Wine and cheese have gone hand in hand for centuries. With today’s ever increasing options for both wines and cheeses, however, the pairing decisions can be staggering. So, to take a lot of the guess work out of pairing, here is a handy guide to give you a starting point for pairing your favorite wines with soon-to-be favored cheese. Keep in mind that these are just recommendations, not law. Experiment with your own pairings and see if there’s a combination, listed or not, that just knocks your socks off.
A few tips to keep in mind: Pairing wines and cheeses from the same region is a good “safe” place to start wine and cheese combinations.
For example, a good Italian Chianti and a potent Parmesan will provide a fascinating mix. Also, remember that the harder types of cheese (i.e. Cheddar or Parmesan) can handle more tannic wines. While creamy cheeses, such as Brie, typically pair better with wines that have more acidity, like a Chardonnay. Give salty cheeses a sweet wine partner (i.e. Blue Cheese and Port).
Cheese to consider: Brie, Camembert, goat cheese
Wine: Cabernet Franc
Cheese to Consider: Blue, Brie, Camembert, Cheddar, Fontina, goat cheese, Gorgonzola, Port Salut, Swiss
Wine: Cabernet Sauvignon
Cheese to Consider: Camembert, Cheddar, Colby, Danish Blue, Gorgonzola, Gouda, Parmesan, Blue cheese, Roquefort
Cheese to Consider: Brie, Camembert, goat cheese, Gouda, Gruyere, Parmesan, Provolone
Cheese to Consider: Beaufort, Brie, Camembert, Cheddar, Chevre, Colby, Edam, Gouda, Gruyere, Parmesan
Wine: Chenin Blanc
Cheese to Consider: Camembert, goat cheese, Graddost
Cheese to Consider: Look for regional cheeses to complement an Italian Chianti, perhaps Fontina, Mozarella, Parmesan or Provolone
Wine: Dessert Wine
Cheese to Consider: Crème Fraiche, Marscopone, or shake it up with a salty/sweet combo. and consider a crumble or two of blue cheese.
Cheese to Consider: Boursin, Camembert, Chevre, Muenster, Swiss, Wensleydale
Wine: Gruner Veltliner
Cheese to Consider: Blue cheese, goat cheese, Munster (the original French version)
Cheese to Consider: Brie, Camembert, Cheddar, Gorgonzola, Gouda, Gruyere, Jarlsberg, Parmesan
Wine: Pinot Blanc
Cheese to Consider: Brie, Camembert, Feta
Wine: Pinot Gris
Cheese to Consider: aged Cheddar, Asiago, Edam, goat cheese, Gouda, Mozarella, Muenster, and even Ricotta for a unique combo.
Wine: Pinot Noir
Cheese to Consider: Brie, Camembert, Feta, Gruyere, Monterey Jack, Muenster, Port Salut, Swiss
Cheese to Consider: Blue, Gorgonzola
Cheese to Consider: Brie, Blue, Colby, Edam, Gouda, Monterey Jack
Cheese to Consider: Asiago, Cheddar, Havarti
Cheese to Consider: Blue, Fontina, Mozzarella, Parmesan, Provolone, Ricotta
Wine: Sauvignon Blanc
Cheese to Consider: Asiago, Brie, Cheddar, Feta, goat cheese, Gruyere, Neufchatel, Parmesan
Cheese to Consider: Cheddar, Edam, Gouda, Parmesan
Cheese to Consider: Asiago, Blue, Feta, goat cheese, Gouda, Gruyere, Muenster