Delicious Red Wine And Cheese Pairings
Cheese is the best accompaniment for red wines, but the success of this combination depends on how well the flavors of this two compliment each other.
Wine and cheese is a combination as old as bread and butter. Both wine and cheese have a very long history, and although wine connoisseurs claim some standard wine and cheese combinations, pairing cheese with wine still remains purely personal. Both are produced by processing two natural products, grapes, and milk, respectively. Each grape variety produces a unique wine that has its own characteristic color, flavor, strength, and aroma.
Napa Valley Red Blend + White Cheddar
Red blends often get a bad rap as being cheap or poorly made, but the truth is, most wines you drink are actually blends. I find red blends from California to be easy-drinking, approachable, and simple to pair with food…what more could you want?
This 2017 Napa Valley Red Blend from Prince and Pedro is a big and bold mix of Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Malbec, Petit Verdot, and Merlot. Its deep ruby-purple in the glass, with a nose full of black cherry, plums, blackberry pie filling, vanilla, cocoa, cedar, and a touch of black pepper.
On the palate, its an explosion of fruity goodness, without being sweet. The tannins are there but approachable, and the acid is a nice medium. This is a bold and jammy wine that I can see myself cozying up with on the couch.
With this big blend, I wanted something salty to really amplify the fruit-forward quality in the wine. I thought white cheddar might do the trick.
The white cheddar I chose is semi-soft and sharp, which I thought would work well to bring out the fruit that I love so much in this wine. Its smooth like the wine, but its got enough edge and acid to hold its own.
After tasting this cheese and going back to sip the wine, the tannins have completely smoothed out, the acid holds up to that of the cheese, and I feel like Im drinking a liquified blackberry pie that couldnt be more delicious.
10/10 recommend this pairing for a cozy night in.
Pairing Cheese With Zinfandel
Popular as the new world grape, this American grape variety produces wines that are high in alcohol. However, their high alcohol content is well balanced with the bright color and the strong fruity and spicy flavors.
Zinfandel wines can be paired with a wide variety of cheeses. Saltier cheeses, especially blue cheese, make for an excellent choice to go with this sweet red wine. Asiago, Blue, Feta, Gruyere, and Muenster are all definitely worth a try with this popular red wine.
Don’t Miss: How To Make Mead Wine
Red Wines Pairing Guidelines
Although it is believed that whites match different cheeses better than reds, nothing bans to experiment and pair the types of the world s best cheese with red wine, and find fabulous combinations.
Cabernet Sauvignon Wine Pairings
This is a full-bodied and rich-flavored red wine, rather assertive and tannic, with a fine blackberry tint. Cabernet Sauvignon food pairing includes meat dishes and mostly hard cheeses, such as Asiago, Cheddar, Manchego, Parmesan and Pecorino.
Malbec Wine Pairings
Malbec is a soft wine with a berry and rather spicy touch, though its flavor characteristics greatly depend on the region where it is produced. It pairs well with Asiago, Manchego, Mimolette and Taleggio.
Merlot Wine Pairings
Merlot is soft and fruity. It can be complemented successfully with pungent blue cheeses, Camembert, Gouda, Gruyere, and Pecorinos.
Pinot Noir Wine Pairings
Light and delicate, with a slight berry smack, this is one of the noblest and the most versatile wines. It is great with meat, poultry and vegetable dishes. Pinot Noir cheese pairing varies from Brie and Epoisses to Gouda and Gruyere.
Syrah/Shiraz Wine Pairings
Syrah or Shiraz, as it is called in Australia, is a spicy wine with a large diversity of berry, meaty and peppery flavors. It goes well with smoky and rather sharp cheeses, such as Edam, Gouda or St. Nectaire.
First Know Your Cheese
Understand a little bit more about cheese. If you already know your wine well, learning more about cheese will help you pair properly. In general, you can classify cheese into four groups:
Bloomy Cheese – These have a soft rind and are creamy, like brie, robiola and taleggio.
Blue Cheese – Salty and pungent, such as cambozola, blue, stilton and gorgonzola.
Hard Cheese – Sharp and salty , like gouda, parmesan, gruyere and fontina.
Fresh Cheese – Goat, feta, burrata, mozzarella and ricotta are soft, spreadable cheeses that typically are not aged.
