Wine and cheese have been a match of two staples for centuries. Today there is an ever increasing number of options for both wines and cheese when it comes to pairing decisions. It can be a little difficult to know where to begin.
Here is a handy guide to give you a place to start for pairing your favorite wines with soon-to-be favored cheese – or vice-versa.
A few tips to keep in mind:
Pairing wines and cheeses from the same region is a “safe” place to start wine and cheese combinations. A good Italian Chianti and a potent Parmesan will make for nice combination. 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, or perhaps a silky Pinot Noir. A salty cheese and a sweet wine (i.e. Blue Cheese and Port or a nice Ice Wine).
Wine and Cheese Pairings Suggestions:
Beaujolais – Brie, Camembert, goat cheese
Cabernet Franc – Brie, Camembert, Cheddar, Fontina, goat cheese, Gorgonzola, Port Salut, Swiss
Cabernet Sauvignon – Camembert, Cheddar, Colby, Gorgonzola, Gouda, Parmesan, Blue cheese, Roquefort
Chardonnay - Brie, Camembert, goat cheese, Gouda, Gruyere, Parmesan, Provolone
Champagne - Brie, Camembert, Cheddar, Colby, Edam, Gouda, Gruyere, Parmesan
Chenin Blanc – Camembert, goat cheese
Chianti – Fontina, Mozarella, Parmesan or Provolone
Gewürztraminer - Camembert, Muenster, Swiss
Merlot - Brie, Camembert, Cheddar, Gorgonzola, Gouda, Gruyere,
Pinot Blanc - Brie, Camembert, Feta
Pinot Gris – aged Cheddar, Asiago, Edam, goat cheese, Gouda, Mozarella, Muenster
Pinot Noir – Brie, Camembert, Feta, Gruyere, Monterey Jack, Muenster, Port Salut, Swiss
Port – Blue, Gorgonzola
Riesling – Brie,Colby, Edam, Gouda, Monterey Jack – if the wine is sweet and fruity, maybe a late harvest (maybe try some Blue)
Sangiovese – Blue, Fontina, Mozzarella, Parmesan, Provolone
Sauvignon Blanc - Asiago, Brie, Cheddar, Feta, goat cheese, Gruyere
Shiraz/Syrah – Cheddar, Edam, Gouda, Parmesan
Zinfandel - Asiago, Blue, Feta, goat cheese, Gouda, Gruyere, Muenster
Keep in mind that these are just recommendations and not RULES! Feel free to experiment with your own pairings and see if there’s a good combination whether listed here or not. Remember, if it tastes good to you then you have found a winning combination.