What Wines And Cheese Go Together
Cheese typesFreshExamples include cottage cheese, cream cheese, curd cheese, queso fresco, and fresh goats milk chèvre. Such cheeses are often soft and spreadable, with a mild flavour.
Wines: Crisp, dry and young, Albariño, Soave, Pinot Blanc, Verdejo, Arneis, Sauvignon Blanc, young ChardonnayYoung, fruity unoaked reds, Cabernet Franc , Pinot Noir, GamayDry Rosé
Wines: Dry traditional Sparkling wines, light bodied Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Gruener Veltliner, Pinot BlancLight bodied, fruity dry red, Pinot Noir, Dolcetto, Barbera, Gamay
Medium hard semi-soft to firmGruyere, Swiss, Gouda, edam
Cheddar, colby, Monterey Jack, ParmesanWines: traditional style sparkling whites, Oaked ChardonnayReds with some age and maturity, nebbiolo, Sangiovese,Rioja, Bordeaux blends, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec
BlueWines: Noble rot and late harvest wines, Sauternes, Barsac, Riesling Beerenauslese and Trockenbeerenauslesefortified wines, Port, Sherry
Easy cheese, squeeze cheese, canned cheeseWines: Box, jug, neighbors homemade wine
What Wine Pairs Best With Soft Bloomy Rind Cheeses
Bloomy Rind Cheeses include all of the cheeses that look like Brie and Camembert, which are usually round, and contained within a fluffy white edible rind. The cheese holds its shape when whole with its rind, but without its rind, can be soft and spreadable on bread or crackers. They are described as buttery, creamy, rich, and mild in flavor, unless they are aged for lengthy periods of time. One of the all-around favorite bloomy-rind cheeses from California is Cowgirl Creamery’s Mt. Tam, which has an earthy, almost faint mushroom fragrance.
Wine Pairing for Bloomy-Rind Cheeses is similar to the guidance for fresh cheeses. Light bodied, whites are a good place to start, but as some cheeses in this category age for longer they become more pungent, so acidic, fruit-leaning Chardonnays, marsanne, rousanne, and vioginier become interesting. Some bloomy-rind cheeses can stand up to light-bodied reds like Pinot Noir and Gamay. Sparkling wine is my personal favorite pairing with this category of cheeses.
r-image: Groundwork Counoise wine by James Collier for California Wines
Chianti Classico And Pecorino Toscano
Why it works: Another great grows together, goes together pairing, the hard, aged texture of a Pecorino pairs wonderfully with the booming tannins of a Chianti Classico. The savory secondary notes in a Chianti bring out a hidden herbal flavor in the cheese, with the wines black fruit holding up perfectly against the boldness of the Pecorino.
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Heres Why Not All Wine And Cheese Are Compatible
Are cheese and wine really best buddies?
The truth is, NOT ALWAYS!
Even the most expensive and the most magnificent of red wines can hinder the flavors of cheese if you are not careful.
The tannins in wine may interact with the butterfat, rind, and lactic bacteria of cheese. They will overwhelm your palate and stifle the aromas of cheeses.
This often result in bitter aftertaste and can cause major disappointment for both cheese and wine lovers alike.
If you want to avoid an unpleasant experience, check out and try these wine and cheese pairings below instead
Classic Wine And Cheese Combinations Guidelines
Though there are no strict rules when matching the right wine with the right cheese, due to the strong flavors in certain cheeses and wines, there are a few guidelines.
- Match by intensity of flavors – Big, intense wines generally match well with cheeses that have strong flavor characteristics and light, fruitier wines generally match well with creamier, mellow cheeses.
- Pair hard cheeses with red wine.
- Pair soft, creamy cheeses with white wine.
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How To Pair Wine To Cheese
A lot of people have said that cheese pairs best with white wines. This is because white wines lack tannins which tend to be tough on cheese. White wines are also acidic, which combines well with most cheeses. But if you prefer red wine, pair cheese with a wine that is light-bodied. If you know your wine well and are looking for a good match, try these suggestions:
Cabernet Sauvignon – Cheddar, Colby, Gouda or Roquefort.
