Wine and Cheese Pairings for Summer
Here in the Pacific Northwest, we live for summer! The thought of warm weeks ahead is what gets us through the grey and misty months of winter. We don’t dare leave the NW in the summer months, because it’s glorious! We stay close to home, with heaps of delicious produce and vibrant flowers growing everywhere we look.
On the topic of summertime... it’s no secret we love picnics, wine and cheese boards this time of year. Just thinking about the best pairings makes us want to do a happy dance! A few weeks into the summer, we packed our baskets on a blazing hot Portland day and headed to the coast! We hit Cannon Beach (yes, the town with the rock from the Goonies!), picked up some iced lattes and headed up to Ecola State Park in search of an epic spot to set up our picnic … Gosh did we find the perfect spot!
Perched on a bluff overlooking Haystack Rock, a lighthouse, and isolated beaches, we set up our spread.
The coast was perfectly sunny with a warm salty breeze cascading up the cliff to us. Perfect views to shoot some photos and share with you some of our favorite wine and cheese pairings, so you can take them along to your next picnic or alfresco gathering. Scroll down for great wine and exhilarating views of the Oregon Coast!
Summertime is the perfect time for rosé! It’s crisp and refreshing, and a powerhouse of a food pairing wine.
This rosé is a blend of Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah grapes and offers a crisp finish with notes of peach and sugared orange peel. We promise this makes the best lunch at the park!
2. Light bodied sparkling white
At home, in the U.S., no cheeseboard is complete without a Vermont Creamery’s cheese! This time, we paired their Cremont with one of our go-to summer wines, Avinyo’s Petillant.
Petillant is a vi d’agulla, the Catalan name for prickly wine, which means it has a very light tickle of a bubble. It’s perfect for the hot summer days because it is low in alcohol, super fresh and spritzy and has beautiful notes of honeysuckle and citrus with a fresh minerality. Plus, that label is seriously the cutest, wouldn't a string of these bottles make a perfect centerpiece?!
How could we ever have a summer wine pairing list without Chardonnay?! This one from Lev Livet, made in McMinnville, Oregon —we love our local wines!— goes perfectly with the Flagship Reserve Cheddar from Beecher's in Seattle , giving this pairing beautiful notes of lemon/citrus that lift the flavor, while finishing with the most delightful creaminess. How's that for the Chardonnay lovers?
4. Light bodied red
If you’re anything like us, you tend to shy away from red wines during the warmer months. The heaviness and higher alcohol content that comes with red wine is usually not what our body calls for during the summer. However, we wanted to share the one red that we'd absolutely drink during a summer picnic: Beaujolais.
Beaujolais is a region in Eastern France, where this wine is produced with the Gamay grape, which makes it light in body, fresh and fruity. It can be served slightly chilled (read: 55-58 degrees), if you prefer.
The best cheese for Beaujolais is a Cascadia Creamery's Glacier Blue. This is probably my favorite blue cheese of all time! It's salty and mild with the most incredible color and texture. (Bonus points for Cascadia Creamery: they are local to us; they have high sustainability standards; and their cheese is bomb!)
This pairing is seriously made in heaven!
Now you know our go-tos for summer picnics! We’d love to know yours, share in the comments! And, If you’re near the coast, head to the beach with chilled bottles of wine, take in the views, embrace the cool breeze, and come back here to tell us all about it!