top of page

An Elevated Way To Try Wine and Cheese Pairings

A guide to pairing wines and cheeses to create the ultimate gastronomic experience, inspired by the Kaas Bar.

I think we can all agree that wine and cheese are the perfect match. Typically, my go-to experience for enjoying this wine and food pairing is over a wine and charcuterie night with my girls. It’s always a great way to taste a variety of wines, cheeses and other foods. Then, I discovered an even better way to try wine and cheeses and this was at a "Kaas Bar." Let me describe it to you. On my travels this summer in Europe, I made a stop in the Netherlands. While sightseeing around Utrecht with my friend, we came across discovered a cool restaurant with an enlightening gastronomic experience for trying wine and cheese pairings. This place was called KAAS BAR, which means Cheese Bar in English. Of course, the Dutch are known for their cheese, so a cheese bar is very fitting for their culture.

Bookmark this blog, it’ll come in handy for your next wine and cheese night.

They had these cute small cheese dishes going around their bar on a conveyor belt, which I thought was so clever. Each cheese dish had interesting garnishes like sauces, nuts, and chocolate with a recommended wine pairing. This concept was so refreshing for me because so many restaurants don’t have wine pairing suggestions for their food, nonetheless, educate their servers on wine pairings or have a sommelier to provide recommendations. Realistically, you'll only get proper wine pairing suggestions if you go to a fancy Michelin-star restaurant.


Kaas Bar Menu

Going back to my experience at Kaas Bar, the menu was split into 4 categories – soft cheeses, medium cheeses, hard cheeses, and blue cheeses (as shown in the image above – sorry, there was only a dutch menu available online). This is typically how cheeses are categorized, so understanding which cheeses belong in each category will help you with deciding what wines and garnishes pair best. I’ll get into detail on this by breaking down the menu and describing how the pairings match each other. As well, I’ll share my review of the pairings I tried from the menu to give you some ideas. Bookmark this blog, it’ll come in handy for your next wine and cheese night.


Soft cheeses

Truffle Brie paired with Campolungo Barbera d’Asti

The soft cheeses included creamy goat and cow rind cheeses like Brie, Chèvre, and Witte de Konïng (similar to camembert). Each cheese dish is garnished with accompaniments like honey, truffle, chocolate, nuts, and granola. The common types of wine pairings for soft cheeses are full-bodied, aged, dry whites like Chardonnay and deep ruby, luscious dark fruit, dry reds like Ruby Port.

this pairing was harmonious when the rich, earthy flavours meshed with the smooth textures on my palate

For this category, I tried their Truffle Brie garnished in mascarpone and truffle tapenade and truffle krumel with Campolungo Barbera d’Asti (an Italian red wine). Together, this pairing was harmonious when the rich, earthy flavours meshed with the smooth textures on my palate. As well, the truffle gave a nice added crunch to the soft Brie. The Campolungo Barbera d’Asti was a lightly aged red wine with notes of red and black fruit, hints of oakiness and soft tannins. This was a winner pairing, no complaints.



Medium cheeses

Fiore paired with Tawny Port

Medium cheeses included semi-soft to semi-hard mild red flora-type cheeses like Stella, Fiore, and Remoudou. The garnishes ranged from white chocolate to lemon curd, onion chutney and figs. The recommended wine pairings in this category were dry, golden-coloured white wines with tropical fruit, floral, and honey notes like Gewürztraminer, and rich, structured, full-bodied red wines with notes of ripe black fruit and cloves like Tawny Port and Bhilar Tinto (from Rioja).

the complexity of flavours that came with this pairing made it feel like I was tasting all the flavours I find in a charcuterie board with wine

I ordered the Fiore garnished with figs and balsamic vinegar, paired with Tawny Port. This cheese made from cow’s milk had a buttery flavour that complemented the touch of sweetness from the garnishes. As well, the sweet, ripe plum, dried fruit, and nut notes of the Port accentuated the flavours of the fig and balsamic vinegar. Overall, the richness and smooth texture of both the wine and cheese were delightful on my palate. All in all, the complexity of flavours that came with this pairing made it feel like I was tasting all the flavours I find in a charcuterie board with wine in one pairing.


Hard cheeses

Bierkaas paired with Arneis

For hard cheeses, you’ll find matured, full-flavoured, firm cheeses, some of them mixed with herbs and spices like Bierkaas (Beer Cheese) and Komijn Overjarig (Cumin cheese). The garnishes are also very flavourful like tutti frutti (colourful confectionery of candied fruits), lemon zest, and miso. The wine pairings ranged from white wines similar to the pairings for medium cheeses to orange wine to savoury, oaky red wines like Cabernet Sauvignon and Montepulciano.

a mix of tangy, salty, and spicy all at once.

The one I tried was the Bierkaas garnished with mustard and miso, paired with Arneis (a northern Italian white wine). This pairing was incredibly yummy. The Bierkaas with the garnishes were a mix of tangy, salty, and spicy all at once. The Arneis was light-bodied with green fruit and citrus notes that nicely toned down the pronounced flavours of the cheese dish and left my palate refreshed. Superstar pairing here, highly recommend you try this at home (if you can find beer cheese).


Blue cheeses

Lastly, blue cheeses include soft, creamy, intense-flavoured, stinky cheeses with mould like Blauwe Ader Geit (Blue Vein Goat cheese) and Blauwe Klaver (Blue Clover cheese). The garnishes included accompaniments like chocolate, quinoa, and nuts. Sweet white wines with tropical fruit notes like Moscato and long-aged, earthy, full-bodied red wines like Madeira Verdelho (a vintage port) and Montepulciano were the recommended wine pairings.

pair blue cheeses with sweet wines like Ice Wine or Ports.

Full disclosure, I did not get to try any cheese and wine pairings in this category, but I know that their pairings are right on the money. Ideally, I would pair blue cheeses with sweet wines like Ice Wine or Ports.


To Conclude...

All in all, this experience has inspired me to opt for tasting specific cheese dishes with wine pairings over my go-to charcuterie board with many wine varieties. As well, visiting a place like this has improved my knowledge of wine and cheese pairings. I hope this blog has inspired you as much as this experience has inspired me. Highly recommend you try an experience like this in your area.


Recent Posts

See All

Comments


bottom of page