Pairing Wine and Cheese – Parmigiano


October is American Cheese Month — a time when we celebrate delicious and diverse cheeses and the farmers, cheesemakers, retailers, cheesemongers and chefs who bring them to your table.

Here at The Little Nell, we celebrate local cheese by serving cheeses from the Avalanche Cheese Company, made in nearby Basalt, and we also love to pair cheese with delicious wines. We asked our wine team to share their favorite cheese/wine pairing suggestions in honor of Cheese Month, so we’ll be posting their thoughts/pairings throughout October. We hope you indulge in a wedge/bottle soon!

Vilma Mazaite, Assistant Food & Beverage Director and Advanced Sommelier  

Cheese and wine are simply meant to be together.

There are a lot of different schools out there about which cheese to have with which wine. Generally, reds are good with sharper and harder cheeses; while soft or semi-soft cheeses go better with whites or bubbles. A good guide to pair wine with cheese would be to follow the philosophy that what grows together goes together.

I had Parmigiano Reggiano recently with Ca’ Montanari ‘Opera’ Lambrusco di Modena Secco, Emilia-Romagna, Italy. Parmigiano cheese comes from Emillia Romagna, and so does Lambrusco, which is a fruity and slightly fizzy red wine. The saltiness of the cheese goes so well with the ripe cherry and strawberry flavors of the wine. Plus Lambrusco is fresh and bright, and it has great acidity that makes parmigiano’s nutty and crunchy flavors simply pop.

I recently had the cheese with balsamic jelly, which you can find in some specialty grocery stores, and I ate it with Lambrusco of course. The combination of it all made one of the best food and wine memories I ever had.



Next week, read Master Sommelier Jonathan Pullis’ favorite wine/cheese pairing. Have a question about pairing wine and cheese? Leave it here, or post it on Facebook.