Wine and cheese is a genuinely iconic duo that can make or break a charcuterie board or wine and cheese tasting. When paired together, they can develop a burst of flavor that is simply one of a kind.
Cheeses vary in terms of flavor, texture, moisture, and fat content, just like wines vary in terms of structure, body, acidity, and sweetness. This often makes it challenging to match wine with cheese to create a satisfying pairing.
If you’re wondering what cheese goes with wine, here you’ll find all the answers you’re looking for. Check out our favorite pairings in the wine and cheese pairing guide below and master the art of wine-cheese pairing.
4 Tips on How to Pair Wine with Cheese
Pairing wine with cheese can be a fun and delicious experience. Here are some basic tips to help you choose the right wine for your cheese:
- Match the intensity. When pairing wine and cheese, it’s important to match the intensity of the flavors. Light-bodied wines like Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc pair well with delicate and mild cheeses like goat cheese or feta. Full-bodied wines like Cabernet Sauvignon or Syrah pair well with strong and bold cheeses like blue cheese or aged cheddar.
- Complement or contrast flavors. You can choose to complement or contrast the flavors of the wine and cheese. For example, pairing a fruity and acidic wine like Riesling with savory and salty cheeses like Parmesan can create a harmonious flavor profile. On the other hand, pairing bold and tannic wines like Malbec with a creamy and buttery cheese like Brie can create a contrasting yet satisfying combination.
- Consider the texture. The texture of the cheese can also play a role in pairing it with wine. Soft and creamy cheeses like Camembert or Chevre pair well with light-bodied wines like Pinot Noir or Chardonnay. Hard and aged cheeses like Gouda or Parmesan pair well with full-bodied wines like Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot.
- Experiment with different combinations. Wine and cheese pairing is a matter of personal taste, so it’s always a good idea to try out different combinations. Try different types of cheeses with different types of wines to find your own favorite pairings.
12 Best Wine and Cheese Pairings for You to Try
Check out the best wine and cheese pairings below and indulge in the divine taste of these top food pairing options.
1. Pinot Noir and Gruyere
This is one of the classic wine pairings with cheese favored by red wine lovers. Gruyere is a medium-firm cheese that goes with red wine, especially light-bodied wine like Pinot Noir. The aromatic red berry fruit flavor of wine matches really well with the nutty notes found in the cheese.
This cheese-wine pairing creates a truly divine combo, as both elements have just enough complexity in them. As such, they will enhance each other’s tastes and not overpower them.
Alternative cheese and wine pairings: Gamay Noir and Comté, Zweigelt and Emmental, or Beaujolais and Jarlsberg.
2. Sauvignon Blanc and Goat Cheese
Goat cheese is the best cheese for wine when it comes to crisp white wine, like classic Sauvignon Blanc. While the goat cheese is fairly tart and earthy, the citrus and mineral notes found in the wine bring out its nutty and herbal flavors.
The acidity of Sauvignon Blanc also helps cut through the richness of the cheese, which makes it truly the best wine to pair with cheese like this.
Similar cheese pairings with wine: Chablis and Cremont, Chenin Blanc and Chèvre, or Grüner Veltliner and Florette.
3. Pinot Grigio and Camembert
Pinot Grigio is known for its light and crisp character, with a delicate aroma of citrus fruits, green apples, and pears. The wine has a refreshing acidity that makes it a great match for a variety of foods, including seafood, salads, and light pasta dishes.
Camembert, on the other hand, has a creamy texture and a distinct earthy and mushroom-like flavor. It is a rich and indulgent cheese that pairs well with a range of flavors, from sweet to savory.
When paired together, Pinot Grigio and Camembert create a harmonious balance of flavors. The crisp acidity of the wine cuts through the creaminess of the cheese, while the citrus and fruit notes complement the earthy flavors of the Camembert.
Similar wine and cheese pairing options: Sauvignon Blanc and goat cheese, Chardonnay and Brie, or Pinot Noir and aged Cheddar.
4. Champagne and Brie
As triple-cream, soft cheeses like Brie feature a delicate texture, they call for something sharp and highly acidic to counterbalance their fattiness. That’s why sparkling wines, such as classic Champagne, are the best wine options to go with creamy cheeses like Brie.
This sparkling wine pairing with cheese combines contrasting Brie’s creaminess and stinging Champagne’s fizz to create a delightful mix of flavors. The bubbles of Champagne cleanse the palate and balance the rich, buttery flavor of Brie.
Alternative cheese and wine pairing: Chardonnay and Camembert, or Crémant and Époisses.