Read Also: What Is The Best Corkscrew Wine Opener
Syrah/shiraz And Aged Cheese
Aged cheese has intense savory flavors. Wines that are paired with them need to be equally intense and should also be rather dry. Syrah holds up well in this pairing because it is dry, medium to full-bodied, and has dark fruit and herb flavors. A Shiraz with tobacco notes works particularly well with smoked cheeses.
How To Match Wine And Cheese
And like a Bordeaux lover anxious to learn exactly from which château the wine he is drinking comes, true cheese enthusiasts demand to know which of the seven East Midland dairies licensed under the EU’s Protected Designation of Origin scheme has produced the Stilton they are eating. Both wine and cheese embody a place, a people and a sense of terroir.
But, as we reach for the oatcakes and pour another glass, there are some rules to remember: don’t assume only red wines can be drunk with cheese there are some wonderful matches with whites. Also, mature, strong cheeses generally work better with bigger, fuller wines and fresher, lighter-tasting cheeses with youthful wines. However, bear in mind that the wide variety of cheeses and cheesemakers particularly new artisan British cheeses mean one cheese may be very different from another, even if it is the same style or comes from the same area. And finally, don’t be afraid to experiment!
With that in mind, here are some recommendations:
Also Check: Where Can I Buy Wine In Plastic Bottles
Kendal Jackson Pinot Noir And Sharp Cheddar Cheese
This type of full bodied wine compliments the sharp, salty flavors of cheddar cheese. Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Pinot Noir red wine is a dark garnet gem that delivers bright cherry, strawberry and raspberry fruit with elegant earthy notes infused with cola and mild spice accents. Oak aging adds a hint of vanilla and a soft, toasty finish. Cheddar cheese is possibly the best cheese to eat with wine because its so versatile and pairs well with many different types of wine.
Cabernet Sauvignon And Aged Gouda
Cabernet Sauvignon is known for its full-bodied flavor, which pairs perfectly with the sharp yet sweet taste of aged gouda. Unlike some of the other pairings in this list, Cabernet Sauvignon and aged gouda work well together because of their similar flavors. They manage to be both similar and different enough to make for a delicious combination.
Read Also: Where To Buy Wolffer Wine
Match Lighter Wines With Milder Cheeses
Some wines are lighter in flavor and mouthfeel, while others are bigger, bolder, and more intense. The same goes for cheese, which ranges from mild and milky to pungent and powerful depending on the style.
Generally, youll want to pair lighter-bodied red wines with milder, less intense cheeses and bigger, more flavorful reds with more intense cheeses.
If you pair a fuller-bodied red with a subtle tomme or buttery bloomy rind, the wine will likely drown out the cheese completely. Conversely, a very light red such as Gamay or Pinot Noir wont be able to stand up to a really punchy blue cheese or long-aged wheel with lots of flavor.
Try pairing light-bodied reds with subtler, less intense aged cheeses like the young Goudas and tommes from Boston Post Dairy earthy sheeps milk wheels from Vermont Shepherd and even some particularly savory, full-flavored bloomy rinds.
Cheeses That Go With Wine:
Salty, hard cheeses pair well with wine, and so do soft cheeses. Again, an improptu wine and cheese party should be easy to prepare, so dont feel like you need to serve all of these.
- Gouda the perfect pairing with Cabernet
- Aged cheddar lovely with Malbec
- Manchego try this one with a sparkly wine. Also, this is a sheep milk based cheese.
- Ricotta goes well with Riesling
- Parmesan delicious with a bubbly Prosecco
- Gruyere a love fest with Chardonnay
- Brie goes well with many wines, but my favorite is Merlot
- Bleu cheese pairs well with a Pinot Noir or a sweet Port
- Feta a bright red or dry Rose, slightly sweet wine is perfect with salty feta
If youre looking for beautiful round block cheeses to fancy it up, I highly recommend Emmi Cheese!
VEGAN or DAIRY FREE OPTIONS Can we Say YAY for real food based vegan cheese?! Yes we can! These are my favorite vegan cheese to serve on cheese boards.
- Daiya Block Cheese
- Or if youre looking for a more cheddar like Vegan/Paleo cheese dip, try my vegan queso. You can definitely fancy it up to make it wine and cheese party worthy. .
Tip for BUILDING A CHARCUTERIE or CHEESE BOARD Focus on colors and combos. Ex: Orange and red . Greens and yellows . Throw it all together now and garnish with a herbs and flowers.
