Wine and Cheese work so well together as the fats and proteins in Cheese hide the flaws in your glass of wine. For example, if you have a young glass of red wine that is brash and sharp with tannin, the red wine tastes smoother as Cheese softens tannin. Furthermore, your Cheese will taste better with a tannic red wine as tannin breaks down protein molecules. The breakdown or denaturing of protein releases flavour, making the Cheese taste even more delicious.
If you want to try out Wine and Cheese Pairing, I have listed some of the more popular pairings below. If you are alone, I’d suggest you start with one. If you are hosting a Wine & Cheese party (or bringing a Cheeseboard to a party), I’d limit it to three Cheeses, as Cheese is quite expensive.
For more Wine and Cheese Pairings, check out my Food and Wine Pairing Matcher tool on the homepage. Type in the Cheese you have or the type of wine you are serving, and whittle down your choices from there.
**Please note, in my ratings, I sometimes rate Food and Cheese pairings a lot lower than how they actually are. I took this approach as Cheese isn’t a real meal – meaning that most of us don’t sit down and eat a plate of Cheese for dinner. Instead, we nibble on Cheese and move on, and for that, you don’t need a whole lot of wine. If any of my ratings seem shockingly low, add a half star to any pairing.
Goat Cheese & Sancerre Pairing
Goat Cheese and Sancerre is a ‘holy grail‘ of wine and cheese pairing in that both the wine and cheese taste even better when paired.
Goat cheese has a sour aspect that needs an extra sharp wine to hold up to it, and Sancerre checks that box as it is bracingly tart and bone dry. When the sour Cheese and tart wine embrace, you have an explosive and invigorating pairing.
Sancerre is incredibly flavourful, with notes of citrus, herbs, grapefruit and grass. Sancerre also has a smoky and stony flavour that is often described as ‘gunflint,’ which is incredible. All of the flavours of the wine are amplified as the creamy flavours of Goat Cheese absorb and spread out the unique flavours of Sancerre, ensuring you won’t miss a thing.
Mozzarella & Prosecco Pairing
Paired together, mozzarella cheese and Prosecco make for a delightful combination. The creaminess of the Mozzarella is complemented perfectly by Prosecco’s fruity and light flavour. It’s hard to beat the taste sensation that these two items create when paired together. The creamy Cheese melts in your mouth while the crisp bubbles from the Prosecco freshen up your palate. A perfect combination for any occasion!
To add an extra layer of flavour, add some olives or roasted red peppers to your Cheeseboard for an extra burst of Mediterranean flavours that will tantalize your taste buds!
Prosecco is a bubbly Sparkling Wine from Italy and full of flavours of freshly picked apples and pears. Prosecco is not very expensive, and Mozzarella is always readily available, making this an easy pairing for anyone on a budget or getting started with food and wine pairing.
Brie & Sauvignon Blanc Pairing
A Sauvignon Blanc and Brie pairing create a lovely balance of flavour. The acidic, grassy notes of Sauvignon Blanc complement the creamy, mild taste of Brie. The crispness from the wine cuts through the rich and creaminess of the Cheese, creating a palate-pleasing experience. For an added bonus, try adding a drizzle of honey to this classic combination.
Sharp Aged Cheddar and Cabernet Sauvignon
A young Cabernet Sauvignon full of tannin is a wonderful pairing with a sharp Cabernet Sauvignon. The fat and protein in the Cheese will smooth out the tannin in this wine, allowing all those inky dark fruit flavours of cassis and blackberry to flood your senses. Cabernet Sauvignon also irons out the sharpness of the Cheese, forcing the nuttier flavours to rise to the top.
Cabernet Sauvignon is a dry red wine, however, it will come off as a bit sweet and fruity due to the saltiness of the Cheese. The perceived sweetness of cassis, chocolate, raspberry, black cherry and plum all make this a pairing perfect for some great after-dinner conversation.
Cheddar Cheese & Chardonnay Pairing
Enjoying a glass of Chardonnay with a sharp cheddar cheese is a perfect way to enjoy an afternoon. The creamy and nutty taste of the Cheese is beautifully complemented by the buttery flavours of the wine, creating an amazing balance that can only be experienced when pairing these two items together. Equal parts salty and sweet, this combination will tantalize your taste buds and delight your senses.