Merlot – Gouda, Gorgonzola, Brie, Jarlsberg or Parmesan.
Syrah – Cheddar, Edam, Parmesan and Gouda.
Pinot Noir – Feta, Monterey Jack, Muenster, Swiss Or Brie.
Malbec – Taleggio, Manchego and Hard Cheeses like Gouda and Fontina.
Chardonnay – Brie, Goat Cheese, Parmesan and Provolone.
Zinfandel – Gruyere, Gouda, Asiago, Muenster or Blue Cheese.
Pinot Grigio – Ricotta, Feta or Camembert. Sauvignon Blanc – Fresh Mozzarella, Asiago, Feta and Goat Cheese
Pairing Rose Wine With Cheese
With tasting notes ranging from floral to citrusy, light, crisp rosé wine makes an excellent foil for fresh and soft-ripened cheeses, especially in summers heat, but it can shine alongside aged wheels, too. Seek out dry, tart bottles rather than sweet varieties for best results.
Emphasize a pale pink rosés light and floral qualities by pairing it with fresh or brined cheeses like mozzarella, halloumi, and feta. Match darker shades that offer juicy, fruity flavors with aged Alpine styles, goat Goudas, sheep cheeses, and soft, creamy blues.
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How Do You Pair Wine And Cheese
This brings us to today, when we can source seemingly countless varieties of wine and cheese from all over the world. If the prospect of hitting on a winning combo seems mind-boggling, dont worryweve got some wine and cheese pairing tips and recommendations to bring a method to the madness.
Here are 5 simple guidelines you can use when planning to pair cheese with wine, beer, and spirits, plus a few of our favorite combinations to get you started.
How To Match Wine And Cheese
And like a Bordeaux lover anxious to learn exactly from which château the wine he is drinking comes, true cheese enthusiasts demand to know which of the seven East Midland dairies licensed under the EU’s Protected Designation of Origin scheme has produced the Stilton they are eating. Both wine and cheese embody a place, a people and a sense of terroir.
But, as we reach for the oatcakes and pour another glass, there are some rules to remember: don’t assume only red wines can be drunk with cheese there are some wonderful matches with whites. Also, mature, strong cheeses generally work better with bigger, fuller wines and fresher, lighter-tasting cheeses with youthful wines. However, bear in mind that the wide variety of cheeses and cheesemakers particularly new artisan British cheeses mean one cheese may be very different from another, even if it is the same style or comes from the same area. And finally, don’t be afraid to experiment!
With that in mind, here are some recommendations:
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Which Beers Go Well With Cheese
Since beer is thought to predate wine, its likely our foundational pairing beverage. But the similarities dont end there. If you think about it, beer is made from grain, which is a grass, and milking animals eat grassso it just makes sense that pairing beer and cheese would be a breeze.
You can put the same pairing guidelines youd use for wine into practice with beer. Match intensities, seek out contrasts, and look for geographical affinities. For versatile options that will play well with several cheeses, you can always pick up a mix-a-six and taste your way through several different styles. Another way to think about it is if a beer has session or all day in the namegenerally meaning its easy-drinking and lower in alcohol contentitll suit a variety of cheeses.
How To Pair Cheese With Beer And Spirits
Cheese and alcohol pairing isnt just limited to wine. Just about any boozy beverage, including cocktailsplus nonalcoholic ones like tea and kombuchacan be enjoyed alongside a tasty wedge or three. Heres a rundown of how to serve cheese with beer as well as spirits like gin, whiskey, and amaro. Happy pairing!
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A Few Final Cheese Pairing Considerations
Youre practically a pro at this point, but there are a few more things to consider when it comes to pairing wine and cheese. Before introducing the wine, try the cheese by itself to fully perceive its special characteristics. Remember to engage your senses and evaluate all aspects of the cheese its smell, texture, color, and taste. Is it sweet, sour, salty, bitter, or umami? How does it feel on the tongue?
