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Wine and Cheese Pairing

by Staff Writer - C. Barnett | June 28, 2011

Like most other aspects relating to wine, wine and cheese combinations are a personal decision. However, there are some combinations of wine and cheese pairings that are liked and enjoyed by the majority of those who enjoy wine and cheese together and these combinations become popular. The tradition has been that red wine is served with hard cheeses and white wine is served with soft cheeses. But with so many choices of wine and cheese it may be time for some experimentation.

There are some wine and cheese pairing guidelines that may help you decide which combinations to try:

  • The softer the cheese, the more it coats your mouth, requiring higher acidity in the wine.
  • The sweeter the cheese, the sweeter the wine should be. Some mild cheeses have a sweetness that requires an off dry wine. Dry wines are sometimes considered acidic.
  • Strong, pungent cheeses need strong wines. Extreme flavors in cheese can be matched by big red wines, fortified wines, and sweet wines.
  • The harder the cheese, the higher level of tannins a wine can have.

Related Topics

The wine and cheese combinations listed below are from around the world so you may be familiar with some noted, while others may be something new for you to experience.

  • BARBERA: Abbaye de Belloc, Banon, Fiore Sardo, Fontina, Grana Padano, Lancashire, Ossau-Iraty, Piave, Taleggio
  • BEAUJOLAIS: Brie, Camembert, Feta, Goat Cheese, Muenster
  • BORDEAUX: Brie, Camembert, Chalosse, Gabletou, Havarti, Roqueforte, Tome de Bordeaux, Tome des Recollets
  • CABERNET FRANC: Blue, Brie, Camembert, Cheddar, Fontina, Goat Cheese, Gorgonzola, Port Salut, Swiss
  • CABERNET SAUVIGNON: Abbaye de Belloc, Ardrahan, Blue Cheese, Bra Tenero, Brie, Camembert, Chalosse, Cheddar (sharp), Colby, Comte, Danish Blue, Gorgonzola, Gouda (aged), Llangloffan, Le Moulis, Ouray, Parmesan, Reblochon, Roquefort, San Andreas, Tome de , Couserans
  • CHARDONNAY: Affidelice, Alpine Shepard, Bel Paese, Bucheron, Brie, Camembert, Cambazola, Cantal, Cashel Blue, Chaource, Cotija, Cheddar (mild), Dry Jack, Epoisses, French mountain cheeses, Garrotxa, Goat Cheese, Gouda, Gruyere, Jarlsberg, Panela, Parmesan, Pave d’Auge, Pecorino, Provolone, Shropshire Blue, Tete de Moine
  • CHENIN BLANC: Blue Castello, Camembert, Derby, Goat Cheese, Graddost, Raclette de Savoie
  • CHIANTI: Fontina, Mozzarella, Parmesan, Provolone
  • CôTES Du RHôNES: Bleu d’Auvergne, Camembert, Chevrotin des Aravis, Fourme d’Ambert, Reblochon
  • DESSERT WINE: Crème Fraiche, Marscopone
  • GAMAY: Brie, Camembert, Cheddar, Durrus, Feta, Morbier
  • GEWURZTRAMINER: Alpine Shepard, Ardrahan, Boursin, Camembert, Caraway, Chevre, Durrus, Muenster, Pecorino Romano, Robiola, Swiss, Tome d’Aquitaine, Tumalo Tomme,Wensleydale
  • GRUNER VELTLINER: Appenzeller,Blue Cheese, Brin D’Amour, Caerphilly, Chimay, Double Gloucester, Garrotxa, Goat Cheese, Harbourne Blue, Harvest Moon (washed rind cheese), Muenster, Livarot, Ibores, Mahon, Vacherin Fribourgeois
