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Wine served with cheese has been a popular combination for hundreds of years. One popular type of cheese that is used for this purpose is brie, a soft cheese that pairs well with many types of wine. Brie and wine are best enjoyed together when both are served at the proper temperature and with complementary foods such as crackers, fruit and bread.
One of the most well-known French cheeses, and the best types are made with at least 60 percent butterfat. A quality brie will have a ripening guide printed on the package, listing when the cheese was made as well as a "best by" date. A ripe wheel of brie has a buttery, rich taste and a creamy texture.
The taste and texture of brie is best when it is served at room temperature. When you plan to serve brie, it is recommended that you remove it from the refrigerator a couple of hours in advance. The brie should slowly come to room temperature but should not be left out so long that it becomes warm and runny.
Serving temperatures of wine depend on the type of wine. In general, white wines should be served at a temperature of 48-58 degrees Fahrenheit (9-14 degrees Celsius). Red wines taste best when served at a temperature of 65-68 degrees Fahrenheit (18-20 degrees Celsius).
Many wines, both red and white, pair well with brie. Serve brie with cabernet sauvignon, pinot noir, chardonnay, pinot blanc or sparkling wines and champagne. A general rule for serving brie and wine together is to either have a balance with similar flavors or emphasize the contrasting elements of the brie and wine.
When serving brie and wine, pour the wine into the proper type of wine glass. There are glasses designed for white wine, glasses for red wine and flutes for champagne. The correct type of glass will bring out the aroma and taste of the wine.
Slice the brie into individual wedges. The rind of the brie is edible, but not all people enjoy the taste and texture. The decision to remove the rind is based on personal preference.
Brie and wine are best served with complementary foods. Many people serve brie with water crackers, a crusty French bread or fruits such as apples or grapes. These foods bring out the best aspects of a good brie, and they taste good with wine.