How To Choose A Good Cheap Wine To Pair With Cheese
I love hosting people for fun evenings and have been doing so for years. However, whereas as a young graduate it was easy and affordable, my friends and I now have more expensive tastes. We can no longer get by on cheap alcohol and celery!
Nowadays, a good evening includes a cheese board along with some delicious wine pairings. Good cheese and wine are known for being expensive. You can’t put Kraft Singles on a cheese board and pair it with box wine.
However, that does not mean a cheese and wine evening need to break the bank. Even when times are a little bit tough, you can host an affordable cheese and wine evening that will impress.
While you can’t skimp on the cheese, you can find cheap wine that tastes almost as good as the more expensive options. And if you are not friends with a bunch of sommeliers, this shouldn’t be a problem.
Here is what you need to know about selecting cheap wine.
Know your grapes
Many people name wines without really knowing what they're talking about. They will speak about a Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon as if these are brands, whereas they are actually types of grapes.
Of course, this does not mean that all Merlots are the same. There are some wineries that do a really bad job of turning good grapes into wine. However, if you know what type of grapes you and your friends’ favorite wine is made from, you can start looking for cheap options that are more than good enough.
Choose local (if possible)
Some of the best wine regions might be nowhere near where you live. You may be tempted to buy wines from Bordeaux because you know that is where great wine is produced. However, you are going to be paying a premium not only for the quality, but for import costs and taxes as well.
Find wine produced in local wineries to try. You can find excellent quality at a much more affordable price.
Expensive producers with affordable wines
Most of the time, avoiding the big names is a good idea. You're paying a premium for their renowned quality, in addition to what’s probably an expensive region. However, some of the most expensive wineries also have cheaper options.
The price might imply low quality, but big names are not going to risk their reputations by selling bad wine. It won’t be as good as the premium options, but it will be more than good enough for a cheese and wine evening.
Mix it up
If you really want some of the best wines to go with your cheese, you can choose to splash on a couple of great bottles while supplementing them with some cheap options. You will pair the best wines with cheese, but use the cheap wines as top ups and for casual drinking.
Again, unless you are friends with sommeliers they are not going to mind. You can have a great evening of tasting, with some good cheap wine to last you the rest of the night.