4 Great Wine and Cheese Pairings from an Expert Sommelier

Whether you’re hosting a party and want to have a sophisticated spread for your friends, or if you want to unwind from a stressful day with a glass of vino and some cheese, we’ve spoken with an expert sommelier and have some great wine and cheese pairings to share with you.
First, a few notes on pairings… there are three types of pairings when it comes to wine and cheese:

  • Pairing by Opposites — this is when you pair a wine and cheese with opposite flavor profiles, like pairing a bold wine with a subtly-flavored cheese.
  • Pairing by Similarities — this is when you pair wines and cheeses with similar flavor profiles.
  • Pairing by Region — this is when you pair wine and cheeses the originate from the same region.

Sommelier Mindy Trafman from LUSH Wines and Spirits, helped us host our first Resident Appreciation Event of 2013 at 3130 N Lake Shore Dr and shared some fantastic wine and cheese pairings with us that we HAD to share with you.

All of these wines and cheeses are between $10-35 and each pairing is perfect for parties, special occasions, or if you want to spoil yourself!
Pairing #1 — Bele Casel Prosecco with Triple Cream Cheese

This dazzling Prosecco is from Italy. It’s sparkling characteristics may remind you of champagne, but… here’s some wine trivia for you… the only wine allowed to be called champagne has to be sourced from the Champagne region of France. [Other varietals of sparkling wines include Riesling and Prosecco.]
While there are millions of types of Proseccos, this particular bottle was named one of the best in the world! And, after one taste you’ll understand why. Your palette is immediately hit with fruity flavors of Asian pear and white peach and finishes with a creamy mousse-like texture. It’s sparkling and absolutely delicious.
For this wine, a perfect pairing is some Triple Cream Cheese [literally made with 75% butterfat!] and pear paste. The creamy, buttery cheese and fruity pear paste compliment the fruity and creamy notes of the prosecco.
Pairing #2 — Secret Coast Sauvignon Blanc with Farm-Fresh Goat Cheese

From the opposite side of the planet, this pairing features Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand.
Before you sip this wine, be sure to take a minute to smell its rich aroma and note the sweet and herbal notes it exudes. This beautiful wine has bursts of grapefruit and orange zest, as well as grassy, herbal notes.
To offset the citrus bursts, this wine is best paired with farm-fresh goat cheese. The chalky-like texture of the creamy goat cheese is an opposite of the brightly-flavored wine.  Opposites definitely do attract with this delicious pairing.
Pairing #3 — Koehler Magia Nera Red Wine with Bleu Cheese Drizzled with Buckwheat Honey

Moving from the whites to the reds, we begin with this Cabernet-Sangiovese blend. Even if you’re not a fan of red wines, this one is a must-try… it could convert you over to reds!
Again, before sipping, take a moment to inhale the deep oaky notes from this wine. Its taste is rich and deep, with flavor profiles similar to cherries and blackberries.
For the rich flavor of this exceptional wine, it’s best pair this wine two ways. First, with dried cherries and walnuts. Both the cherries and the walnuts compliment the fruity and nutty, oaky flavors of this wine. Then, follow up that pairing with the rich and tangy flavor of bleu cheese drizzled with buckwheat honey. It’s astonishing how these two pairings will have two different affects on your palette. This is a good reminder to have fun with your wine and try pairing it with different things!
Pairing #4 — Zestos Garnacha with Manchego Cheese 

For our final wine in this exceptional tasting and pairing, we go to Spain to get one of Wine Spectator’s highly-ratest Spanish reds: Zestos.
This red wine is not for the faint of heart! Its rich and deep aroma will warn you an explosion of flavor is about to hit your palette. Some would describe this wine as being deep, dark, and even “inky.” The most dominant flavor profile is that of blueberries… rich and succulent.
For this pairing we don’t travel too far, as we pair this exquisite Spanish wine with the subtle but delicious Manchego cheese, a cheese made in the La Mancha region of Spain from the milk of sheep of the Manchega breed. This is a great regional pairing that is sure to please.
Final Thoughts
When asked what advice she’d give to those new to wine or interested in exploring it, sommelier Mindy Trafman encouraged us, “Learn from wine every day! Life is too short to not drink well. Have wine with every meal!”
We couldn’t agree more and this delicious wine tasting and pairing was a great reminder that there is depth and character to wine that is worth exploring. We’re definitely ready to continue in our wine education!
Many thanks to Mindy for sharing these great pairings, for our concierge service LIFECROWD for helping us host the fun, and cheers to our residents at 3130 who joined us — and to all of the other great residents of Planned Property Management!


This is one of many Resident Appreciation Events we will host in 2013 for our residents. We own and operate 28 apartment buildings in some of Chicago’s best neighborhoods: Lincoln Park, Lakeview, and Gold Coast. With amenities like business centers, rooftop pools, onsite laundry, parking, and more, there’s a chance we can have exactly what you are looking for in a Chicago apartment. Book an appointment with us online or call (773)-570-3744 to learn more. One of our expert leasing agents will give you a tour of our apartments and can take you on an online tour if you’re unavailable to see it in person!

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