Pairing Canadian Wine and Cheese: Why are They so Natural Together?

Liza, Jeff and I chat about pairing Canadian wines and cheese on Global Television Morning Show. You can watch the video above by clicking on the arrow.

We’re just a few weeks away from Canada Day, and what could be better than celebrating with a glass of Canadian wine, and of course pair that with some Canadian cheese.

Here to show us how which wine and cheese pairings are is Natalie MacLean, the editor of Canada’s largest wine review web site.

So why do wine and cheese pair well together?

– both start as natural liquids and are products of fermentation
– that gives both complexity of flavours, range of styles and ability to age
– acidity in wine cuts through the fat of cheese making the wine taste richer and the cheese brighter
– sweetness in some wines can stand up the stronger flavours of blue cheese

Why Canadian wine and Canadian cheese specifically?

– they “grew up” together: same soil and climate influencing taste
– the taste of cheese depends on what the cows grazed on (meadow, flowers etc), time of year and even the altitude of the pastures
– the taste of wine depends on where the vines are planted, the soil types, climate and altitude (often higher vineyard equal more complex wines)
– it’s no longer a patriotic duty to eat and drink local: you have a duty to your taste buds to try these pairings as there’s an incredible range of styles and flavours, and the quality is second to none
– there are 195 Canadian cheese producers making more than 1,050 different types of cheese
– more than 300 Canadian wineries make more than 20,000 different types of wines

In addition to great taste, why buy local?

– supports our own grape growers and dairy farmers > economic grassroots industries
– wine and cheese are the most artisanal agricultural products we produce in this country
– they have the greatest value added in their production and therefore yield higher profit margins to our farmers and grape growers than say an apple that goes straight to market as it is
– wine and cheese are also branded products: they are our edible ambassadors to the world beyond our own borders

What are the economic benefits?

– the Canadian wine industry contributes $6.8 billion to the Canadian economy annually, with more than 31,000 jobs manufacturing, agriculture, tourism, transportation, research, restaurants and retail
– every bottle of Canadian wine contributes $31 to our economy versus a small fraction of that for a foreign bottle of wine
– wine-related tourism attracts more than 3 million visitors each year, generating more than $1.2 billion annually in tourism revenue and employment

Editor’s Note: We didn’t get to all of the economic info here, but it’s important so I’m including it.

Posted with permission of Global Television.


Pairing Canadian Wine and Cheese: Why are They so Natural Together?

Liza: Well we’re just a few weeks away from Canada Day and what could be better than celebrating with a glass of Canadian wine and of course pair that with some Canadian cheese. Here to show us which wine and cheese pairings are best is Natalie MacLean the editor of Canada’s largest wine review site, good to see you!

Natalie: Good to see you too Liza.

Liza: We’re not fools here at global, we know how to book a (Inaudible)

Jeff: Yes.

Natalie: Exactly. I thought it was just coincidental?

Liza: Yes, no.

Jeff: No.

Natalie: At least these folks know it.

Jeff: This has Friday written all over it.

Natalie: Terrific.

Jeff: So first let me ask you, Natalie, why is it that cheese and wine traditionally get paired? Why did they go so well together?

Natalie: They’re both products of fermentation, they both start with the liquid whether its milk or grape juice and they ferment. They get more complex. They develop new flavours. Here in Canada, our wines and our cheeses are the most artisanal product we make, agriculturally.

Liza: Yes.

Natalie: It’s literally a grassroots industry. The range and quality that we’re producing means that it’s not a patriotic duty to just drink and eat this.

Jeff: Right.

Liza: I do love supporting local whether that be in your city or your country so I think it’s fantastic that we’re talking … Let’s get to some of these wines.

Natalie: Yes.

Liza: And tell us what’s out there?

Natalie: I’m going to start with a Riesling from Rosehall Run which is in Prince Edward County. It’s an up-and-coming region with 30 really terrific wineries. I’m going to pour and talk if I can do two things at once here.

Liza: Sure you’d do.

Natalie: I’m not sure about this but I’ll pass you the glasses.

Liza: This is a Riesling?

Natalie: It’s a Riesling so it’s bright and floral and what we do with wine and cheese is we start light and we go to more full-bodied. What we have on the table are lighter cheeses like your Feta, your mozzarella and then we would move into the creamier or blue cheeses.

Jeff: Right.

Natalie: So if you take a taste of this…

Jeff: Well you know it’s funny because I just said that wine tasting is not only is with the tongue and with the palate but it’s also with your nose.

Natalie: It’s all in the nose.

Jeff: It’s too, right, yes.

Natalie: Very good Jeff.

Liza: That’s pleasant.

Natalie: Yes, absolutely. Isn’t that beautiful?

Jeff: But just taking in the bouquet, I can sense what you’re telling us about this being a lighter wine.

Liza: Wow.

Natalie: Because you are such quick learners.

Liza: I know right, I put a lot of study into this.

Jeff: It’s been a lot of hard research getting to this.

Liza: Yes.

Natalie: Absolutely and Liza you’ve just taken a piece of a Canadian Mozzarella, all 100% Canadian Cow’s milk. Now try the Riesling and see if it changed and Jeff don’t mind your reach go ahead if you want to try.

Jeff: Which one are we looking at here?

Natalie: Liza’s trying the mozzarella, right down in front.

Liza: Right that.

Jeff: Ah, right down there good.

Natalie: Though you can try any of those and you might…

Liza: Every time, it seems a bit smoother.

Natalie: Exactly.

Liza: Is that right?

Natalie: It does because the protein and fat and the cheese work with the acidity of the wines. The acidity in the wine is like a silver knife cutting through that fat.

Jeff: It really is, yes.

Natalie: Yes, isn’t that nice?

Liza: We’re already getting down to the wire on the time and I’m sure we have some amazing wines here.

Natalie: Okay, absolutely. We have Nova 7 from Nova Scotia this is slightly sweet.

Liza: Oh Nova Scotia?

Natalie: Nova Scotia, yes!

Liza: I didn’t know that they were into wine.

Natalie: They have 17-18 wineries and here let’s give you a bigger pour.

Liza: There you go.

Natalie: You lucked out, Jeff?

Jeff: Yes.

Liza: And what kind is this?

Natalie: This is a light Italian Frizzante. It is that style of honey of honeysuckle and slightly sweet. It’s not a dessert wine.

Liza: I smell sweet.

Natalie: Yes, but if you pair that with a Feta cheese that’s really salty or blue cheese, you’ll find sweet meets heat or salt.

Jeff: Yes.

Natalie: And they work really well together. So again you can try the cheese then try back to the wine and back to the cheese and…

Jeff: … and we have time for one more.

Natalie: Alright, an Ice cider from Quebec, made from apples.

Jeff: Ice cider, how sweet is that? Ice wine and cider?

Natalie: It is very sweet and this is what you want for blue cheese or cheddar. We have some Balderson cheddars there. We have a smoky one and they actually make cheeses design for wine.

Liza: Oh I like it.

Natalie: We have a white wine and red wine. This piece is gorgeous and would work well with your blue cheese.

Jeff: Natalie, great to see you and unlike true wine professionals we weren’t spitting out, we’re just consuming this, yes.

Liza: Yes, no.

Natalie: No, you’re so thorough, I respect you for that.

Jeff: Thank you.

Natalie: Alright cheers!


Posted with permission of Global TV





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