Wine and Cheese Pairings
Posted in: Wine

10 Can’t Miss Wine and Cheese Pairings

Matching the correct wines and cheeses together can be a daunting task. With so many tiny details and combinations to consider, where do you even start? A successful wine and cheese pairing often requires an experienced and refined palate, but it is possible to get lucky from time to time.

However, we don’t want you stumbling through the many lackluster pairings in an attempt to accidentally find an exquisite one. Luckily for you, we took the time to list out some tried and true wine and cheese pairings to help you get started.

 

Cabernet Sauvignon and Aged Cheddar

Why it Works: Let’s start with two certified classics. Cheddar is a a bold, brash cheese with very strong flavours. It needs a wine that will compliment it without competing with it, and Cabernet Sauvignon is just the man for the job. The drier the wine, the better this combination works.

Similar Pairings: Nero d’Avola and Asiago, Montepulciano and Parmigiano-Reggiano

 

Champagne and Brie

Why it Works: They say opposites attract and this wacky pair is no exception. Brie is a softer, fattier cheese, while Champagne is acidic and bubbly. This satisfying contrast is sure to leave you wanting more.

Similar Pairings: Cava and Delice de Bourgogne, Chardonnay and Camembert

 

Pinot Noir and Gruyere

Why it Works: A good Pinot Noir is characterised by fruity or earthy notes, which works very well with a nuttier cheese, like Gruyere. The two parties in this pairing work well together in a 50/50 partnership, complimenting and enhancing each other’s flavours without overpowering each other.

Similar Pairings: Zweigelt and Emmental, Pinot Noir and Sharp Cheddar, Beaujolais and Jarlsberg

 

Sauvignon Blanc and Goat Cheese

Why it Works: Goat cheeses are very, very subtle and require a partner that will compliment it without drowning it out. Sauvignon Blanc is a refreshing, citrusy white that makes for the perfect candidate. The acidity of this summery wine also does an excellent job cutting through the fattiness of the cheese, resulting in a very refreshing pairing overall.

Similar Pairings: Chablis and Cremont, Chenin Blanc and Chevre, Sauvignon Blanc and Monterey Jack

 

Malbec and Edam

Why it Works: Malbec is a very smooth, velvety red that typically has a medium or full body. The wine is also characterised by its strong flavours and aroma, and thus requires a cheese that can stack up. One might think there would be too much competition between the two, but the end result is actually quite pleasing.

Similar Pairings: Monastrell and Tomme, Shiraz and Gouda, Malbec and Vintage Cheese

 

Chianti Classico and Pecorino Toscano

Why it Works: Chianti Classico is a very dry, smoky Italian red wine that needs a partner that can stack up. The symbiotic relationship that these two embody is well worth a taste. The Pecorino compliment’s the full-bodied wine’s tannins, while the Chianti Classico reveals herbal flavours in the cheese that aren’t detectable when the cheese is solo.

Similar Pairings: Brunello di Montalcino and Grana Padano, Sangiovese and Parmigiano-Reggiano, Chianti and Tomato Basil

 

Vintage Port and Stilton

Why it Works:

The longer a Port ages, the sweeter the flavours become. It’s a delightful dessert wine that requires a contrast to really enhance the flavours. That’s why we’re pairing it with a nice, smelly Blue Stilton. It may sound weird, but a good rule of thumb to remember is that sweet wines pair well with stinky cheeses.

Similar Pairings: Oloroso Sherry and Torta del Casar, Ice Wine and Beenleigh Blue, Sauternes and Roquefort

 

Provence Rose and Havarti

Why it Works: In this case, both the wine and the cheese boast very delicate, mild flavours. The subtle, fruity flavours in the wine partner up with a smooth, soft cheese for a delicate, graceful dance on the palate.

Similar Pairings: Rosado and Ricotta, Pinto Noir Rose and Fontina, Sweet Rose and Colby Jack

 

Riesling and Raclette

Why it Works: A drier Riesling can bring some stone fruit flavours and acidity to the mix that pairs very well with a mellow, silky cheese, like Raclette. This pairing is also quite aromatic, so make sure not to eat it too quickly.

Similar Pairings: Riesling and Havarti, NZ Sauvignon Blanc and Mild Cheddar

 

Moscato d’Asti and Gorgonzola

Why it Works: Remember our previous golden rule about sweet wines pairing well with stinky cheeses? This partnership also falls into that category. This pairing is significantly lighter, if you’re looking for a break from the heavier dessert wines that are typically used as well. The Moscato d’Asti serves as a form of elegant palate cleanser to give the heavy Gorgonzola a fresher finish.

Similar Pairings: Prosecco and Asiago

The pairings on this list are certainly a wonderful start, but they’re far from your only options. Experimenting with different pairings can be a fun activity, even if it does take you awhile to find one that works.

Consider the flavours and characteristics of the wines and cheeses on this list next time you find yourself in front of a charcuterie board at your local vineyard. You might just stumble across something magnificent.

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