Four Delicious Red Wine And Cheese Pairings
Extra Sharp Cheddar: This is a simple pairing that makes perfect sense. The bold, strong flavor of an extra sharp cheddar complements a full-bodied, dry, red wine perfectly. Think about cabernet sauvignon as your wine option, though nearly all reds will do.
Jalapeno or Pepper Jack: The warm pepper flavor will bring out the warmth of your wine. This may pair especially well with something like a merlot, which has an almost cherry-like aftertaste. Plus, there is just something fun and different about eating a pepper jack cheese when compared to the other options.
Goat Cheese or Feta: A light cheese like this needs a light wine. One of the lightest reds is pinot noir. You may wish to utilize these softer cheeses as a spread or with olives to avoid having them sit too heavy on the stomach, but otherwise, they make a great pairing and a nice change from heavier options.
Gouda: Gouda is always a good go-to when it comes to serving cheese in an entertaining setting. Almost everyone likes it, and it can be enjoyed alone or with crackers. This is another cheese that pairs well with merlot too, which is also a popular wine selection. Offering this as an option is sure to please most of your wine- and cheese-loving friends.
Cheese Pairing House Rules
How To Pick The Right Cheeses To Suit Your Wine
Preparing the perfect cheese board for your wine can be a challenge when there are so many incredible varieties from fresh cheeses like feta and hard cheese like Monterey Jack to washed-rind stinkers like Epoisses and blue cheese like Roquefort.
If youre thinking about serving a variety of cheeses with a single wine, focus on the acidity. Light, citrusy wines like Riesling are flexible and pair well with most cheeses, whether its delicate ricotta or sharp blue. Sparkling wines also fit the bill. The effervescent bubbles of Champagne, Cava or Brut wines cut through the buttery fat of cheese to minimize the clash of mismatching flavors while cleansing your palate.
Its not easy to find a single wine that will match all cheeses, so consider serving a specific cheese with each wine. Heres a brief rundown of the main cheese types and which types of wine pair best with them.
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Pairing Cheese With Syrah/shiraz
With certain superior genetic qualities, Syrah grape variety produces some of the best Rhone wines. Syrah red wines are known for their unique and dominant flavors like smoke, black cherries, and roasted pepper.
The strong berry and tart flavors of this red wine blend well with the somewhat acidic and pungent goats milk cheese. Farmhouse Cheddar, Edam, Gouda, and Alpine-style cheese are some other cheese varieties that enhance the flavor of Syrah wines.
Protip: Consider Age And Intensity
All of cheese-dom lies along a continuum from fresh through hard-aged. Young fresh cheeses have a high water content and a milky and delicate texture. As a cheese ages, a process called affinage, the moisture in its body slowly evaporates, leaving behind fat and protein. Since fat and protein carry flavors, older cheeses tend to be more rich and savory.
In addition to drying and concentrating the cheese, age also introduces new flavors. Bloomy-rind cheeses like Brie remain gooey and spreadable, but have picked up earthy notes from a few months in the cave. Older cheeses like Gruyère and Emmental acquire nutty flavors. Blue cheeses develop pungency from the mold in their veins. Washed-rind cheeses like Époisses earn a funky, bacon-y redolence that you either love or hate.
Like cheeses, wines also run the gamut from delicate to bold, and their depth and complexity can correlate with their age, too. Young wines are fresh and spirited, with lively aromas and bright flavors of fruits, flowers, citrus, herbs, or spice. Wines that have spent time in cask or bottle have had a chance to knit together and acquire more nuance. In addition to their primary fruit flavors, they take on secondary notes of oak, toast, earth, oxidation, minerals, umami, and more. Like cheeses, these wines tend to be more complex and savory than their younger counterparts.
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Pairing Wine With Cheese
Wine and cheese is a glorious combination and one we think should be celebrated all the time! But with so many varieties of cheese and wine out there, it can be difficult to know where to start. To simplify proceedings, weve grouped everyones favourite cheeses into key categories and come up with a few classic must-try pairings, along with some handy tips on why these pairings work.
Sauvignon Blanc And Monterey Jack Or French Goat Cheese
This cheese is known for its subtleness and needs to be paired with a wine that wont overwhelm it. Sauvignon Blanc is a light-bodied, dry and bright white wine that has citrus and grassy notes that complement the cheese. This wine also works well with firmer French goat cheese that has developed spicy flavors.
