Wine and cheese are always a great idea when it comes to parties and other social gatherings. Aside from that, many people also find it satisfying to throw together a large charcuterie board and look for a delicious bottle of wine to pair and enjoy the rest of the day after work. However, when it comes to choosing the right kind of wine to go with your cheese or vice versa, it can be tricky.
Matching cheese and wine together has been a centuries-old tradition, but it can still be a challenging and intimidating task. If you do your wine and cheese pairings correctly, it can be an exquisite experience. You need to consider every detail when making the pairings. Even if a bottle of wine or a kind of cheese is spectacular by itself, it does not mean that pairing them is a good idea.
If you are looking into pairing wine and cheese but don’t have any idea on where to start, you’re in the right place. Today, we are giving you some of the best wine and cheese pairings that you’ll surely want to try.
Pinot Noir and Gruyere
Pinot Noir has an ever-present red berry fruit, which is a perfect match for the nutty flavors of Gruyere, which is a medium-firm cheese. Both of them have the right amount of aroma and complexity, without the risk of overpowering each other.
Cabernet Sauvignon and Extra Sharp Cheddar
A dry red and full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon has hints of dark fruits and herbs. When you pair it with extra sharp cheddar, the red wine will draw out the bold cheddar flavors of the strong cheese. Cabernet Sauvignon is also best paired with other intense cheeses, especially those that are firm and salty.
Aged Port and Blue Stilton
Port is popular for its full body, sweetness, and bold character. To match that, you need to find a cheese that is “stinky,” like the Blue Stilton. Its pungent and salty taste matches up beautifully with a sweet, aged Port. Keep in mind that when pairing wine and cheese, the sweeter the wine, the more pungent the cheese should be.
Merlot and Garlic and Herb Cheese
Garlic and herb cheese have sharp and tangy flavors, while the Merlot is a dry red wine that is medium to full-bodied. When you pair them, the cheese will bring out notes of black cherry, black tea, and plum. Due to the dry fruitiness of the Merlot, the flavors of the garlic and herb cheese are more heavily emphasized.
Champagne and Brie
Triple-cream cheeses like Brie have softer textures, and they demand something sharp and acidic to cut through the fat. That’s why that high acid and pleasantly stinging bubbles of Champagne, when combined with Brie’s thick creaminess, is very satisfying. Also, the brioche flavor that you get in traditional method sparklers also adds a tasty bit of toastiness.
Malbec and Vintage or Reserve Cheese
Vintage or Reserve Cheese has robust flavors, and these need a red wine that can hold up against it. Malbec is a medium to full-bodied red wine that has anise, herb, and black fruit notes. Its strong flavor matches the flavors of the vintage or reserve cheese.
Moscato d’Asti and Gorgonzola
The lightness of Moscato and other sweet white wines can be a great change if you have only ever paired pungent cheese with heavy, fortified wines. Moscato d’Asti has fresh and acidic fruit flavors that clean your mouth of heavier cheese like Gorgonzola, which can leave you nice and refreshed.
Zinfandel and Jalapeño or Hot Buffalo
Zinfandel is a red wine that is dry and medium to full-bodied. It has dark jam and black pepper hints. Due to its spiciness and fruitiness, it is best paired with spicy cheeses for a bold combination.
Tempranillo and Idiazabal
These two are an example of the old saying that if it grows together, it goes together. Both of them are Spanish, and they have savory and smoky flavors that match together perfectly. The full-body found in an average Tempranillo is a great combination with the harder texture of Idiazabal. The tannins of the wine, on the other hand, contrast with the buttery flavor of the cheese.
Moscato and Muenster or Pepper Jack
Muenster and Pepper Jack both have spicy flavors, and they work best with sweet wine. Moscato is a light-bodied and off-dry white wine that is popular for its orange blossom and lemon zest notesand as well as for having aromatic flavors.
Sauvignon Blanc and Goat Cheese
Goat cheese is earthy and tart, and most are a bit of a blank slate. Therefore, the citrus and mineral notes in a French Sauvignon Blanc can bring out the wonderful herbal and nutty flavors that can be found in the cheese. Aside from that, the acidity of this wine is also a great way to cut through the heaviness of the goat cheese.
Provence Rose and Havarti
Provence Rose is a crisp wine that has a red fruit flavor. It is delicious but delicate, making it perfect to pair with a Havarti that has a mellow flavor. It complements that wine gracefully, without overpowering the taste. Aside from that, the steely minerality of the wine is also a great contrast to the smooth and soft texture of the Havarti cheese.
Riesling and Raclette
Raclette is a smooth and buttery cheese, and it is also mellow and versatile. With this, it blends well with the high acidity and stone fruit flavors of a Riesling. It has aromatic scents that bring out a subtle and surprising nuttiness in a good quality Raclette. You can consider an off-dry Riesling so that its sweetness will not overpower the cheese.
These are some of the best wine and cheese pairings that you should definitely try. So, if you are planning a party and serving cheese and wine, try to include at least one of the wine and cheese pairings we shared above. All of them are delicious, and your guests will surely enjoy them.