Top 10 Exquisite Wine & Cheese Pairings You Need To Try Out
When we think of matches made in heaven, the first that comes to mind is wine and cheese.
It's such a perfect combination that sometimes it can almost seem impossible to sip on wine a bold glass of wine without a salty, creamy cheese to cut through its boldness.
While you'll get those basic complementary but contrasting notes with every wine and cheese pairing, there are a couple of pairings that almost seem like they were made for each other.
With these pairings, you can broaden the horizons of the flavors you can experience from such a classic combination, understand what makes them complement each other beautifully, and even get inspired to make your own pairings.
How do you pair wine and cheese?
- Consider the geographics
If you're new to wine and cheese pairings, this is an easy-to-follow tip that takes minimal effort.
All you have to do is check if the wine and cheese came from the same country, if they do, they'll most likely go well together.
This is because the climate and the nature of the soil allow them to develop flavor profiles that complement each other. It would be even more ideal if you could find pairings that grow in the same region of the country.
- Put opposites together
Similar to most things in life, you can get the best results from pairing opposites.
Try to find opposite textures and flavors in wine and cheese pairings to help them balance each other's flaws. If you have a saltier cheese on hand, pair it with a sweeter wine.
If it's a dry cheese, it'll go wonderfully with a refreshing sparkling wine.
- Pair similar complexity and intensity
Both wine and cheese have different aging, intensity, and complexity levels.
For good results, you should think of these flavors on a wheel and pair the ones that have similar flavor profiles.
When you do this, you ensure you get to taste the wine and cheese without one overpowering the other.
Additionally, you can pair heavy textures with bold wines.
- Remember simple food pairings
If you find it difficult to mix and match wine, consider the type of fruity note you'd normally get out of the wine.
Then think about what you'd normally pair with that fruit to complement or contrast against its flavor, and find a cheese with a similar flavor profile.
What are the best wine and cheese pairings you need to try?
The pairings of wine and cheese can seem almost infinite.
Whether you're looking to start and explore classic pairings or find newer ones you might not have considered, this list has it all.
- Cabernet Sauvignon and Aged Cheddar
A Cabernet Sauvignon is a truly delightful and well-loved red wine with fruity notes of darker flavors like black cherry, blackberry, and plum as well as spicy bursts.
To complement its bold flavors, you require something equally flavorful and bold, and aged cheddar is a perfect choice.
It has the right amount of fat to counteract the high tannin content in the Cabernet Sauvignon.
Wines with a high tanning content require something creamier like aged cheddar to reduce the drying mouth feel.
- Pinot Noir and Gruyere
Pinot Noir has a gorgeous bright flavor with sweeter notes of red fruits like raspberry, cherry, strawberry, and cranberry.
To balance these wonderful light and bright flavors, you need the nuttiness and subtle sweetness of the Gruyere.
Another thing that makes this combination work is the creamy texture.
- Riesling and Roquefort Blue
Riesling is a blue cheese and they shine its brightest when they're paired with sweeter dessert wines like Roquefort Blue.
It's a wine that has sweeter hints of peaches, apples, and honey to balance the aroma and the saltiness of the blue cheese.
It's a great way to convert the blue cheese haters and provide a well-balanced burst of flavors.
- Zinfandel and Smoked Gouda
Zinfandel is known to have jam-like notes of cherry, blackberry, plum, and cranberry.
To balance these sweet, subtle, and fruity notes you need something robust and flavorful like aged or smoked Gouda.
- Pinot Grigio and Mozzarella
If you're looking for a wine to sip with your pizza, the Pinot Grigio is a fantastic choice.
Pinot Grigio has dry and light-bodied with notes of pear, peach, nectarine, and green apple.
It's a delicate wine that's often paired with milder cheese to enjoy the full experience, and mozzarella is the perfect choice for this.
- Sauvignon Blanc and Goat Cheese
Goat cheese is one of the most common cheeses you'll find paired with wine, and that's for a good reason.
They have similar earthy undertones, but they bring out the best in each other.
Sauvignon Blanc has a more citrusy flavor with crisp notes of lime and pear. It brings notes of herby freshness to the cheese and cleanses the palate to let you enjoy it all over again.
- Merlot and Brie
Brie is one of the most easily accessible cheeses on the market, and one of the great things about it is that it pairs with a multitude of wines.
Merlot has darker notes of cocoa, black cherries, blackberries, and cherries. While brie is a soft multi-layered cheese with creaminess, nuttiness, and sweetness.
When you pair the two, you get the accentuated tanginess of the Merlot and an earthier cheese.
- Port and Stilton
Port is a bold wine, to say the least.
It's got a rich, full-bodied flavor with sweeter bursts of flavor. If you're looking for a cheese to match up against it, you're going to need something equally powerful, and stilton is just that.
It's a stinky and pungent cheese that'll perfectly cut through the sweetness of the port.
- Rosé and Feta
When you have something as bright and acidic as Rosé, you need something as salty and fatty as Feta cheese to cut through it.
Rosé has a clean flavor that cleanses your palate and keeps you coming back for more salty cheese.
They might be flavors on opposite ends of the flavor wheel but they work in unison by balancing each other out perfectly.
- Shiraz and Gouda
Shiraz is a deep wine with an intense flavor that lingers in your mind. It has a well-bodied and varied flavor profile with notes of peppery spice, blackberry, and dark chocolate.
Sometimes you might even find notes of black olives, mint, and eucalyptus in there.
Gouda might seem like a simple cheese, but it gives you a sweet and sharp taste with a caramelized finish.
Instead of washing out the flavors of the Shiraz, Gouda helps bring out the deeper notes that might've remained in the background.
When you're pairing wine and cheese, it's important to keep experimenting to find the flavor profiles that best serve what you're looking for.
Maybe you won't end up being the biggest fan of blue cheese, you might think some cheeses are too mild against your preferred wine, or some too overpowering, but that's not a bad thing.
It just gives you more of an opportunity to experiment and find different flavors that work better.
Don't be afraid to pair things that you wouldn't normally expect to go together.
Comment below and tell us your favorite wine and cheese pairings!