Wine and cheese pairing is a skill that requires practice and study. But once you know the basics, you can have a lot of fun experimenting with what works .
Matching Wine And Cheese Via Region
There’s a saying in cooking, “If it grows together, it goes together.” This can be true in matching wine and cheese as well. However, matching wine and cheese by region isn’t a failsafe and doesn’t guarantee that the two will marry well together, but it’s a good general guideline to use. So, if you’re drinking an Italian red, pair it with an Italian cheese like Parmesan, Asiago or Gorgonzola. If you’re drinking a nice French white, choose a French cheese like Boursin, Camembert, or Roquefort.
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Wine And Cheese Pairing Guideline #: Choose A Star Either Wine Or Cheese
Choose the star of the show, either the cheese or the wine, and let the other be the supporting cast. As we know in other types of situations, having two or more elements competing for attention can end up in a dramatic clash, and this definitely applies to cheese vs wine. If you and your crowd are more cheese/food people, then choose interesting cheeses first, and pick subtle whites or one white and one light-bodied red wine that won’t steal the spotlight from the cheese. If your guests are more interested in the wines, build a cheeseboard around a few mild- to medium-flavored cheeses that won’t overpower any of the wines. Save very strong washed-rind and blue cheeses for another time when you know you will be serving a very specific wine made for those cheeses.
image: James Collier for California Wines
What Cheese Pairs With Pinot Noir
The lighter notes of a Pinot Noir make it a versatile wine for pairing with cheese. Try pairing Pinot Noir with the nutty flavours of a medium-firm cheese like Gruyere or a hard cheese like Parmigiano Reggiano. You can Also pair a bloomy Camembert cheese with Pinot Noir or a mild washed rind cheese like Fontina.
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Pairing Secret #: Texture Match
I believe the single most crucial factor in creating a successful pairing is pairing cheese and wines in the same weight class. Because we’re striving for balance, pairing a light and creamy goat cheese with a massive, dense red wine would be a serious fail. Instead, try these harmony pairings that I have matched for their compatible textures:
Young, fresh soft goats milk cheese with a delicate and aromatic white like Sauvignon Blanc or Riesling
Semisoft cows milk cheese with a medium-bodied white like Chardonnay
Funky washed-rind cheese with a rich, floral and honeyed white such as Roussane or Viognier
Alpine-style cheeses like Gruyere, Emmenthaler, or Comte with a fresh and fruity red like Pinot Noir, Barbera or Gamay
Hard sheeps-milk cheese with a rich and full-bodied reds like Cabernet Sauvignon or Grenache/Syrah blends
How Regions Influence Cheese Pairings
Records dating back hundreds of years indicate that wine and cheese from the same locations have been served together for generations. In fact, historians have noted an obvious correlation between the geographical origins of wines and cheese when it comes to historical pairings.
From a historical context, this makes plenty of sense. Many cheese and wine varietals have grown up together, oftentimes on the same farm or within a small village.
Its precisely because of this close proximity, regional recipes for wine, cheese, and other local dishes were paired. Passed down from generation to generation, these pairings continue to exist centuries later. The roots of regional pairings go no deeper than those in Europe.
French Wine Regions
The French Brie region, for instance, has long been noted for its Brie cheese production, as well as many tannic wine varietals, such as Beaujolais. This is one of the most popular wine and cheese pairings, and has been for centuries.
Italian Wine Regions
Italy, another major wine and cheese producer, boasts a rich wine and cheese pairing history with strong ties to regionalism. For instance, Italian Asiago cheese is often recommended alongside Italian Chianti or Brunello, which originated near the same region.
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When In Doubt Choose A White Wine
White wines tend to be more forgiving with cheeses, so if youre not sure what to pair with it, just stay safe with a white wine. Red wines can potentially be too overpowering, especially with mild cheeses. Whites like a Zind-Humbrecht Gewürztraminer, The Seeker Riesling, Don Olegario Albariño, sparkling Bouvet Ladubay Brut from the Loire Valley, or a Chenin Blanc are great safe wines.
