Jackson Rohrbaugh, Master Sommelier & Co-Founder of Crunchy Red Fruit

Cheese and wine go together like burgers and rootbeer. There’s a reason that volumes have been written on the subject. I’ve put together some of my favorite pairings, both on and offbeat.

Tomme de Savoie is a super complex, semi-firm cow’s milk cheese from the French Alps. The supercharged, savory nuttiness means we need a salty wine; this sherry-like yet unfortified wine made by Ximénez-Spínola called Fermentación Lenta will do just the trick. It’s nutty, saline and downright delicious.

Humboldt Fog may be the most iconic goat’s milk cheese outside of France. Its bloomy rind, tangy flavor, vegetable ash core, and soft texture beg for something tart and bright, with good fruit. I love the Sauvignon Blanc that Kivelstadt Cellars makes, their “Family Secret” bottling is affordable, piquant and delicious.

Doritos Nacho Cheese chips aren’t slowly aged in a mountain cave, but they’re one of the most familiar flavors to most consumers. My absolute favorite pairing is sherry. Yes, Doritos and sherry are basically my personal brand. The silky texture and savory twang of Valdespino Palo Cortado Viejo CP goes incredibly well with Doritos. Even better if you’re already indulging in green, if you know what I mean.

Kirkwood Farms Dinah’s Cheese available at DeLaurenti’s

Kirkwood Farms’ Dinah’s Camembert is one of my favorite Washington cheeses. Aromatic, ripe and stanky, this camembert is a perfect soft cow’s milk cheese. I always go with bubbly here for a textural pairing. Analemma Blanc de Noirs is a great Pacific Northwest option, but Arnaud Lambert Crémant de la Loire is pretty outstanding too.

Beecher’s Curds are a perfect picnic food this time of year; protein rich, compact and scrumptious, you can find them almost anywhere. With the salty fattiness of Beecher’s Cheddar, I adore rosé. One of my favorites this time of year is Collestefano Rosa di Elena, a brisk, Italian coastal bottling with notes of fresh herbs and tart raspberry.

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