Cheese Please: A Guide to Pairing Wine and Cheese


Wine and Cheese

Last Friday, Lissette and I went to In Fine Spirits to use a Groupon I had. We got a bottle of 2010 Chateau Mourgues Du Gres Les Galets Rose, Blue Cheese Stuffed Dates and a cheese flight that consisted of Fresh Ricotta with Truffle & Honey,Chatham Camembert (a sheep and cow blend) and aged Manchego Gran Valle. The dates and the cheese were amazing with the wine and it got me thinking about wine and cheese pairings.

A good wine paired with the perfect cheese is amazing, but with so many options, how do you choose the right kind of cheese to go with your wine? When it comes down to it, it is all about your own personal preference, but here are a few suggestions:

  • Much like pairing wine with your meal, you can’t go wrong pairing wine and cheese from the same region.
  • It’s common to pair soft cheese with white wines and hard cheese with red wines, but I wouldn’t use this as a hard and fast rule. Some soft cheeses are really good with a nice red.
  • Try to match intensity. A sharp strong flavored cheese will pair well with a full-bodied red, where as a more delicate cheese, like a brie or goat cheese, will pair well with a softer, more delicate wine, like a dry white wine or a sparkling wine like Champagne.
  • Creamy cheeses usually pair well with young tannic wines because the creaminess of the cheese cuts through the tannin. Think young Bordeaux or maybe a Tempernillo.
  • I think a semi-soft smoky cheese, like Gouda, pairs well with a Zinfandel or Merlot.
  • Pungent cheeses, like gorgonzola and blue cheese, go great with sweet dessert wines. One night, instead of a traditional dessert, try blue cheese with a Sautern.

For more tips check out Artisanal Cheese’s Cheese Clock.

Hopefully theses tips will help you get started, but by all means experiment! That is really the fun of wine — finding the perfect fit for your personal taste. To be completely honest, when Lissette and I went to In Fine Spirits we were not thinking about what would pair best with our Rose, but about what sounded really yummy to us. We ended up with cheeses we really enjoyed with the wine. The cheeses we chose may not have been the cheeses an expert sommelier or chef would have paired with the wine, but we enjoyed them and when it comes down to it, that is really what matters 


Posted on June 9, 2011, in Food Pairing, Helpful tips, How to, Recommendations, Zinfandel and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Wow! Thanks Dana! We LOVE the Chatham Camembert! (we carry it also!)

  2. Hi Dana, it’s just another $10 Tue bud who now is reading your blog. Very well done article you wrote and it brings back memories of how well you seem to grasp the right words to decribe the taste of things. Look forward to tasting some wines whenever you get back to Michigan. Jim (and Leah says HI also).

    • Jim,
      Thanks for reading. I miss you guys. Next time I’m in town we’ll have to drink some wine. When you guys are up at the condo with my parents I’m going to be jealous of all the good wine you are drinking with out me!

  1. Pingback: Hosting a Wine Party-Happy Hour « Wine With Me

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