Tips and tricks for pairing wine with cheese
There’s a pretty great rule of thumb when it comes to pairing wine with cheese: stick with white wine. It’s safer because whites have significantly lower levels of tannin, and they’re often lighter in body, which complements rather than overwhelms the flavours in cheese. That being said, rules are meant to be broke, and a carefully chosen red can be a perfect match too!
Keep the below in mind and begin experimenting – and as with all wine and food matching, let your tastebuds be the judge!
- Acidic wines pair well with acidic cheeses.
- Fruity wines love cheeses with fruity flavours.
- The weight of the wine (in your mouth) should match the weight of the cheese.
- Wine sweetness counter-balances and complements the acidity and saltiness of cheese.
- The whiter and fresher the cheese, the whiter and crisper the wine.
- The darker and stronger the cheese, the darker and stronger the wine.
Soft and Fresh cheese and wine
Soft cheeses include Mascarpone, Ricotta and Feta, and fruity, floral wines pair best with the creaminess of these soft cheeses.
Suggestions include Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc. Or, for the red lovers, a fruity Pinot Noir.
Soft and Ripened and wine
Soft-ripened cheeses are delicious at room temperature or warm out of the oven. The Camembert and Brie creamy have earthy flavours that pair well with fruit flavours of melon, berries and sun-dried tomato.
Suggestions include Sparkling white, Pinot Noir or a fruity Merlot.
Blue Veined Cheese and wine
Blue veined cheeses are known for their crumbly texture and distinct flavour profiles. Sweet, nutty and slightly spicy wines best balance the saltiness of these cheeses. Bold dessert reds bring out the intense flavours of the cheese.
Suggestions include fortified reds such as Tokay or Port.
Semi Firm Cheese and wine
Semi firm cheese like Cheddar is rich and nutty, making it ideal for fruity bold reds or a sharp Chardonnay. Swiss and Gruyere cheeses match well with spicy reds with rich chocolate notes. The smoother Gouda and Edam cheeses are suited for a spicy and peppery Cabernet Sauvignon.
Firm cheese and wine
Cheese with hard intensity such as Parmesan, Romano and Asiago are best matched with intense wines that pack a flavour punch, so fortified wines such as port are a fantastic option.