Wine and Cheese: The Perfect Pair

Hardly anything can outweigh the elegance of a combination of wine and cheese. Countless ways to make the perfect pair always begin with one main question: do you want the taste of cheese or wine to dominate or do you want the two to go well? So, following the principle of attraction, we will pair salty blue cheese and sweet dessert wine. Or following the match power rule, we will match light cheese and light wine or strong cheese and strong wine (over 14.5% ABV). Of course, if you are making a plate of cheese and fruit, it is certain that there will be many different types of cheese on the menu, so it is somewhat ungrateful to provide a type of wine for each cheese type. Therefore, it is best to opt for dessert wines that suit most cheeses (Sauternes, Port).

It is best to try all the combinations yourself and decide which one actually works for you. Here are some tips that can help you make the best match and endlessly enjoy the blended flavors of wine and cheese!

 

1. Hard Cheese

In general, red wines are richer in tannins, which go well with old cheeses, which have lost water and have an intense taste as well as high fat content. 

Hard cheese: Cheddar, Double Gloucester, Parmesan, Pecorino, Manchego, Grana Padano, Beaufort, Cantal, Emmenthal, Sbrinz, Comté
Suggested wine: Cabernet Sauvignon, Bordeaux, Rioja, Chianti 

 

2. Blue Cheese 

The blue cheeses have a touch of bitterness that can go well with the sweetness of the dessert wines. That sweetness is a great match that will make the blue cheese even more creamy!

Blue cheese: Cambozola, Danish Blue, Gorgonzola, Roquefort, Stilton, Fourme d’Ambert, Bleu d’Auvergne, Cabrales
Suggested wine: Port, Sauternes, Banyuls

 

3. Semi-soft Cheese

These cheeses do not crumble like hard cheeses, and have a slightly creamy texture and taste, but they’re not spreadable. These types of cheese require medium-bodied wines that are well balanced between acidity, fruit and tannins.

Semi-soft cheese:Gruyère, Gouda, Havarti, Provolone, Edam, Morbier, Mimolette
Suggested wine: Corbières, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay

 

4. Fresh Cheese

Fresh cheeses are mostly made from raw milk and have not undergone the aging process. Their soft taste is complemented by light, fruity or refreshing wines, whilst those that are high in tannin should be avoided.

Fresh cheese: Mozzarella, Burrata, Chèvre (goat), Feta, Ricotta, Mascarpone, Stracchino, Boursin
Suggested wine: Pinot Noir, Muscadet, Riesling

 

5. Bloomy Cheese

A characteristic of these cheeses is the bloom of white mold on the outside while the internal structure is soft and buttery. They match well with sparkling wines because the high acidity of the sparkling wines enhances the creaminess of these cheeses.

Bloomy cheese: Brie, Camembert, Robiola, Chaource, Coeur du Neufchatel, Crottin de Chavignol
Suggested wine: Champagne, Sancerre, Zweigelt

 

6.  Washed Rind Cheese
The washed rind cheeses are so named because of the treatment they receive during the aging process, which involves regular washing in brine, beer or wine. The cheeses were washed over medieval times to keep them fresh, but shortly after that tradition began, the monks began to notice the delicious effects of this treatment. So that the intense taste of the cheese does not outweigh the wine, it is best to choose full-bodied wines (but if the washed rind cheese is more creamy, match it with a medium-bodied wine).
Washed rind cheese: Fontina, Epoisses, Reblochon, Taleggio, Langres, Chaume, Livarot, Munster, Vacherin de Mont d’Or
Suggested wine: Gewürztraminer, Chenin Blanc, Chambertin 

 

 

 

When in doubt, follow these simple rules

 

  • Wine and cheese are most often paired on the basis of intensity – a match of power. Which means, wines beyond 14. 5% ABV match great with a sharply flavored cheese, while wines below 12.5% ABV will greatly pair with mild flavored cheese
  • Cheese and wines from the same region will typically go well together. Here are tips on the origins of the most popular cheeses to help you decide on wine

Italy: Mozzarella, Provolone, Parmesan, Gorgonzola, Tomello, Pecorino

Switzerland: Emmental, Belper Knolle, Schabziger, Tilsit, Sbrinz, Appenzeller, Gruyère 

France: Brie, Chevres, Roquefort, Munster, Comté, Camembert, Bleu

Spain: Manchego, Iberico, Cabrales, Mahon, Tetilla  

Grece: Galotiri, Feta, Graviera, Metsovone

Germany: Edelpilz, Bavaria Blu, Romadur, Cambozola

Turkey: Ezine, Divle Obruk, Kars Gruyere

 

  • Cheeses with a strong aroma are usually well matched with sweet wines
  • Creamy cheeses match the sparkling wines
  • When trying cheeses and wine, eat a neutral cracker between combinations
  • Fruits (dry or fresh), as well as nuts, olives, jams and dry meat are best matched with wine and cheese

These are just some of the cool tricks for matching wine and cheese, don’t hesitate to use them to find the perfect combination you will adore!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

12 − 10 =