Natalie MacLean's tips on pairing Canadian wines and cheeses

Celebrate Canadian wine and cheese makers with The Great Canadian Wine & Cheese Match

If you’re still assembling a charcuterie board with only French cheeses, Italian meats, and Spanish olives, and pairing them with Old World wines, then you are truly missing out.

With award-winning cheeses like Glengarry Cheesemaking’s aged Lankaaster from Ontario, Canada is getting global recognition for producing high quality cheeses. And, we already know that there are excellent wines coming out of B.C. and Ontario, among other provinces. So, it’s easy to create delicious cheese and wine pairings with only Canadian products.

Natalie MacLean, editor of her successful wine review site and winner of both the M.F.K. Fisher Distinguished Writing Award from the James Beard Foundation and the M.F.K. Fisher Award for Excellence in Culinary Writing from Les Dames d'Escoffier International, wants to know your favourite Canadian cheese and wine pairing, and bring wine drinkers and winemakers together to celebrate our country's stellar products. You have this weekend to vote on your preferred pairing. In the meantime, call some friends over and have a little wine and cheese party with these tips.

6 tips for pairing Canadian wines with Canadian cheese

  • Pair are mild-flavoured fresh and semi-fresh Canadian cheeses, such as mozzarella, with light whites of 12 per cent or less alcohol with bright fruit and crisp acidity, such as Prince Edward County riesling.
  • Taking a cue from the classic match of French chevre with Loire Valley sauvignon blanc, serve Canadian goat cheese with Niagara sauvignon blanc. The acidity of the wine cuts through the chalky heart of the cheese.
  • A good match for double and triple-cream cheeses is a robust white wine, such as a barrel-fermented or barrel-aged Okanagan chardonnay, for their creamy, buttery aromas and texture.
  • Match Nova Scotia sparkling wine with Canadian soft cheeses. Bubbly helps to diffuse salt and cut through fat.
  • Pair for hard cheeses, such as cheddar, with a Niagara cabernet sauvignon or cabernet franc, as both have notes of earth, nuts and coffee.
  • For blues with strong flavours and powerful saltiness, avoid dry and off-dry wines and go for the sweeter Quebec icewine or hard cider.