Apple Smoked Gouda and Riesling
Apple Smoked Gouda is a creamy, buttery cheese with hints of smoke and tangy apple. Riesling is an excellent choice with this style of Gouda, as the crisp flavours of the wine will cut through the creamy fats and saltiness of the Cheese.
Riesling features delicious flavours of green apple, apricot, peach and lime that all complement the tart apple flavour of the Cheese. You’ll also find notes of smoke, toast, stone and petrol, which complement the smoked flavours of Gouda.
Sauternes & Blue Cheese Pairing
Sauternes is another classic blue cheese and wine pairing that capitalizes on the harmonious nature of sweetness and saltiness. Sauternes is a sweet and honeyed texture wine from France.
Sauternes is expensive but decadent and fit for a king or queen. This pairing is worth trying once in your life and is perfect for those evenings you never want to end with friends as you ramble on about life in a comfortable chair, enjoying one another’s company.
Roquefort Cheese & Amarone Pairing
A syrupy and rich Amarone has just the perfect intensity to stand up to it, a rowdy and earthy Roquefort Cheese without overwhelming it. The velvety flavours of fig, bitter chocolate, cherry, raisin, smoke and spice have no problem taming the pungent, creamy, and tangy flavours of the Roquefort Cheese.
Enjoy this pairing in moderation, as Amarone is deceptively high in alcohol.
Blue Cheese & Tawny Port
Try a masculine and earthy Blue Cheese like Roquefort with a feminine Tawny Port for an after-dinner treat. This fortified wine has enough acid to cut through the richness of the Cheese and has a nutty component to match the nutty flavours of whatever Blue Cheese you select.
The best part of this pairing is the how the sweetness of the port balances out the saltiness of the Cheese. The Ying and Yang of Blue Cheese and Tawny Port are certainly worth writing home about!
Why only four stars though? I’m a sucker for Dark Chocolate or Nuts when it comes to Tawny Port.
Best Wines to Pair With a Cheese Platter
The Best Wines to Pair with a Cheese Platter are Prosecco, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. You don’t have to buy all three wines. One or two wines will work in a variety of situations.
Prosecco & Cheese Platter Pairing
If you are serving up your Cheese Platter before dinner, I recommend Prosecco, as this sparkling wine is bubbly, fun and refreshing. Prosecco will go well with nearly every Cheese on your Platter as the acidic and crisp flavours of apple, pear, and peach wash all the fats and salt away, cleansing your palate for the next bite of delicious Cheese. Prosecco is also a bit nutty, with notes of almond, making it perfect for Cheese as it complements the nuttier flavours you find in Cheese.
No matter what the Cheese, such as Parmesan, Blue Cheese, Brie, Gouda, or Mozzarella, Prosecco will go great with it.
Chardonnay & Cabernet Sauvignon Paired with a Hard Cheese Platter
If you are having a Cheese Platter to showcase how good wine and Cheese go together, I recommend choosing a Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon if you are new to wine and cheese pairings. Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon are excellent with hard cheeses like Cheddar, Parmesan, Comté, and Manchego. Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon are two wines that are easy to find and are crowd-pleasing wines.
What makes Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay so amazing with Cheese is that you will instantly be able to tell the difference when you have a bite of Cheese with the wine in how everything tastes better. Cheese will instantly soften up and sharp edges of these two wines and make them both taste smooth and delicious.
Cabernet Sauvignon will go fantastic with Camembert, Cheddar Cheese Colby, Comté, Gorgonzola, Gouda, Manchego, Parmesan, & Roquefort. Meanwhile, Chardonnay will pair well with Brie, Camembert, Cheddar, Comté, Goat Cheese, Gouda, Gruyere, Parmesan and Provolone.
This pairing will also go well with an after-dinner Cheese Platter where you may have served Cabernet Sauvignon or Chardonnay with the mains. Allowing people to enjoy the remainder of their wine with a Cheese Platter is a wonderful way to end the evening.