Cider is the perfect cheese pairing. Full stop.
Fine, American heritage ciders, with their strong acidity and firm backbone, are the natural pairings for the growing range of world-class American cheeses. Cider rarely competes but instead brings out the best in just about any cheese, from the mildest brie to the strongest taleggio.
Here’s a simple cider + cheese pairing guide for the next time you are standing at the cheese counter. Perfect partners that never go wrong. That said, the options are endless. Experiment with pairings that intrigue you. Sip, munch and see!
#1 Soft, Creamy Cheese
Cheeses with soft, bloomed rinds - like brie or Cypress Grove’s Humboldt Fog - are delicate and creamy and so can be easily overwhelmed by a strong wine or hoppy beer. Sparkling dry ciders like Redbyrd’s Celeste Sur Lie match the creamy decadence of the cheese while refreshing your palate, so you can keep nibbling away.
#2 Nutty Hard Cheeses
These buttery cheeses - like alpine cheese or Manchego - are creamy yet firm, with savory, caramel flavors. They pair brilliantly with ciders that have a strong tannin backbone. Dry still ciders made from russeted apples, like Liberty’s Stonewall, are loaded with ripe apple flavors and vanilla notes and match these cheeses in nuttiness, texture and earthiness.
#3 Strong and Wonderfully Stinky Cheese
Funk is good! Especially when balanced with the right cider. Properly known as washed rind cheeses - like an Italian Taleggio or its American counterparts - they are creamy and full of herbal, barnyard flavors. Match that funk with Tilted Shed Ciderworks’ Graviva, a dry, petillant blend of Gravenstein and traditional cider apples that accentuates the cheese’s natural wildness.
#4 Blue Cheese
The powerful earthy flavors of blue cheeses pair best with something equally intense, like Slyboro’s Ice Harvest Ice Cider. Rich and intense, ice cider hits the palate with enough sweetness to provide balance to a decadent-on-decadent experience.
We hope these tips are both handy and delicious. Maybe you’ll be inspired to up your hosting game with a new twist – a cider & cheese pairing evening! Who knows… you may discover the next great pairing. If you do, let us know. Be sure to keep trying & tasting.