No “wine conneseuir” is deemed that title until you’ve had yourself a wine and cheese party! Red wine is almost always the first option that comes to mind when you think of this dynamic duo. While a properly aged Pinot Noir with the right cheese can be a treat, there is so much more when it comes to wine and cheese pairings. In fact, many wine experts actually prefer white wine with most cheeses. Find the best wine to drink with cheese.
Don’t know much about wines yet to pair with your cheeses? Check out “Beginner Wines that You Need to Try” for some tips on varieties of wine.
Which Wine Goes With Which Cheese?
Beginners may not know where to start but once you’ve had enough wine and cheese pairings, the choices will come more naturally to you. For now, it is okay if you are wondering whether to start with the cheese or the wine. In this piece, we have broken it down in a way that makes it easier for you to buy the cheese that goes with the bottle of wine you have at home. Each cheese gets a section where we talk about the wines that go with it.
Goat cheese is paired with Sauvignon Blanc. In the summer, the cheese also goes well with Provençal Rosé. If you do get this in the summer, then you might want to enjoy the sunny afternoons on a cheese picnic. You could try a variety of red wines with fruity highlights. Beaujolais is a good choice for these types of occasions.
Some of the popular blue cheeses include Roquefort, Stilton and Gorgonzola. The classic pairings for blue cheese are often sweet varieties such as Port and Sauternes. If you are in the mood for something else, you can always switch it up and try Sweet Sherry or Sloe Gin. You may also like to know that blue cheese pairs well with stout beer.
Soft cheese comes in a range of consistencies so that you have the softer varieties that are spreadable such as Philadelphia Cream Cheese or the semi-soft types such as Camembert and Brie, which are white rinded cheeses. These go with a red with fruity notes such as a Beaujolais or Pinot Noir. Lovers of Rosé can also have that with soft cheeses.
The range of hard cheeses includes types of cheese such as cheddar, Manchego, Parmigiano-Reggiano and Comté. These are some of the simplest cheeses to find wine pairings for. Try and get one of those medium-bodied reds such as Rioja or Cabernet Sauvignon. This is one of the best pairings you can pick for hard cheeses. You could also try Chardonnay with cheddar.
Learn more about Rioja in our article List of 5 Best Spanish Table Wines!
These are commonly referred to as “stinky cheeses” and include Reblochon, Epoisses, Taleggio and Vacherin Mont d’Or. They have a smell that is quite penetrating, so there is not much in the way of wine pairings. Here, you can try the odd crispy tasting white wine. A Belgian-style ale would be strong enough and better for this cheese than a red.
Want a list of which white wine to pair this cheese with? Look up “How Long Does White Wine Last?” to see which white wine to use.
Ten Popular Wines and Types of Cheese to Pair Them with
- Rioja – pairs well with Manchego and other types of sheep cheese
- Port – goes with blue cheeses, such as stilton
- Rhône and other reds from southern France – these are proper all-rounders when you have a cheeseboard of French cheeses
- Chardonnay – pair this with buttery cheddar
- Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and blends of Bordeaux – these pair well with varieties of hard cheeses, such as Gouda or cheddar
- Pinot Grigio – this pairs well with any type of mild cheese from Italy. You will enjoy this combination most with a platter of antipasti
- Chianti – pecorino and parmigiano are some of the cheeses you can have with this wine
- Champagne and other types of sparkling wine – these can be had with Chaource or Vacherin Mont d’Or
- Sauvignon Blanc – pair this with feta or goat cheese. You could also use cheese with herbs and garlic
- Pinot Noir – this can be paired with Camembert and Brie.
Get to know “Best Grapes for Making Wine” to get more knowledge on the kinds of flavors you’re going to be tasting with these cheese pairings
How To Wine Pair Like a Pro
Sometimes, the best wine pairings aren’t what you expected. These kinds of results may keep you from trying your own suggestions. The best pairings for your mood/tastes/preferences depend on your own musings more than anything else. Here are some top tips that should make the matching more than just the type of wine and cheese.
More Ingredients to Add
This, again, is an aspect of wine pairing that depends heavily on how you feel at that moment. You can have bread, crackers, fresh or dried fruit, olives, nuts or cold meats. What are you in the mood for? A pairing of manchego cheese could do with some quince paste (membrillo). Blue cheese, on the other hand, can be had with walnut bread (crumbly). Having some extra ingredients to add to the array of tastes can be a good way to balance wine with the cheese and make it more of a treat. Try brie cheese with Beaujolais and cherries. The notes of cherry on the wine will combine well with the fruit.
Use White Wine For Your Pairings Whenever You Can
We know that red wine may have more devotees than white but, in this case, you are better off going with varieties of white. Wondering how this could be? Think about some of the fruits you would ideally have with cheese and your mind immediately goes to pears and apples. These are the same kinds of fresh flavors you can expect from white wines. Some of the well-known pairs for white wine are crisp whites of the Jura region and comté and Sauvignon Blanc and goat cheese. We also encourage you to try a combination of cheddar and oaky Chardonnay– it’s a pleasant surprise for your taste buds.
Keep Tested Matches Intact, but Feel Free to Take Them a Step Further
According to your analysis, what makes these pairs work so well? For example, that pair of Port and stilton tells you that sweet reds work well with blue cheese! Following this logic, you could also pair Valpolicella or Amarone with gorgonzola.
Sensational wine and cheese pairings often come out of a trial and error process that often has more misses than hits. It takes thoughtful consideration, and a good imagination, to come up with unique pairings. Even so, do not allow your fears to be an inhibitor; go ahead and see what you can come up with.
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