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Fruit, cheese and wine... 'berry' good!

The key to pairing cheese, fruit and wine is in the balancing of fats, acid and tastes. Summer pairings call for lighter, fresh cheeses, such as Chèvre goat cheese, Brie, or bleus and other aged cheeses.
These summer-friendly cheeses - often encased in a rind - bring out the natural sweetness of summer fruits such as melons and peaches. And remember, you only need a thin slice of cheese so as not to overwhelm the taste of the fruit. Wines should also be on the lighter side, with such varieties as Chardonnay, Syrah or a fruity Garnacha from Spain.

Following are a few of our favorite fruit and cheese pairings:

  • Try Bing cherries with Goat Cheese and nuts. A goat cheese sorbet with berries or cherries is also a refreshing and unique dessert in the summer.
  • Fruits and berries can easily be soaked, dunked or dipped in alcohol to further complement the flavors of cheese and to create a more decadent dessert. Simply choose a wine or spirit that would also complement the cheese.
  • Dip strawberries in melted, low-fat Brie cheese (yes, you can call it cheese fondue). Or try them with bleu cheese or in a salad with goat cheese.
  • Blueberries - a great source of antioxidants - are excellent with goat cheese.
  • Try blackberries, raspberries or boysenberries with Brie or Camembert and a few basil or mint leaves.
Cranberries not only combat urinary tract infections, but they also are a natural probiotic, supporting healthy bacteria that grow in the gastrointestinal tract and aiding in digestion. Serve them in salads with goat cheese.

This summer, shake your head when it comes to the traditional ice cream cone. Then shake it up with your own unique pairings of fruit and cheese.