Knowing what wine to pair with fermented cashew cheese is perhaps somewhat of a challenge for those new to plant-based options. Wine and cheese have forever been the ultimate pairing for get-togethers, dinner parties, and just hanging out. There’s no better combo. When it comes to wine and cheese is it’s as if they were created to be enjoyed together; we’re not arguing with that.
Some things, though, do change. A vegan lifestyle has given us a chance to see the world differently, for our health, and earth’s sake.
This doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy wine and cheese. There are amazing vegan-friendly options for both, and today we’re discussing some of them. Here’s all you need to know to pair wine with vegan cashew cheese, your new favourite plant based cheese.
Is Wine Vegan?
First things first. Wine is fermented grape juice, right? It rarely has additives, and most of the fine wine you can find today is made with organic grapes. In essence, wine is naturally vegan; it’s on our side, but there are a few things to consider.
To make wine, grapes are picked, crushed, and fermented. The resulting wine is naturally cloudy and still has fruit pulp and other organic stuff floating around. This causes winemakers to clarify, or ‘fine’ the wine to turn into the clear, pristine wine that comes out of the bottle.
The most common fining agents aren’t vegan: casein (milk protein), gelatin (animal protein), albumin (egg whites), and isinglass (fish bladder protein). And although these proteins don’t end up in the wine, you’re better off with wines clarified with non-animal alternatives like bentonite clay and activated charcoal, also called vegan wines. All of this is important to understand when you are wanting to work out what wine to pair with fermented cashew cheese.
What About Vegan Cheese?
Regular cheese, as you know, is not vegan, but many alternatives mirror authentic cheese both in flavour and texture. Today we’re telling you about fermented cashew cheese.
Fermented, or ‘cultured’ cashew cheese will become your favourite cream cheese alternative; it is palate-coating, cheesy, funky, and deeply satisfying. It all starts with cashew butter, or cashews ground to a paste, but what makes this vegan cheese special is the fermentation process.
Healthy bacteria, called probiotics, convert the cashew spread in the same way they turn cream into yogurt. The process adds cheesy aromas and a lovely tang to it, making it one of our favourite vegan cheeses around.
How to decide what wine to pair with fermented cashew cheese?
When it comes to cheese and wine pairings, we should start by saying that vegan cheese tastes, feels, and smells like real cheese, so there’s no reason to treat it differently.
Today’s featured cheese, the fermented cashew cheese, is soft and creamy, and it has a tangy, nutty taste, which makes it a perfect pairing for nutty, creamy wines.
The name of the game is Oak Aged Chardonnay. The queen of white grapes develops a smooth texture and aromas reminiscent of nuts and golden apples, and its enticing acidity complements the tartness in the cultured cheese, making it taste better. (as if it wasn’t delicious to begin with!)
Other vegan wine options are dry Sherry, and white wines from the French Rhone Valley made with the Marsanne and Roussanne grapes. Champagne-like sparkling wine is a fabulous pairing, too, as the bubbles and acidity clean your palate after each cashewy bite.
Vegan red wine will taste great with your vegan cashew cheese, especially the smooth and silky Pinot Noir for its earthy aromas reminiscent of forest floor.
There you have it!
Wine and cheese are back together, as they should. Better still is knowing the best type of wine to pair with fermented cashew cheese. They’re now part of the vegan repertoire of tasty food and drinks to receive friends and family, to open our appetites before a heartfelt dinner, and to enjoy over a warm conversation.
Superb vegan wine and extraordinary plant based cheese are here to stay, and they’re amazing together.