler Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon + Rybicky 3 Year Cheddar
Let’s begin your sampler with a red wine high in tannin, more commonly known as dry red wine. We recommend the Mettler Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon. It’s best paired with heavy, full body, English cheeses because it’s able to stand up to bold flavors. Try pairing it with the three-year aged sharp cheddar from Rybicki Cheese.
If you’re feeling more daring, try the ten-year aged sharp cheddar from Cheese Brothers.
The Expedition Merlot + Satori Merlot Bellavitano
Sweet loves company. That’s why our next wine and cheese pairing works so well. The Satori Merlot BellaVitano from Cheese Brothers is a hard cheese with a nutty, fruity flavor that pairs well with the Expedition Merlot from Canoe Ridge Vineyard, a subtle red wine with a sweeter and less dry taste.
Willamette Valley Reisling + Alemar Cheese Company’s Bent River Camembert
The creamier the cheese, the more acidity you’ll want in your wine. The Bent River Camembert from Cheese Brothers is a delectably creamy cheese, so it pairs perfectly with the highly acidic Willamette Valley Riesling. If you’re looking for a full meal to go with this wine, aim for Tex Mex or East Indian cuisine—the wine’s acidity also complements these meals nicely.
Taylor’s Old Tawny Port + St. Pete’s Select Blue Cheese
Round out your sampler with a port dessert wine and a robust blue cheese. Our recommendation: Dow’s Old Tawny Port and St. Pete’s Select Blue Cheese from Cheese Brothers. The perfect way to wind down with the sun.
Tip: Add fresh walnuts to complete the pairing.
Finally, I’d also recommend checking out Tervis (Level 3, West) for their stemless wine glasses. Their durable drink ware is perfect for long nights sharing great wine and delicious cheese with friends.