The white wine for the occasion

Nothing goes better with Canadian cheese than a good glass of red wine. Or does it? While red wine is the obvious pairing for most cheeses, the right white wine can offer a crisp alternative, especially for bringing out the full flavour of soft cheeses.

As a general rule, light white wines pair well with mild cheeses, while fruitier whites pair with pungent cheeses. For the intense flavours of blue cheeses, try a sweet dessert wine, such as Canadian ice wine.
You should also match like-with-like in terms of acidity: a high-acid cheese such as Canadian Feta will pair wonderfully with Sauvignon Blanc, for example, while Canadian Gouda, known for its low acidity, is perfectly complemented by a Chardonnay. Once you’ve mastered these few rules of thumb, you’ll find there’s plenty of scope for combining a range of whites with your cheeses of choice.

Pairing with creamy cheeses

This recipe offers a simple but original cheese appetizer to serve at dinner parties. Creamy cheeses such as Canadian Brie are often best served with white wines, as their richness tends to linger on the palate and can interfere with the taste of reds. A wholesome white, such as a Sancerre, on the other hand, delivers a refreshing zest that helps clear the palate. If it’s a special occasion, you can also serve champagne or a sparkling wine. The sweetness and lift of the bubbles will make a fine pairing for the rich softness of Canadian Brie.

CANADIAN BRIE FONDUE

•    Prep. Time 10 – 15 mins
•    Cooking Time 8 – 12 mins
•    Yields 4 – 6 servings

WHAT YOU NEED

1 tbsp (15 mL) butter1 clove garlic, minced
¼ tsp dried thyme (or ½ tsp (2 mL) fresh thyme)
¼ cup (50 mL) finely chopped onion
¼ cup (50 mL) finely diced butternut squash
¼ cup (50 mL) diced red peppers
¼ cup (50 mL) finely chopped apple
1 tbsp (15 mL) water
1 round (200 g) Canadian Brie Cheese, divided in half
4 – 6 cups (1 ‘ 1.5 L) cubes French Bread or baguette
1 tsp (5 mL) Maldon Sea Salt or coarse sea salt

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).

In medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add garlic, thyme, onions, squash and peppers; sauté for about 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Add apple, sauté 2 minutes. Stir in water and sauté for about 8 to 10 min or until squash is tender and liquid has evaporated.

On large ovenproof platter, arrange Canadian Brie halves (semi-circles) with backs touching and cut edges facing out; spoon vegetable mixture on top of each half. (Make ahead: Cover and refrigerate, for up to one day, bring to room temperature before baking or allow extra time for melting). Bake for 8 to 12 min or until the cheese melts and spreads across the platter. Remove from oven; place half of the bread cubes into melted cheese and sprinkle with Maldon salt. Serve immediately with remaining bread in a basket alongside the platter with knives to spread once the cheese sets.

For more unique Canadian cheeses, wine pairings and recipe suggestions, go to allyouneedischeese.ca.