  • MALBEC: Cashel Blue, Iberico, Manchego, Taleggio
  • MERLOT: Abbaye de Belloc, Alpine Shepard, Brie, Cantalet, Camembert, Chalosse, Cheddar, Doddington, Gorgonzola, Gouda, Gruyere, Ibores, Jarlsberg, Montasio, Parmesan, Pecorino, Toscano, Robiola Bosina, Roncal, Toussaint
  • MUSCAT: Blu del Moncenisio, Fourme d’Ambert, Gorgonzola, Monte Enebro, Valdeon
  • NEBBIOLO: Fontina, Grana Padano, Piave
  • PETIT SIRAH: Arina, Benning, Darcy, Pierre-Qui-Vire, Saint-Florentin, Soumaintrain
  • PINOT BLANC: Baby Swiss, Brie, Camembert, Dry Jack, Feta, Fontina D’Aosta, Montasio, Ossau-Iraty
  • PINOT GRIS: Aged Cheddar, Asiago,Banon, Camellia, Caprino Tartufo, Crottin, Edam, Garroxta, Goat Cheese, Gouda, Mozzarella, Muenster, Ricotta, St. Nectaire
  • PINOT NOIR: Berkswell, Brie, Buche, Camembert, Cheddar (light), Comte, Edam, Epoisses, Feta, French Chevre, Fumaison, Gouda, Gruyere, Lancashire, Monterey Jack, Muenster, Port Salut, Saint Andre, Swiss
  • PORT: Blue Cheese, Cheddar (sharp), Gorgonzola, Roquefort, Stilton
  • RIESLING: Brie, Blue Cheese, Cheshire, Colby, Comte, Cotija, Edam, Gouda, Monterey Jack,Morbier, Panela, St.Andre, Swiss mountain cheeses, Saval, Stanser Rotelli, Tarentaise, Tomme Fermiere d’Alsace
  • RIOJA: Asiago, Cheddar (sharp), Havarti
  • SANGIOVESE: Asiago, Blue Cheese, Dry Jack, Fontina, Georgia Pecan Chevre, Mozzarella, Parmesan Reggiano, Pecorino, Piave, Provolone, Ricotta
  • SAUVIGNON BLANC: Abbaye de Belloc, Amarelo, Asiago,, Blue Castello, Brie, Bucheron, Cheddar (sharp), Cheshire, Clochette, Coulommiers, Coupole, Crottin, Derby, Gloucester, Drunken Goat, Dry Jack, Feta, Goat Cheese, Explorateur, Goat Cheese, Graddost, Gruyere, Mahon, Majorero, Neufchatel, Parmesan, Pave D’Affinois, Selles sur Cher, Sonoma Jack, Teleme
  • SHERRY: Blue Cheese, Vintage Brie
  • SHIRAZ/SYRAH: Cheddar, Edam, Gouda, Parmesan, St. Nectaire
  • SPARKLING WINE (includes all types, including Champagne and Asti Spumante): Baby Swiss, Beaufort, Brie, Brillat-Savarin, Camembert, Cheddar (mild), Chevre, Cooleeney, Crescenza, Edam, Explorateur, Fromage de Meaux, Gouda, Langres, Parmesan, Pierre Robert, Pont l’Eveque, Sbrinz
  • ST.LAURENT: Comte, Edam, French Chevre, Taleggio
  • SWEET WINE / DESSERT WINE/ICE WINE: Bleu des Basques Brebis, Bleu de Sassenage, Cashel Blue, Fourme d’Ambert, Maytag Blue, Crème Fraiche, Marscapone, Taleggio
  • TEMPRANILLO: Azeitao, Cheddar (sharp), Fium ‘Orbu, Fleur du Maquis, Havarti, Mahon, Manchego, Serena, Tomme de Savoie, Zamarano
  • VIOGNIER: Blue cheeses (light), Brillat-Savarin, Goat, Livarot, Pave d’Auge, Stanser Rotelli, Tourmalet
  • ZINFANDEL: Asiago, Blue Cheese, Canestrato, Dry Sonoma Jack, Feta, Goat cheese, Gouda, Gruyere, Muenster, Pau, Pecorino, Piave, Zamorano
  • ZWEIGELT: Cheddar (sharp), Edam, Gouda, Salers, A.O.C., Selun (a Swiss cow’s milk cheese) St. Nectaire
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