Wine Advent Calendars To Get You Into The Spirit Of The Season
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In many households, wine and Christmas go together like mac and cheese. You could have one without the other, but put em together, and youve got something much better.
Wine Advent calendars are a fun way to integrate wine into your holiday festivities! Whether you give one as a gift during an ugly sweater party or treat yourself to something new in the days leading up to Christmas, an indulgent wine Advent calendar is sure to spread joy throughout the holiday season.
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All For One One For All
If all that sounds too complex, and you just want one wine to match a whole cheeseboard, Basset advises that you look to fortified wines the ultimate after-dinner companion.
I would immediately suggest amontillado Sherry, Rivesaltes, tawny Port or Madeira. They work very well with all cheeses as they arent too delicately flavoured and their taste profile is similar to the accompaniments you will serve with the cheese: nuts, dried fruit, the spices in chutney. Plus, they are crowd-pleasing wines.
Beyond These Wine And Cheese Pairing Tips Go With What You Like
Wine and cheese have gone hand-in-hand for centuries. But since there isnt just one type of wine or a single kind of cheese , getting the right pairing can be a bit tricky. Just as wines can vary immensely in color, acidity, and complexity, cheeses span a range of tastes and textures. The mouthfeel of each cheese variety depends on moisture content, fat content, acidity, and age.
Ultimately, the goal of wine and cheese pairing is to find a bottle that wont overpower the cheese and vice versa. Start with tried-and-true combinations like those listed above to see what works for you. From there, have fun mixing things up to discover a delectable pairing that suits your tastes.
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Manchego Cheese And Wine Pairing
Need a suitable Manchego cheese and wine pairing? Youâre in good shape with a Rioja, Cava, or Verdejo. Manchego is a rich, crumbly cheese thatâs known for its grassy, zesty flavor. As such, it needs an equally intense wine to stretch out its flavor profile.
Rioja is similar to Merlot with its chokeberry, elderberry, and cherry flavors, plus high tannin and acidity levels. One may think that such a strong wine would overpower the cheeseâs characteristics, but in this case, it allows Manchegoâs tartness to shine through.
On the lighter side, Cava wine makes a good pair with its almond and lemony tastes. This sparkling white or rosÃ© is a lighter-bodied, low calorie wine and offers potent citrus notes that amplify the cheeseâs existing taste.
Verdejo is another light and crisp wine that offers a fennel, peach, and grassy taste. Normally, flavors like this may be too strong for a cheese-centered meal, but in this case, they accentuate Manchegoâs zesty characteristics.
Best Wine And Cheese Pairings
While thereâs no single wine that works great for all cheeses, itâs difficult to go wrong with Champagne, Pinot Grigio, or Merlot. Cheeses range from tart and tangy to sweet and creamy, so itâs important to choose a wine that matches.
Champagne has nearly universal appeal for cheese pairing because itâs a low acid wine and comes with neutral flavors. This creates room on the palate for the cheese selection to shine through. When both the drink and food are too salty or rich, it overwhelms the palate and makes flavors difficult to discern.
Pinot Grigio is another white wine with prominent pear, honeysuckle, apricot, and green apple tastes. The tartness of these flavors is a counterpoint to the soft creaminess of many cheeses.
Additionally, Merlot is a crowd favorite and provides cherry, chocolate, and berry flavors. This combination of sweet, indulgent tastes offers a marvelous counterpoint for the sharp, sometimes spicy character of cheese.
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Pairing Red Wine With Cheese
The powerful profile of a bold red wine will drown out all but the most robust cheeses, so pair fuller-bodied wines like Malbec, Syrah, and Cabernet Sauvignon with firm, long-aged cheeses like Comte, cheddar, Gouda, and Gruyere that can stand up to that flavor.
Light- to medium-bodied reds like Merlot, Pinot Noir, and Cabernet Franc are much more flexible. Reach for these bottles when seeking a safe option to serve alongside a cheese board that features a variety of styles. For extra decadence, incorporate craft chocolate into your red wine and cheese pairing plan.