Cheese and Wine – Old Friends That Go Together

Omeron Travel
on 28th October, 2022
7 minutes read

Cheese and wine are said to be two old friends that go together. Where is the lie? This food and drink combination is full of flavors and textures that give you a worthwhile experience. Both of them take enough time to mature and bring out the optimum flavors. 

Even though cheese and wine have a sort of Yin and Yang relationship going on, it never fails to mesmerize people with their diversity. Cheese is fatty, creamy, and heavy whereas wine is sharp and acidic. These two components are like two poles yet they go together so well like they were made for each other. 

In this article, we have covered tips on cheese and wine pairing, and pairing algorithms, and listed down 12 best tried and tested cheese-wine combinations. To get started pairing cheese and wine like a pro, keep reading the guide. So, the next time you are on a cheese and wine mission, you will have no doubts about picking the right duo!

Why are Cheese and Wine Paired Together?  

Cheese and Wine are just so flipping good when tasted together. They are considered the ultimate power couple when paired perfectly. But the question is what is the science behind this dreaminess? 

The answer is the complex flavor of a wine can be tricky sometimes. A fine glass of wine exposes you to a ton of flavor including layers of fruits, spices, herbs, flowers, nuts, and so on. 

In order to balance all that complex flavors you need something salty to cut straight through and cheese meticulously serves that purpose. The salt in the cheese helps bring out these flavors to the surface immaculately. In fact, a single bite of cheese after a sip of wine will take you to a wonderland of extraordinary flavors! 

That’s right, your wine becomes boisterous, loud, and easy to taste; all that with just one bite of cheese. 

Wine gives you a tingling sensation on the side of your tongue. You can feel the dry tannings of the wine with every sip you take and a bite of cheese side by side makes the wine silky smooth. The cheese creates an oily coat around your mouth that causes an overall incredible experience. 

Most cheeses and wine go together perfectly but some of the combinations are just out of the world. To know more about the heavenly combinations keep reading the article. 

Tips on Pairing Cheese and Wine 

Armed with the right information, you can introduce a combination of cheese and wine on your own. Let’s take a quick glimpse at some classic cheese and wine pairings and why they work out so well. 

Tip No 1: Pairing Cheese and Wine with the Same Intensity 

The first and foremost rule of pairing cheese and wine is to keep the intensity change. Otherwise, if you choose a sharp and hard acidic wine with a soft creamy cheese it will overpower the flavors of the cheese and vice versa. 

Point to remember: 

  • Wine over 14.5% ABV should be paired with intensely flavored cheese; 
  • Winer under 12% ABV should be paired with delicately flavored cheese .

Tip No 2: Aged Cheese and Red Wines 

The aged cheese loses water over time, resulting in a much more flavorful taste with increased fat content. And this heavy cheese contrasts with the high tannins of bold red wine, creating a wonderful combination. For best results, go for a cheese that is at least a year old. 

Tip No 3: Funky Cheeses with Sweeter Wine 

Sweet wines are the best when paired with funky cheese. The sweetness of the wine complements the “funk” in the cheese and makes it creamier. 

On top of that, the sweet smell and taste of the wine help balance out the sour tinge from the cheese. The sweet wine helps to get over the stinky and wash-rind cheeses without overpowering each other. 

Tip No 4: Soft Creamy Cheese with Sparkling Wine 

Soft creamy cheeses require sparkling wine to offer a palate-cleansing effect. These sparkling wines have high acidity and carbonation that cuts straight through the creamy and soft texture of the cheese. As a result, the sparkling wine works incredibly fine with the soft and creamy textured cheese. 

Tip No 5: Cheese and Wine from the Same Region 

Go the traditional way and try out cheese and wine combinations that originated from the same region. This combination will never disappoint you, trust me! Just trust the local traditions and try out the combination. I bet you won’t be disappointed with the pairing! 

Tip No 6: A Firm Nutty Cheese for the Win 

And last but not the least, when in doubt just pick a nutty firm cheese that will pair nicely with every type of wine. This firm cheese has enough fat to contrast with bold intense wines and the right amount of delicacy to pair with the delicate wines. 

Some of the best nutty firm cheeses are Gruyere, Comte Extra, Abbaye de Belloc, Emmental, Swiss, and Gouda. 

How to Pair Which Cheese with Which Wine 

Now comes the most interesting part, and that is, which cheese complements which wine the best. It seems complicated sometimes but once you dig into the world of cheese and wine. You will know what goes perfectly with what. 

Therefore, I got you a list of cheese and wine combinations that will help you choose the right combination. These steps are necessary to ensure you are picking the right wine with your cheese. To know more about the cheese and wine pairing rules keep reading. 

Wine with Hard Cheese 

Hard cheeses include cheddar, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and Manchego. All of these hard cheeses are easiest to pair with a bottle of wine. Any medium-bodied red wine is going to taste well with this combination and offer you an enjoyable pairing. 

Wine with Soft Cheese 

Soft cheese includes spreadable cheeses like Philadelphia to semi-soft white rinded cheese like Camembert and Brie. This type of cheese goes well with a fruity red or even a rose might go with the flow just fine. 

