Looking for the perfect match? A good wine and a good cheese can enhance the flavours and complexities of each other. Select a wine that complements the flavours in your favourite cheese.
If you have a special bottle, pick a cheese to match.
Don’t know which cheese to buy?
You can bet there’s a wine out there for every cheese. In general, white wine tends to work better with cheese, as the high acidity of the wine breaks down the fat. However, there are red wines that can work well with mature cheeses.
You’ll notice some pairings repeat so you can mix and match with ease for your next party.
There are numerous studies finding the strong flavour of cheese accentuates the dominant flavours in wine. Interestingly, researches show your wine palate becomes more sensitive when combining cheese and wine so you will be able to detect more lovely flavours in the wine.
But in order to get this heightened taste sensation, you need to pair the two right.
Here is my guide to pairing the perfect cheese with your delicious wine with the most popular wines and cheeses pairings!
- Off-Dry Wines pair well with Spicy Cheeses
- Light Bodied Wines pair well with Light Cheeses
- Full Bodied Wines pair well with Heavier Cheeses
Serve whites chilled (41–45 ºF / 5–7 ºC)
Store open 28 days* (in cool, dark place)
A dessert wine is first of all a wine that has such a high sweetness that it can accompany a sweet dessert. One of the most important principles for the harmony of food and wine is that the meal should never be sweeter than wine. In other words, the wine must be at least as sweet as the food. If you were to drink a non-sweet, “dry” wine while having a sweet dessert, the wine would have a very sour note.
These wines are also a great match with saltier foods (think Blue Cheese). Strong Blue cheese shake it up with a salty/sweet combo.
Luscious Wines with Residual Sweetness
Off Dry Riesling
AKA: Riesling – Johannisberger Riesling – Rhine Riesling – White Riesling -Riesling Renano (Italy)
Sweet wines range from off-dry (Kabinett and Spatlese) with a small but perceptible amount of sugar and fresh, delicate fruit flavours, to late-harvested versions (Auslese) with more concentration, richer fruit flavours, and a broader mouthfeel, to fully botrytized wines (Beerenauslese and Trockenbeerenauslese) with lusciously-sweet, orange blossom-like, honeyed richness. Additionally, the category of Eiswein (ice wine), made from grapes frozen on vines, has as much sugar as botrytized Rieslings but with cleaner fruit flavours.
Austria also makes Riesling using its version of the Pradikat system, and Canada is actually producing some delicious ice wine Riesling as well. All these Rieslings tend to be fairly low in alcohol, with the sweetest wines being in the single-digits of alcohol percentage and the double-digits of years to age.
|off dry||medium||perceived as medium||slightly sweet||low|
|late harvest||full||perceived as low||sweet||low|
Fortified Wines Sweet and Plush
Fortified wines are made by adding grape spirit (brandy) to a wine either during or after fermentation, depending on whether the winemaker desires the finished wine to be dry or sweet. The addition of alcohol stops fermentation by killing the yeast, leaving behind residual, unfermented sugar from the grapes. The result is a sweet wine with an alcohol content of 15 to 20 percent. Therefore, the sweeter the wine, the lower the alcohol content and vice versa.
If a wine is fortified before fermentation is finished, the wine will be sweet, as there will still be sugar left in the wine itself, whereas a wine that is fortified after fermentation will be dry.
AKA: Rainwater – Sercial – Verdelho – Bual (Boal) – Malmsey Madiera
Madeira, a fortified wine from the Portuguese island of Madeira is delicious with sheep milk – brebis cheese, particularly full-fat firm styles such as Cabrales, Etorki. The smoky, toffee, tangy nuttiness and fruit-cake aromas and flavours of Madeira as well as its high acidity both cut through the richness of these cheeses and enhances the tangy sheep milk flavours.
|Rainwater, Sercial and Verdelho
AKA: Vinho do Porto – Tawny Port – Vintage Port – Ruby Port – White Port – Late Bottled Vintage (LBV) Port – Colheita Port
Serve Tawny/NV Port at (57 ºF / 14 ºC)
Notes: Different Styles: Ruby / Vintage and Tawny.
Tawny is aged in neutral oak barrels for a set period of time before bottling. Tawny port can be aged for up to 40 years.
Ruby port, on the other hand, is aged in steel or concrete tanks that are specifically designed to prevent oxygen from affecting the port. Ruby port is aged for a much shorter period of time than a tawny port – generally not more than three or four years.
Port’s sweetness and thick body are the perfect foil for pungent, crumbly bleu cheese, like stilton. The older the port is, the sweeter it is because the tannins have become soft over time and the acidity has decreased.
Because of this, blue cheeses work well with it. Port’s sweetness and thick body are the perfect foil for pungent, crumbly bleu cheese. The older the vintage port is, the stronger and smellier the blue cheese can be.
