Chianti and Cheese Pairings!

This chilly weather calls for some Chianti and cheese pairings! Recently Bedford Cheese Shop partnered with Banfi Wines to showcase some fantastic cheeses, Chianti’s, and of course give some insight to making the perfect grilled cheese to pair.

IMG_7615We were taken through a selection of the Bell’Agio Chianti DOCG, Bolla Chianti DOCG, Banfi Chianti Superiore DOCG, Banfi Chianti Classico DOCG, and the Banfi Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG. All of the wines were unique and subtly different, making the cheese pairings a lot of fun to analyze. Phoebe, the Cheesemonger and Educator at Bedford Cheese Shop took us through six different cheeses: Fresh Mozzarella, Comte, two different types of Cheddar, a 2 year old Gouda, and Manchego cheese. 

The Fresh Mozzarella was delicious and made by hand that morning. This type of cheese gets soft when used in grilled cheeses, however due to the water and fat balance, it doesn’t fully melt well when attempting that perfect “grilled cheese gooeyness”.

IMG_7618The Comte cheese, is an Alpine Style cheese thats mild but is also great for melting. Another thats not as common but is absolutely delicious and “melt-able” is the Goat Cheddar (#3 on the board: clockwise) which melts deliciously when its young.

The other cheeses were great pairings with the wines, however they do not melt as well in grilled cheeses and panini’s due to the fat and or water content. If its not balanced, the cheese will not melt properly and give you that desired texture. This is not to say you certainly can’t use a gouda, fresh mozzarella, and or manchego, but just know that depending on the content it may not be the desired melt you are looking for.

This I usually discover via trial and error in my kitchen, eating the attempts and then becoming too full to actually make any more, so it was nice to get this insight into the cheese melting process. 

Bedford Cheese Shop has an enormous selection of cheeses, meats, and accompaniments. This shop is wonderfully dangerous but so worth going in for a cheese plate, sandwich, a class, and or to buy some fun stuff for your home parties.

Be sure to pick up some Banfi Chianti’s found at many wine shops in your area and yes… even outside NYC. These wines are beautiful on their own, but also with some light bites and of course with grilled cheese!

Always remember, eat what you like and drink what you love! Please pair responsibly.

Sara Lehman

About Sara Lehman

Sommelier, Private Chef, & Food and Wine Pairing Expert in NYC! Sara is a Wine Writer, Wine Ambassador, and Wine Consultant specializing in pairings, parties, entertaining and education.

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