Sharp cheeses have a strong, fully developed flavor. The longer a cheese ages the sharper it becomes. After aging for a minimum of nine months cheeses are considered to be sharp. Once they age for at least 15 months cheeses are considered extra sharp. Sharp cheeses can be paired with a variety of food and wine to bring out their delicious flavor.
Blue cheese is a tangy cheese that can be served on salads or be paired with fruits such as pears, raisins and figs. It can also be served with sparkling wines, Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel or Port. This cheese has a sharpness to it in addition to its slight peppery flavor.
There are many varieties of cheddar cheeses that are sharp. Varieties range from sharp to extra sharp. For an extra kick, try white cheddar. Cheddar can be used in endless ways, including as a pizza topping or in salads. Sharp cheddar can be served with crackers, apples or on its own.
Limburger is best known for its aroma as well as its strong flavor. This German cheese is best served with other strong tastes such as onions, sausages or rich, dark bread. It should be served with a full-bodied red wine or beer.
Asiago cheese comes from Italy. It can be mild in flavor, but it can also be sharp as it ages. One indication that the cheese is aged, and sharp, is the outer wax coating. As the cheese ages, the wax changes from a clear or white to black. Asiago can be grated over pasta or potatoes. It is also wonderful in quesadillas and on pizza. This cheese can be served with Cabernet Sauvignon or a Merlot. It pairs nicely with apples, pears and grapes as well as with crusty breads.