Jasper Hill Harbison Wine Pairing

I just received a lovely Jasper Hill Harbison as a present. Has anyone here had this cheese, and if so, what was your favorite wine pairing?

I have a limited selection of whites at the moment, so will probably fall back on a Sauternes/Barsac this time. I am, however, looking for ideas for future pairings since this cheese will be in my future again.

Harbison is a little difficult to pair (I adore the cheese), but a friend has recommended a rose sparkler here:


Harbison is basically similar (stylistically) to Vacherin. Personally I wouldn’t pair it with a sweet wine. I’m not saying it won’t work, but it wouldn’t be my first choice. Aged Pinot or Burgundy. Pinot-heavy champagne. Some say Jura whites or reds. There’s a thread on Rush Creek Reserve (that also discusses Harbison) in the Epicurean Exploits forum that might have some advice.

Based on rather a lot of research for a France-specific project yet to see the light of day, but that I’ve also tested and confirmed with Harbison, the best pairings include pinot-dominated zero dosage Champagne, white Burgundy with some heft, and sous voile whites from the Jura (but pure savagnin works less well than chardonnay or blends). And here’s a good one you might not expect: Loire cabernet franc, which brings out different aspects of the cheese.

Other matches that worked with Mont d’Or, but that I haven’t yet tried with Harbison, include Bandol rouge, Patrimonio, Condrieu, Sancerre rouge, and Cheverny rouge. (Again, this was a France-specific project, which is why all the wines I’m mentioning are from there.)

Harbison is so delicious that you might not even care about wine until the wheel’s gone.

That said, I’d go with a nice, well-rounded Chard that isn’t too oaky, a lighter-style pinot noir/bourgogne rouge that again isn’t oaky or Champagne.

Thank you for the recommendations!

I see that my current celler selection is sadly lacking in anything remotely suitable. I will see if the Harbison can live in the fridge until I can find something similar to what has been recommended.

I foresee a winter filled with Harbison pairings as all of your suggestions are very appealing.

Thanks also for the article and Beserker thread links…I look forward to reading :slight_smile:

Any excuse to eat more Harbison is a good one.

Is this cheese similar to rush Creek reserve?

Yes and no…very similar texturally, but Harbison shows a more fruit-based profile than savory. Jasper Hill’s Winnimere is far closer to RCR, imho.

First, let me say that I am addicted to Harbison.

Second, I’m something of a fussbudget about wine and food matches and it irks me when people are oblivious to bad matches. But I find Harbison more adaptable with wines than most similar intense cheeses. I’ve found it works pretty well with a lot of reds. Never really tried it with whites, but I imagine that would be even better.

Just because I drink a ton of Kabinett and Spatlese I have tried Harbison with both. Not the most satisfying match.

Chenin blanc on the rich side (that’s generally a good rule) or demi-sec side. I’m in mind of a Boudignon Anjou or Mosse Savennieres or maybe a Huet demi-sec. Another option is a Mâcon on the rich side, something from Thévenet like Dom. Bongran or Roally.

got it - that’s helpful. they all seem available now so will try.

Dry Riesling, Gruner, or Gewurz. Fresh Jura whites.

I took my own advice with 2011 Bongran and it was outstanding.

We had this with rose sparkling over thanksgiving before the feast and then my nephew and I finished it as an after dinner treat with two different stickies. Sparkling better but the cheese is so damn good. If you go dessert wine make sure it has a good acid backbone(barsac?) and less sweet is better

Thank you for even more suggestions and pairing experiences. I appreciate the variety of suggestions and producers since my semi local wine shop has a somewhat limited interesting (as opposed to tasteless get plastered plonk) selection.

Has anyone tried Harbison with a French Negrette based wine? I have several bottles of Château Coutinel’s 100 % Negrette wine…so just curious.