If there's anything that elevates a regular party into "fancy adult" territory, it's breaking out the wine and cheese pairings. Of course, wine and cheese are both amazing in the first place. Chardonnay and Netflix are a partnership for the ages, and we can all agree that cheese is the greatest food in the history of mankind, hands down. (Exhibits A-Z: Pizza.)
They may be superstars on their own, but together, wine and cheese become something ridiculously amazing — basically, they're the Brangelina of food. But how are you supposed to know which wine goes with what? If you're anything like me, you're the type to get stressed out about picking the pairings and just end up drinking all the wine while you're trying to decide. While that can be an incredibly entertaining way to spend your evening, especially for your sober roommate who comes home to find you surrounded by half-eaten cheese sticks and an empty bottle of Pinot Noir, it doesn't exactly help you achieve that "ever-so-sophisticated adult" image you've been striving for.
Fortunately, that's where Fix.com comes in to, well, fix things with an infographic explaining everything you need to know about wine and cheese pairings from around the world. First off, there are four kinds of cheese: Soft, semi-soft, semi-hard, and hard.
Soft cheeses are often made from raw milk, and they tend to have a mild flavor — perfect for lighter wines like Chardonnay.
Semi-soft cheeses are more flavorful and have a firmer texture than soft cheeses, and they're easier to use in cooking. These go well with medium-bodied wines like Cabernet Sauvignon.
Semi-hard cheeses are much like semi-soft, but their texture is more crumbly. This type of cheese is often paired with sparkling wines or reds like Merlot and Shiraz.
Hard cheeses generally have a strong flavor and firm texture. This lends itself well to full-bodied wines like Merlot, but their saltiness often goes with sweet wines as well.
Check out the infographic for specific suggestions below, but remember that they're exactly that: Suggestions. If you feel like drinking Riesling with your microwaveable mac and cheese tonight, go for it — it might make your foodie friends shudder in horror, but isn't that part of the fun?
Images: George Dolgikh/Fotolia; Courtesy of Fix.com (5)