Paul and I enjoyed a very nice bottle of 2002 Barbera with an antipasti platter of cheeses, olives, and smoked peppers. It was a fun exercise in which cheese and Barbera wine combinations we preferred. The cheeses that were represented were Rembol, Sharp smoked cheddar, Tuscan cheddar, Sage Derby, Jarlsberg Lite, Goat, and Brie.
We preferred the Barbera with the Rembol, Tuscan cheddar, Brie, smoked peppers, and olives. The Sage Derby was ok if you like the flavor of sage. Barbera really magnified the flavor of sage in the cheese. I particularly like sage so I enjoyed this pairing. The smoked peppers brought out the fruit flavors of the wine and the salt in the olives softened the tannins in the wine.
The Sharp smoked cheddar overwhelmed the wine. The Jarlsberg Lite made the wine taste more acidic because of the cheese having less fat. The goat cheese tasted more acidic with the wine. What is your favorite wine and cheese pairing?