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4 Ways to Pair Wine and Ricotta

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An unripened soft cheese, ricotta is endlessly versatile. It’s easy to spread, whip and incorporate into recipes. Ricotta is one of the world’s oldest known cheeses: Its earliest incarnations have ambiguous roots around the Mediterranean, where its production method—via “recooking” whey leftover from the creation of hard cheeses—caught on among traders who would bring it to Italy. Today, most ricotta found in U.S. stores is made from milk instead of whey, or some combination of the two, and can be grainier or denser. However, both versions have a mild flavor profile that makes for worry-free pairings with a diversity of wine styles.

Freshness

Even the mass-produced tubbed stuff sold widely in American supermarkets is undeniably fresh. Complement this characteristic with a vibrant, aromatic New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, which typically boasts notes of ripe fruit and just-mowed grass that would be equally refreshing.

Neutralness

Though light in body, Vermentino can boast some big citrus- and white-fruit flavors as well as a pleasantly bitter finish. While these qualities can overpower delicate cheeses and are ill fit for those with competing strong flavors, they are a Goldilocks match for ricotta’s mild (dare we say pillowy?) profile.