What You Need to Know about Pairing Cheese and Wine

3 min read

charcuterie board

Despite being an unconventional practice back in the day, eating cheese with wine has eventually found acceptance in society. In fact, it has established itself as a delightful culinary experience.

Given this, you must know a few basics when pairing cheese with your elegant glass of wine. Which wine goes well with aged cheddar? What pairs should you keep away from? These are probably some of the questions running through your mind right now.

Do not fret! In this article, you will learn about the most suitable cheese and wine pairings that will elevate your taste buds and offer a memorable experience.

The Basics

Many experts say there are no hard and fast rules in cheese or wine. No matter how frowned upon your preferred pairing may be, feel free to enjoy it as much as you already do.

There are a few recommendations, though, that will help you make the most of your cheese and wine indulgence. Naturally, flavour, scent, and texture are some of the most important factors for you to consider.

French-born cheese educator and consultant Valerie Henbest recommends pairing light with light and strong with strong. It means that delicate-flavoured cheeses are perfect with light-bodied wines, whereas aged and rich cheeses go well with heavy-bodied wines.

Contrary to popular belief, white wine is often a better fit with most cheeses than red wine. It is due to the latter often overshadowing the cheese’s unique taste. A palate-cleansing sparkling wine is recommended if you want to savour your glass with a mixed cheese platter.


Complementing, Contrasting, or Cutting Through?

A wine complements, contrasts, or cuts through a cheese’s taste and texture to create a beautiful marriage of flavours.

Generally, a wine that complements further emphasises the cheese’s primary flavour profile. On the other hand, contrasting flavours tend to be on opposite sides of the spectrum yet delicately enhance each other. For example, you would want a glass of sweet Semillon with salty blue cheese.

Lastly, wines that “cut through” address the overall flavour and texture of your cheese, such as sparkling wines or champagne that wash one’s palate of a triple cream’s milky richness.

Considering the Origins

Experts often say that things that grow together will go well together. It is especially true for cheeses and wines!

If your wine and cheese came from the same region, their flavour profiles are likely an undeniable match made in heaven.

Keep in mind that a specific region’s climate and terrain significantly influence the characteristics of whatever products it makes.

It is also why many wine connoisseurs and enthusiasts are in love with Munster cheese paired with a Gewürztraminer or Parmigiano Reggiano with a Chianti.

The Experts’ Favourites

If you need inspiration for your next special occasion, check out some of the best tried-and-tested wine and cheese matches below:

  • Chardonnay with brie or camembert
  • Heavy-bodied red wines with aged cheddar, Gouda, or Parmigiano Reggiano
  • Light- and medium-bodied red wines with Manchego or raclette
  • Riesling with mould cheese or Taleggio
  • Sauvignon blanc with French goat cheese

Whatever pairing you enjoy, no one is stopping you from doing so. At the end of the day, preference takes precedence over any other factors when it comes to food and drinks.

Do not be intimidated by the wide variety of wines and cheeses you may encounter on your special dining adventure. But hopefully, with our guide above, you can be a lot more confident in picking a cheese to go with your mouth-watering glass of wine!

If you are however looking for some further guidance, check out the Impressionist Sensory Pack, a tasting experience perfectly designed to level up your wine knowledge! Transporting your senses to our South Australian Vineyard, this tasting pack is truly one of a kind! 



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