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Wine With Hard Cheese
Hard cheeses include cheddar, Comté, Parmigiano-Reggiano and Manchego. Theyre the easiest type of cheese to pair with wine – a medium bodied red like a cabernet sauvignon or a rioja is probably going to be the most enjoyable pairing for most people but try the combination of cheddar and chardonnay
Vintage Port And Stilton
The older the port is, the sweeter it is because the tannins have become soft over time and the acidity has decreased. Because of this, blue cheeses work well with it. The older the vintage port is, the stronger and smellier the blue cheese can be.
With these tips, you should be able to make cheese and wine pairing less complicated and more enjoyable. You can enjoy numerous combinations and experiment with this guide as a starting reference point.
Filed Under: Tasting Guides, Wine InfoTagged With: cheese, list, wine, wine pairings
About Our Team
Erin is a native Austinite that loves writing, wikipedia, online window-shopping for home goods, and riding on airplanes. When not writing articles at work, you can probably find her winding down with a glass of wine, a book, and her two favorite neurotic cats.
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Wine And Cheese Pairing Guide
Wine and cheese pairing possibilities are endless. To simplify the strategy, cheeses can be divided into six categories.
Soft and rindless, these can be made with cow, goat or sheep milk. Theyre not aged and have a mild, slightly tangy flavor. While a log of bright white goat cheese is iconic, the category also includes farmers cheese, ricotta and others that come in tubs.
These are named for the bloom of white mold on the outside. They tend to be the richest and creamiest type of cheese, with a soft, spreadable texture. The rind is edible, and it has a stronger, funkier flavor than the interior.
A bath in brine, beer or wine produces a distinct orange rind. Theyre rich and creamy, and they can be soft or semi-soft in texture. Theyre funkier than bloomy cheeses, with gamy, often pleasantly pungent notes.
Theyre not spreadable, nor do they break in shards like a hard cheese. They tend to be creamy and fairly mild in flavor. Many are excellent to melt and perfect to slice. Some cheeses like Gouda are semi-soft in younger styles, while when aged, their texture turns hard.
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The product of aging, these are quite firm and break into crumbles or shards. They tend to have nutty and complex savory notes. Some are fairly pungent and salty.
A Few Final Cheese Pairing Considerations
Youre practically a pro at this point, but there are a few more things to consider when it comes to pairing wine and cheese. Before introducing the wine, try the cheese by itself to fully perceive its special characteristics. Remember to engage your senses and evaluate all aspects of the cheese its smell, texture, color, and taste. Is it sweet, sour, salty, bitter, or umami? How does it feel on the tongue?
Wine and cheese pairing is a skill that requires practice and study. But once you know the basics, you can have a lot of fun experimenting with what works .
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Chianti Classico And Pecorino Toscano
Why it works: Another great grows together, goes together pairing, the hard, aged texture of a Pecorino pairs wonderfully with the booming tannins of a Chianti Classico. The savory secondary notes in a Chianti bring out a hidden herbal flavor in the cheese, with the wines black fruit holding up perfectly against the boldness of the Pecorino.
Also try:Sangiovese and Parmigiano-Reggiano or Brunello di Montalcino and Grana Padano.
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.
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How To Pair Red Wine & Cheese
Everyone loves to relax in the evening with some lovely red wine and cheese. It works every time, right?
Or does it? In fact, pairing red wine and cheese isnt all that easy. Many red wines either stifle the flavour of the cheese or taste off when served with cheese. One reason for this is the tannins found in red wine, which dont go well with very many types of cheese.
That is why it can be so difficult to pair red wine with your cheese and why youll often have more luck with white wine or beer.
It is of course possible to serve red wine with your cheese platter, as long as you bear in mind the following rules of thumb. So before popping open that expensive bottle of red you bought on holiday in Italy or France, read on.
Sweet Wine With Blue Cheese
A blue cheese pairing might seem tricky as the flavours as so intense. But stinky blue cheeses or veined Roqueforts pair exceptionally well with sweet wines because the high sugar levels in the wine help to make the cheese taste creamier. Next time you want to find a Roquefort wine pairing, think Sauternes from Château dYquem.
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Cheese Board For Wine Tasting
Making a cheese board for wine tasting? Follow this simple, down-to-earth guide to start pairing cheese, charcuterie and other snacks with wine!
Ive made a lot of cheese boards for you guys. I know! I just love them so much. Styling them and photographing them, and eating them, of course.
But Ill never make the same cheese board twice. Im always looking for new and fun goodies to add to my boards, and new ways to pair the ingredients with beverages.
