Of all of the culinary marriages in this world, there are few that have stood the test and time quite like wine and cheese. Simple, rustic, artistic, and sophisticated, all in equal measure.
The myriad combinations of wine and cheese can always guarantee a decadent and delicious evening. However, simple as they may be, pairing them correctly can be intimidating for the uninitiated.
You don’t need to consult a wine and cheese pairing chart to master the ancient practice. Whether you’re shopping for vintages or making your own wine, read on to find out what you should know about wine and cheese.
Wine and Cheese 101: Basic Rules
Before getting into the wine and cheese pairings you need to know, let’s cover some ground rules.
First off, weight is everything. We don’t mean weight in pounds, we mean the ‘weight’ of the flavor and feel of your cheese and wine pairing. For example, a heavy, full-bodied wine should always be accompanied by a stronger, sharp cheese.
This rule can be expanded. Spicier cheese should always match up with a ‘spicier’ wine, such as a Riesling, which has a kick as well as some sweet relief.
The same goes for sweet wines, which always go well with sweeter cheeses, such as Havarti.
Most importantly, flavor intensity and character should always match. If you’re going for a zesty cheese like goat’s cheese, then this should be paired with a similarly zesty wine, like Pinot Gris. You get the picture.
Now let’s take a look at some quintessential cheese and wine pairing examples based on these rules.
Port and blue cheese go great together at the end of a meal. This is because the sweet, full body of port compliments the heavy intensity of the cheese.
Similarly, a rich Cabernet Sauvignon goes well with an aged Gouda. This is because the wine works as a great foil against that strong, nutty flavor.
If you want to consider pairings based on texture, there are some illustrative examples. If you have some authentic parmesan on your table, then Prosecco is absolutely necessary. The bubbles cut through the hard cheese, allowing it to truly melt in your mouth.
In a similar vein, the sweet and creamy quality of sweet rose wine makes it ideal alongside Colby Jack or Chipotle cheeses.
Now consider light white wines such as Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio. Based on what we’ve learned so far, you probably don’t need a wine pairing chart to guess what cheeses go with these.
A Chardonnay, with its lightness and crisp flavor, will go great with a light cheddar or burrata. For the same reasons, Pinot Grigio matches beautifully with a fluffy mozzarella or a lightly aged goat’s cheese.
As you can see, it’s all about matching the flavor profiles and avoiding any unpleasant clashes on your taste buds.
Wine and cheese pairings are a guaranteed good time. If you’re still not ready to host your own wine and cheese night, we’re here to help. You can always get in touch or pop your head into our store for advice from our experts.