5. Cabernet Sauvignon and Cheddar
Are you wondering what cheese goes with red wine? Aged cheddar cheese is undoubtedly the best cheese for red wine, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, as its bold flavor and richness need a similarly intense wine to lift up those strong taste features.
This unique red wine-cheese pairing will enhance the qualities of both elements providing incredible dining sensations.
Similarly good wine and cheese pairings: Carménère and Smoked Gouda, or Montepulciano and Parmigiano-Reggiano.
6. Riesling and Raclette
What wine goes with cheese featuring a mellow and buttery flavor like Raclette? Sweet wine like Riesling, for sure. It’s highly acidic and fruity, which guarantees the best wine and cheese pairing with versatile Raclette.
Off-dry Riesling will make a particularly good combo, as its sweetness will not overpower the delicate cheesiness.
Other best wine and cheese pairings: NZ Sauvignon Blanc and Mild Cheddar or Gewürztraminer and Edam.
7. Malbec and Edam
If you’re looking for the best cheese with red wine like aromatic Malbec, then Edam is your best bet. It has delicious nutty flavors that will complement the complexity of the wine perfectly.
Such a divine combo will make wine and cheese pairing at home a truly delightful experience.
Similar cheese and wine pairings: Shiraz and Gouda, or Monastrell and Tomme.
8. Provence Rosé and Havarti
Pairing wine with cheeses is nothing but pure joy when you combine delicate and fruity rosé with the equally mellow flavor of Havarti cheese.
The soft and smooth texture of the cheese is beautifully contrasted by the steely minerality found in the crisp wine, which clearly indicates this is the best wine for cheese, like Havarti.
Other cheese and wine combinations: Sangiovese Rosé and Mozzarella, Rosado and Ricotta, or Pinot Noir Rosé and Fontina.
9. Chianti Classico and Pecorino Toscano
To combine cheese with wine successfully, both elements need to bring out the most prominent features of one another to create a tastefully balanced flavor.
The savory flavor of aromatic Chianti Classico paired with bold Pecorino Toscano is simply the perfect match. The multiple tannins found in the wine lift up the herbal notes hidden in the cheese, offering a truly unique combination of flavors.
Alternative wine and cheese pairings: Sangiovese and Parmigiano-Reggiano or Brunello di Montalcino and Grana Padano.
10. Tempranillo and Idiazabal
This unique wine pairing of full-bodied wine and buttery cheese offers a terrific combination of smoky and savory flavors.
The high amount of tannins found in Tempranillo creates a pleasant contrast with smooth Idiazabal to provide an indulgent wine-cheese dining experience.
Other wine and cheese pairings: Garnacha and Zamorano, Rioja and Manchego, or Mencía and Roncal.
11. Moscato d’Asti and Gorgonzola
The full-flavored Gorgonzola is considered to be one of the funkier types of blue cheeses, with bold, salty, and earthy notes. For this reason, it calls for a wine that will break through its pungent taste.
Sweet white wine like Moscato d’Asti will match Gorgonzola’s intensity with its delicate, fruity flavor. The wine is light and acidic and will work as a palate cleanser, leaving you refreshed and ready for another bite of this delightful blue cheese.
Similar wine and cheese combinations: Prosecco and Asiago, or Gewürztraminer and Munster.
12. Zinfandel and Monterey Jack
Zinfandel and Monterey Jack is a delicious pairing that combines a bold and fruity red wine with a mild and creamy cheese. Zinfandel is a popular red wine variety that is known for its jammy fruit flavors, spicy notes, and high alcohol content. Monterey Jack is a semi-hard cheese with a mild, nutty flavor and a creamy texture.
The bold fruit flavors and spicy notes of Zinfandel complement the nutty flavor of Monterey Jack, while the wine’s tannins and high acidity balance the cheese’s creaminess. The wine’s high alcohol content also helps to cut through the richness of the cheese.
Alternative wine and cheese pairings: Syrah and aged Gouda, or Chardonnay and Asiago.
The Bottom Line
Pairing wine with cheese may seem like a daunting task, especially when you’re a beginner in the wine-pairing world, but with a few valuable tips and tricks, you can become a master of wine pairing in no time.
Pairing cheese with wine usually goes easier when you already have a favorite wine to match it with a cheesy treat. If you’re still looking for your beloved bottle or simply want to try different flavors of wines from various regions, you can sign up for our subscription box program. This way, you will have access to a variety of premium wines to taste from the comfort of your home for great value for money.