How To Pair Cheese To Wine
Its usually safe to pair wines and cheese from the same regions. The best pairings are the ones that draw a contrast between flavours. For example, brie is a soft, creamy cheese which means it will go well with a lush, acidic wine like Chardonnay. Harder cheeses go better with wines that are more tannic and salty cheeses go well with sweet wine. But remember that every palate is different you may find that you prefer certain pairings over others.To help you find the right combination, try these steps:
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Sauvignon Blanc With Fresh Cheese
White wine and cheese pairings are less talked about than red wine and cheese, but when chosen well, a crisp, dry white wine that was made to drink young is the ideal partner to fresh and tangy white cheeses. Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2020 has high acidity, notes of grapefruit, lime and lemongrass and a beautiful mineral quality that would be the perfect accompaniment to a rindless soft goats cheese or unaged feta cheese.
Fresh And Soft Cheeses
Fresh and soft cheeses love crisp whites, dry rosés, sparkling wines, dry aperitif wines, and light-bodied reds with low tannins. Wines with apple, berry, stone fruit, tropical, melon, or citrus flavors work best. Avoid big, tannic red wines like Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Bordeaux, and Bordeaux blends.
Cheeses: Ricotta, Mozzarella, Burrata, Chèvre, Feta, Halloumi, Brie, Camembert, Brillat-Savarin, Crottin, BûcheronPair with: Riesling , Gewürztraminer, Moscato, Champagne, Cava, Chablis, Chenin Blanc, Pinot Gris, Pinot Grigio, Albariño, Grüner Veltliner, unoaked Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Provençal rosé, Beaujolais, Lambrusco, White Port, Fino sherry
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Colby & Cabernet Sauvignon
Colby can be a cheese that’s hard to come by, so snag this Deer Creek The Robin Colby to pair with your bottle of cab. According to Wisconsin Cheese, this was named after the state bird “which returns each spring as a sign of the end of winter, this classic, handcrafted Wisconsin Original Colby has a firm, yet open and curdy body combined with a fresh buttery taste and a pleasantly salty finish.”
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.
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Cheese And Wine Pairings That Will Make Your Christmas
Lets face it, Christmas is all about the cheese board and wine to wash it down with. In fact, a recent study conducted in France confirmed what we already knew theres a certain magic that happens on our palettes when we combine glorious wine and heavenly cheese. To inspire our wine aficionados and help our beginners pair cheese and wine like a pro, weve put together these top tips.
Pair wines and cheeses with equal intensity
The delicate flavours of gruyère would be overwhelmed by a big, bold cabernet sauvignon, but pair perfectly with a pinot noir. As a general rule:
- Wines over 14.5% ABV taste better with more intensely flavoured cheeses.
- Wines under 12% ABV match nicely with more delicately flavoured cheeses.
Why not try this powerful pairing? Pinot Noir andgruyère cheese.
Bold red wines go best with aged cheeses
As cheese ages and loses water content, it becomes richer in flavour thanks to its increased fat content. These two attributes are ideal for matching aged cheeses with bold red wines, because the fat content in the cheese counteracts the high tannins in the wine. For the best results, select cheeses aged at least a year, including cheddar, gruyère, manchego, gouda, provolone, or parmesan-style varieties like parmigiano-reggiano and grana padano.
Shop the Campo Viejo Rioja Garnacha and pair it with this manchego cheese.
Match funkier cheeses with sweeter wines
Partner sparkling wines with soft, creamy cheeses
Couple wines and cheeses from the same place
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.
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Tips For A Successful Cheese Board For Wine Tasting:
- While I often enjoy adding honey, jam or some other type of spread to a good cheese platter, for a party with an active wine tasting, I like to keep my snack board to strictly finger foods. i.e. things you can pick up and pop into your mouth with one hand . No honey that needs spreading. No pistachios that need cracking.
- When I make a cheese platter for wine, I love a combination of both savory and sweet snacks. Some people have a sweet tooth while enjoying wine, and others have a savory tooth. See also my New Years Eve finger foods board.
- Just like the combo of sweet and savory, I also like a balance of crunchy and soft. I like a variety of crackers for crunch factor, and then soft fruit like grapes and strawberries.
- If youre not a wine lover or have a guest that doesnt prefer it, offer them a cocktail or mocktail made with my rosemary simple syrup. It will pair really well with everything on this board.
- This board is even great as part of a brunch buffet! I have a whole post of brunch ideas to round out the rest of your spread, as well. Dont forget to try your hand at baking bacon.
Enjoy some wine and cheese, and be sure to connect with Black Creek Cheese on , and .