Need to gave this all organized for you?! I gotcha covered. Printable FESTIVE CHEESE BOARD RECIPE and INGREDIENTS BELOW! Yeaaas!
Keywords: cheese boards, appetizers, cheese and wine, healthy, holiday entertaining
Don’t Miss: Who Ships Wine To Michigan
Can I Prep A Cheeseboard In Advance
Absolutely. Ill oftentimes prep the board completely the morning of, then take the crackers and nuts off and store them in a plastic baggie, so I have the exact amount I need. I cover the board with plastic wrap and store in the fridge. When youre an hour our from guests arriving, pull it out and put the crackers back on.
You actually really do want to prep a cheeseboard at least an hour in advance, because the cheese and meats needs to come to room temperature.
Extra Sharp Cheddar & Merlot
According to Wisconsin Cheese, red wines pair better with stronger, aged cheeses, like the extra sharp cheddar. The tannins in the red wine pair well with “full-bodied, flavorful cheeses” and can serve as a palate cleanser as you sip between each bite. “Keep in mind that red wine often doesn’t pair well with fresh cheese, as the tannins and low acidity can cause fresh cheeses to taste chalky,” they recommend. So as for an extra sharp cheddar, like their Black Creek®, it will pair well with a medium-bodied Merlot.
Read Also: What Is The Most Expensive Bottle Of Wine
Malbec And Aged Cheddar
The dark, rich flavors of Malbec paired with the sharpness of aged cheddar create an amazing combination of tastes. Both the wine and cheese have complex, deep, complementary flavors. Like Cabernet Sauvignon and aged gouda, the tastes are similar yet different enough to create a surprisingly delightful combination.
Which Cheese To Pair With Your Favourite Wine
Most people like to pair red wine with cheese and thats fine – just bear in mind that there are some cheeses, as Ive suggested above, that taste better with a white wine or dessert wine so don’t be afraid to experiment.
10 popular wines and the cheeses to pair with them
1. Cabernet sauvignon, merlot and Bordeaux blends – cheddar, gouda and other hard cheeses
2. Pinot noir – brie and camembert
3. Rhône and other southern French reds – a good all-rounder with a French cheeseboard
4. Rioja – particularly good with sheep cheeses like Manchego
5. Chianti – parmigiano reggiano and pecorino
6. Port – blue cheeses like stilton
7. Sauvignon blanc – goat cheese and feta, cheeses with garlic and herbs
8. Chardonnay – buttery cheddar
9. Pinot Grigio – mozzarella and other mild Italian cheeses
10. Champagne and other sparkling wine – Vacherin Mont dor, Chaource
If you enjoyed this post download my cheese book 101 Great Ways to Enjoy Cheese and Wine for loads of other pairing ideas
Top photo ©George Dolgikh at fotolia.com
If you found this post useful and were happy to get the advice for free perhaps you’d think about donating towards the running costs of the site? You can find out how to do it here or to subscribe to our regular newsletter click here.
You may also enjoy
Read Also: How To Clean Red Wine Stains
Pairing Cheese With Pinot Noir
Pinot Noir grapes are comparatively difficult to grow, but they produce quality wine that has more alcohol, is less bitter and has a light color. The flavors of this wine are mostly described as smooth, sensual, and complex.
Its berry and floral aromas blend well with natural rind cheese. While Swiss, Brie, Gruyere, and Muenster are some of the popular cheese pairings with this red wine, the exquisite blue cheese and the washed rind type of cheese are best avoided.
Pinot Grigio/pinot Gris Camembert Brie Or Castellano Blue
Wine fermented from the pinot gris features the boldness, acidity, and structure that makes for a great cheese pairing.
Pinot grigio is the perfect wine for a cheese platter of sweet, soft, and mild creamy cheese, such as camembert, brie, or even Castellano blue. When paired with sharp or stronger aged cheese, its structure tends to get lost.
Don’t Miss: Where Can I Buy Merf Wine
Blue Cheese Wine Pairing
Some of the best blue cheese wine pairing options include Port, Sherry, and Prosecco. Blue cheese is a popular selection for dinners and snacking and goes best with sweeter wines.
Port carries flavors like blackberry, caramel, and raspberry, which mix well with the salty, spiciness of blue cheese. Sherry has a more complex taste, including flavors like jackfruit, lemon, and mushroom.
