In Menu Highlights

Serve a Blue Cheese Dessert, and Add Some Snap to that Supper

One of my favorite things to serve after a meal is a block of blue cheese, some crackers, and a bottle of delicious dessert wine. Serve your loved ones a sweet wine and blue cheese dessert; if they aren’t blown away, then you should probably check their pulse.

This is such a simple course to execute and it’s sure to be the talk of the dinner table.  If you love to hear your guests talk about how awesome you are, please try this immediately if not sooner.  

Hannabells, Tarentaise, and Middlebury blue cheese dessert

A Hannabells, Tarentaise, and Middlebury blue cheese dessert

The Why, the What, and the How of a Blue Cheese Dessert

My circle of friends is mostly comprised of judgemental food snobs, Food Network wannabes, “Chopped” enthusiasts, frequent fine diners, and ride or die hospitality professionals. That being said, if I bring a B-lister dish to an A-lister supper, I will be ridiculed and scoffed at for months. There are rules that should be considered in order to avoid boring and or gross wine and food pairings.

One of those rules states that matching the intensity of flavor of the wine with the intensity of the flavor of the food will result in fabulousness and delight. Not doing so will cause one to overwhelm the other. Blue cheese and dessert wine are equally intensely flavored.  

Contrasting different flavors creates surprise and complexity in your mouth.  The salty, pungent, and sometimes barnyard-esque flavor of blue cheese creates a contrast to the richly fruity characteristics of dessert wines. The stars are aligning.   

Have you considered acid and richness? Acidity in a wine will help cleanse the palate of rich, fatty, mouth-coating food. The refreshing wine washes away the cloying fattiness of the food and, once again, a dimension of contrast is created. Elation ensues!   

With so many different options for a wine and blue cheese dessert, how do you know which will go together?

Different varieties of blue cheese have different levels of flavor intensity. To me, Valdeon from the Spanish Pyrenees and Roquefort from France are two of the most pungent blue cheeses available. On the other end of the spectrum, Gorgonzola Dolce from Piedmont and Lombardia in Italy represents a much milder style of blue cheese. 

The same can be said for dessert wines. They range from slightly off dry and subtle to syrupy sweet and intense. Match the intensity of flavors in the wine with that of the cheese. Also, pairing a blue cheese with a dessert wine from the same region will almost always be a magical choice.  

An experienced, good wine shop should also be able to help you with pairing ideas. Likewise, you could join us and try our paired tasting menu

Wine and Blue Cheese Dessert Pairing Suggestions

Gorgonzola Dolce with Moscato d’Asti

Roquefort with Sauternes, Lupiac and/or Barsac

Valdeon or Cabrales with Pedro Ximenez Sherry

Bayley Hazen Blue with late harvest Riesling or Gewurtztraminer

Dessert doesn’t have to involve baking. Make life easy on yourself and blow the minds of your dinner guests. Feed your family and friends blue cheese and dessert wine after dinner.

You’re welcome.  


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