You might rightly point out that Port is a red wine and has long been considered the ideal wine with Stilton, an English blue-veined cheese. The reason that Port pairs so well with blue cheese is because it is sweet and fortified. It is not because it is red. The sweetness provides a perfect foil for the tangy saltiness of blue cheese.
|White||full||medium||sweet||low to medium|
AKA: Barsac – Cérons – Sainte-Croix-du-Mont – Cadillac – Loupiac – Premières Côtes de Bordeaux – Côtes de Bordeaux Saint-Macaire
Sauternes is a sweet white wine made in the Sauternais region of France. Sauternes wine is made from a blend of Semillon, Sauvignon blanc, and Muscadelle grapes. Due to the unusual climate of the area, the grapes are affected by a fungus known as ‘noble rot’ which causes the flavours and sugars in the grapes to become more concentrated. Sauternes wines are thick and sweet, with apricot, peach and floral flavours.
Expect Sauternes to exhibit intense notes of honeyed apricot, butterscotch, caramel, coconut, mango, ginger, marmalade, and citrus themes, along with tropical fruit, honeysuckle, and toasted baking spices. By the way, Sauternes qualifies as a very sweet wine, with anywhere from 120–220 g/L of residual sugar (for comparison’s sake, coke has 113 g/L).
Excellent served with wash-rind soft cheeses where the sweetness in the wine counteracts the “funk” of the cheese.
The most classic pairing is Roquefort. Sauternes really shines alongside something more savoury such as Roquefort or Livarot cheese and foie gras or terrine with caramelized onions. A savoury pairing will highlight the wine while creating a beautiful balance on your tongue.
Also pair it with soft cheese like Brie and rich, tender veal.
The richness of fondue is a match made in heaven for decadent dessert wine Sauternes.
AKA: Jerez – Xérès – Fino – Manzanilla – Manzanilla Pasada – Amontillado – Oloroso – Amoroso – Palo Cortado – Jerez Dulce
Dessert sherry is traditionally served slightly chilled in a special, tulip-shaped glass called a copita. However, if you don’t happen to have copitas lying around your house, any small glass will do.
Sherry is ideally suited with desserts featuring nuts. It also goes very well with blue cheeses, such as Gorgonzola or Stilton.
|Finos, Manzanillas and Amontillados:
||Palo Cortado, Olorosos:
||Cream, Pale Cream:
|Amontillado||medium||low||dry to medium||low|
|Cream, Pale Cream||Body**||low||sweet||low|
AKA: Icewine – Eiswein – Vin de Glace – Vin de Glacière – Vin Glace
When made in the traditional way, ice wine, or “eiswein” as it is called in Germany and Austria, is left on the vine long after the typical harvest is finished until temperatures drop enough for the grapes to freeze. Workers then race to pick the frozen grapes and press them carefully so that the water content is separated (as ice) from the sweet nectar that will become the wine. Making wine this way is risky. Though vines are typically covered with nets to protect them, warm weather, rot, hungry birds and animals, and stormy weather can result in little to no harvest at all. Because grape yields are so low, true ice wine is rare and expensive.
Save your ice wine to drink by itself.
|Typical from white grapes||full||high but perceived medium||sweet||low to medium|
|Typical from red grapes||full||Acidity**||sweet||medium|
Pairing a wine with a cheese that comes from the same region is usually a fair bet.
Note: I get really excited about cheese and wine, so it’s difficult for me to be brief when there is so much wonderful information to share!
- A Complete Guide to Plan an Unforgettable Wine & Cheese Party
- The cheese
- ***Soft Cheese – Fresh – Cow’s milk cheese
- ***Soft Cheese – Fresh – Goat’s milk cheese
- ***Stretched Curd and Brined
- ***Soft and Brined
- ***Soft-ripened and Bloomy-rind – Cow’s milk cheese
- ***Soft Ripened and Bloomy-rind – Cow’s milk cheese – Double/Triple-crème cheeses
- ***Soft-ripened and Bloomy-rind – Goat’s milk cheese
- ***Semi-soft and Brined
- ***Semi-soft – Mild Cow’s milk cheese
- ***Semi-soft – Mild Sheep’s milk
- ***Semi-soft – Swiss or Swiss style
- ***Washed Rind (soft or semi-soft/Semi-hard Cheese/Medium-aged Cheeses)
- ***Aged – Cow’s milk cheese
- ***Hard – sheep’s milk cheese
- ***Hard – Grana
- ***Blue cheeses
- What to serve with the cheese and wine?
- Cheese and Wine Pairing
- ***Classic Cheese and Wine Pairing Chart
- ***Classic Wine and Cheese Pairing – Sparkling Wine
- ***Classic Wine and Cheese Pairing – White Wine
- ***Classic Wine and Cheese Pairing – White Wine
- ***Classic Wine and Cheese Pairing – Rosé Wine
- ***Classic Wine and Cheese Pairing – Red Wine
- ***Classic Wine and Cheese Pairing – Dessert Wine
- Non-alcoholic alternatives
- How much to buy?
- How to set the table?
- Chronogram & Preparation
***In Development, please keep checking.
Reference: Content and images based on information from: https://www.wikipedia.org/ https://cheese.com https://www.cookipedia.co.uk
https://culturecheesemag.com https://www.gourmetsleuth.com https://winefolly.com/ https://www.tasteatlas.com https://www.wine.com/ https://winemonger.com https://www.terroir-france.com/
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