Finally, Proseccoâs aromatic, fruit-centric tastes like pear, apple, and melon cut through the moldâs signature flavor on the first sip. Each of these wines offers a taste that complements or balances the unique flavor of blue cheese.
White Wines Pairing Guidelines
Whites are generally considered a better company for a wide range of cheeses. Due to their natural qualities, white wines almost never can overpower cheese odor and taste, but complement them harmoniously.
Chardonnay Wine Pairings
Chardonnay is a dry white wine with rich creamy and nutty flavor, sometimes with apple or citrus hints. It is one of the most versatile wines and matches well both hard and soft cheeses, varying from Gruyere and Cheddar to Brie and Camembert.
Muscat Wine Pairings
Muscat is a sweet wine with lush fruitiness in its taste and a touch of honey. It pairs wonderfully with desserts and chocolate, fois gras and soufflés, as well as blue and cheddar cheeses.
Pinot Grigio Wine Pairings
This is an aromatic dry light white with a fruity bouquet of scents and an acid zest. Pinot Grigio food pairing is quite diverse, including Thai and Chinese dishes. It is ideal for soft cheeses with Mozzarella, Ricotta and Fontina among them.
Riesling Wine Pairings
Riesling is a noble classic light-bodied white wine. Its taste gets richer with age, revealing citrus, apricot and peach notes. The wine shines well with hard Gouda or Edam and soft Cotija or Mascarpone cheeses.
Sauvignon Blanc Wine Pairings
You May Like: Where Can I Buy Cheap Wine
The Serious Eats Cheese And Wine Pairing Cheat Sheet
It’s New Year’s Eve, and your guests are about to come tumbling in. You set out bowls of salty snacks and a grand platter of cheeses. There’s creamy white chèvre, a Stilton, some Brie, nutty aged Gruyère, tangy Vermont cheddar, and a splurge-worthy chunk of 4-year Gouda. With a flourish you top the platter with fruits and nuts just as the doorbell rings.
It’s time to start popping corks. There’s Champagne, of course, and let’s seewhat else? What wine goes best with all those cheeses?
The good news is that your guests will be thrilled no matter what you pour. The bad news is: it’s complicated. Pairing wine and cheese is harder than you’d think.
That’s because there isn’t just one kind of wine and one kind of cheese. Cheeses vary in moisture content, fat content, texture, flavor. Wines, too, vary in acidity, sweetness, body, and structure. Fortunately, a few basic guidelines will bring match-making success, and by midnight your cheese and wine will be arm and arm singing Auld Lang Syne.
Pinot Noir With Nutty Cheese
Pinot noir cheese pairings should be kept light. This is because if a wine is light in body, flavour intensity and tannins, youll need to choose a cheese with similar characteristics. Gruyere or Comté are two nutty-flavoured cows milk varieties that work very well with pinot noir, especially if its a glass of Cloudy Bay Pinot Noir 2018.
Recommended Reading: Is Sutter Home Wine Gluten Free
Vermentino And Fiore Sardo
Why it works: A nutty sheeps cheese, Fiore Sardo does very well alongside the more oily texture of a Vermentino. The saline flavors of both make sure that each only enhances the other, with Vermentinos citrus notes adding a fruity acidity to the fatty character of a sheeps milk cheese like Fiore Sardo .
Also try:Soave and Mascarpone, Grechetto and Fromage Blanc, or Verdicchio and Requesón.
Cheese And Wine Pairings Infographics
Although there are no universal rules to identify precisely what cheese goes with wine perfectly, cheese and wine pairing is not just a matter of personal taste. There are several useful tips worth paying attention to when you choose cheese for wine or vice versa. The main tip is to match acidity in a right way. Creamy and buttery cheeses should pair with smooth and mellow wines, while tangier cheeses match to tarter wines. Cheeses with high acidity contrast well to sweet wines, whereas wines with high acidity are finely complemented by salted cheeses. The other important thing is the strength of wine: the stronger the wine, the sharper the cheese should be served. One more rather common pattern to pair good cheese with wine of a certain varietal is to choose these two products from one region of origin. Manufactured under the same natural and climate conditions, both the cheese and wine should have complementary qualities and properties.
Recommended Reading: Is Red Wine Vinaigrette Keto