Wine with Blue Cheese 

Stilton, Roquefort, and Gorgonzola are the famous blue cheese out there. These cheeses go well with a sweet wine like Port or Sauternes. For something different, you can try out blue cheese with Sloe Gin or Sweet Sherry. The combination tastes a bit different than others but I bet this incredible duo won’t disappoint you! 

Wine with Goat Cheese 

With goat cheese, a classic wine pairing goes very well. And if you want to try something different you can go for crispy dry Provencal Rose or a fresh fruity red like Beaujolais instead of pairing it with a classic wine. 

Wine with Washed-Rind Cheese 

Washed-Rind cheese is usually the stinky and funky cheese out there. They develop a pungent taste to it as they mature. So, go for a classic crisp dry white wine for this kind of pairing instead of a red. 

12 Must Try Classic Cheese and Wine Pairing 

Here is a list of classic cheese and wine pairings that you must try at least once in your lifetime. Try out the pairings and see what they have to offer. So, without any further discussion let’s get to the list. 

Gruyere and Pinot Noir 

Gruyere is a medium firm cheese with nutty flavors that goes perfectly with Pinot Noir. Both the cheese and the wine have a nice aroma and texture with no risk of overpowering each other. 

Blue Stilton and Aged Port 

Blue Stilton is a stinky cheese that complements the sweetness and bold characters of the Aged Port wine. The salty character and salty taste of the Blue Stilton cheese match beautifully with an age-old sweet Port. 

Brie and Champagne 

Brie is a soft texture triple cream cheese that needs something as sharp as champagne to cut through its fat. The thick creaminess of Brie combines with the high-acid champagne and creates a contrasting taste on your palate. 

Gorgonzola and Moscato d’Asti 

Rich and heavier cheeses like Gorgonzola require a light and refreshing wine like Moscato d’Asti. The fresh acidic fruit of Moscato d’Asti helps to clean the taste of the pungent cheese in your mouth. 

Idiazabal and Tempranillo 

Idiazabal and Tempranillo are both aged cheeses and wines that have been happily married forever. The hard texture and buttery flavor of the cheese contrast with the tannins of the wine. Both the cheese and the wine have a smoky flavor to them. 

Goat Cheese and Sauvignon Blanc 

Goat cheeses have an earthy and tart touch to them as most of them are in a blank slate condition. So, the citrus and mineral notes of the Sauvignon Blanc bring out the beautiful nutty and herbal flavors of the cheese. The acidity of the wine also helps to cut through the heaviness of the cheese. 

Aged Cheddar and Cabernet Sauvignon 

Aged cheddar is a big bold cheese that has a fattiness to it. This cheese matches well with the sharp tannins of a Cabernet Sauvignon. On top of that, the bold flavors of both the cheese and wine help to elevate the flavors rather than drowning each other. 

Havarti and Provence Rose 

Havarti has a mellow flavor that balances the steely minerality of the Provence Rose wine. The wine has crisp red fruit notes that give a great contrast to the soft and smooth texture of the cheese. 

Raclette and Riesling 

Raclette is a versatile cheese that has a smooth and buttery texture that blends with the strong stone fruit flavors and high acidity of a Riesling. The aromatic scent of the wine brings out the nutty flavor in a good quality Raclette cheese. An off-dry Riesling will be perfect for this type of cheese so that the sweetness doesn’t overpower the cheese. 

Pecorino Toscano and Chianti Classico 

Pecorino Toscano and Chianti Classico is yet another pair of age-old cheese and wine that goes together so well. The cheese has a hidden herbal flavor to it that comes out with the combination of this wine. The booming tannins of the Chianti hold up perfectly against the boldness of Pecorino. 

Fiore Sardo and Vermentino 

Fiore Sardo is a nutty sheep cheese that goes well alongside the oily texture of Vermentino. The saline flavor in both of them allows them to enhance each other. Also, the citrus notes of the wine add a fruity acidity to the fatty sheep cheese.  

Edam and Malbec 

The nutty flavor of Edam cheese combined with the velvety fruit flavor of Malbec turns out to be a great combination. Both of them are aromatic and flavorful and don’t overpower each other. 

Wrapping Up on Cheese and Wine 

The cheese and wine pairing have been going hand-in-hand for centuries. As there isn’t a single kind of cheese or a single type of wine, getting the right pairing can be tricky. Just as cheese spans a range of tastes and textures, wines vary in color and acidity. 

The mouthfeel of each cheese variety depends on a lot of factors including its texture, age, moisture content, fat content, and acidity level. And to balance that you need to pick the right bottle of wine. 

The ultimate goal of pairing cheese and a bottle of wine is to not overpower, but rather help elevate the flavors by complementing each other and vice versa. Start with the tried and true combinations of cheese and wine from the list we provided and see if that works for you. 

Once you master the art of cheese and wine pairing, you can try out different combinations on your own and experiment with the diversity of flavors. Who knows you might just end up with the next best cheese and wine pairing to exist! So, go on with your experiments as you have nothing to lose. Enjoy!