Even though one of life’s great pleasures is the perfect pairing of wine and cheese, sometimes finding the right match is a daunting task. Here’s a tip to keep in mind when serving wine and cheese: Wine choices under 12% ABV (alcohol by volume) are milder and match well with lightly flavored cheeses, whereas wine selections over 14.5% ABV pair better with rich cheeses since the wine has a more intense flavor. While there are a plethora of combinations, depending on certain attributes like acidity and texture, listed below are some pairings that particularly stand out.
Blue Cheese and Wine
Gorgonzola, Stilton, and other varieties of blue cheese go exceptionally well with sweet wines, like Sauternes or Port. Blue cheese also pairs well with sweet sherry and sloe gin.
Goat Cheese and Wine
You can’t get a more classic pairing than goat cheese and Sauvignon Blanc. Some other wine options are fruity Beaujolais and Provencal Rosé.
Hard Cheese and Wine
Perhaps the easiest varieties of cheese to pair with wine are the hard cheeses, like cheddar, Manchego, and Parmigiano-Reggiano. Wine choices include Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon, which have hints of fruit and herbs and help draw out the bold flavor in cheddar and other strong cheeses.
Soft Cheese and Wine
Soft spreadable cheeses, like cream cheese, and semi-soft cheese, such as Camembert and Brie, go best with a Beaujolais or Pinot Noir.
Melted Cheese and Wine
Fondue, Raclette, and other melted cheeses aren’t as simple to pair with the right wine, but Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, or any other crisp white wine is a step in the right direction.
Stinky (Washed-Rind) Cheese and Wine
Taleggio, Reblochon, and Epoisses are among the “stinky” cheese variety due to their pungent aroma. A strong ale or aromatic white wine is better for this pairing than red wine.
Monterey Jack and Champagne
Champagne has apple and citrus flavors and works well with Monterey Jack, Muenster, and other mild cheeses. Pinot Grigio is another wonderful choice too since the hint of melon and pear flavors help prepare the palate when having mild cheese.
Colby Jack and Sweet Rose
Chipotle, Colby Jack and other full-flavored cheeses should be coupled with a fruity pink wine like Sweet Rose since the strawberry and melon flavors compliment most spicy cheeses.
Overall, the possibilities for magical wine and cheese pairings are infinite, and with a little research, you’re guaranteed to find the perfect match when it comes time to host your next social gathering. Cheers!