Tips to keep in mind: Pairing wines and cheeses from the same region is a good, “safe” place to start wine and cheese combinations. For example, a good Italian Chianti and a potent Parmesan will provide a fascinating mix. Also, remember that the harder types of cheese (i.e. Cheddar or Parmesan) can handle more tannic wines. While creamy cheeses, such as Brie, typically pair better with wines that have more acidity, like a Chardonnay. Give salty cheeses a sweet wine partner (i.e. Blue Cheese and Port).
Types of cheese & suggested wine pairings…
Fresh - uncooked, unripened curds which are usually mild & moist (ricotta, chevre, pecorino fresco) - try sweet wines, dry wines, roses
Bloomy Rind - surface is exposed to molds that make them ripen inward & become creamy (La Trappeur Brie, camembert) - try Beaujolais, medium reds, ciders
Washed Rind - washed with brine or liquid to promote sticky rind with “stinky” quality (Mont Jacob, Comtomme, Epoisses, Munster) - try dry white wines & full-bodied reds
Natural Rind - self-made rind with an appearance of mottled rock (stilton, Ossau Iraty) - try fruity red
Uncooked/Pressed - curds are not cooked, and whey is removed by pressing (Tomme de Grosse Ile, tomme de savoie) - try medium reds
Cooked/Pressed - curds are cooked until solidified, then pressed (Picobello, L'Mareachal, Parmigiano, Gruyere) - try fruity whites, full-bodied reds
Semi-Hard/Hard - cooked and pressed, with our without rinds, then aged usually 1-2 years (Ille aux Grues, Avonlea Clothbound Cheddar, gouda) - try spicy & racy reds
Blue - infused with Penicillium Roqueforti, then aged in caves or cellars (Le Bleu d'Élizabeth, Blue Ermite, Roquefort) - try sweet wines, port
More Wine and Cheese Pairings...
Wine: Beaujolais; Cheese to consider: Brie, Camembert, goat cheese
Wine: Cabernet Franc; Cheese to Consider: Blue, Brie, Camembert, Cheddar, Fontina, goat cheese, Gorgonzola, Port Salut, Swiss
Wine: Cabernet Sauvignon; Cheeses to Consider: Camembert, Cheddar, Colby, Danish Blue, Gorgonzola, Gouda, Parmesan, Blue cheese, Roquefort
Wine: Chardonnay; Cheese to Consider: Brie, Camembert, goat cheese, Gouda, Gruyere, Parmesan, Provolone
Wine: Champagne; Cheese to Consider: Beaufort, Brie, Camembert, Cheddar, Chevre, Colby, Edam, Gouda, Gruyere, Parmesan
Wine: Chenin Blanc; Cheese to Consider: Camembert, goat cheese, Graddost
Wine: Chianti; Cheese to Consider: Look for regional cheeses to complement an Italian Chianti, perhaps Fontina, Mozarella, Parmesan or Provolone
Wine: Dessert Wine; Cheese to Consider: Crème Fraiche, Marscopone, or shake it up with a salty/sweet combo. and consider a crumble or two of blue cheese.
Wine: Gewurztraminer; Cheese to Consider: Boursin, Camembert, Chevre, Muenster, Swiss, Wensleydale
Wine: Gruner Veltliner; Cheese to Consider: Blue cheese, goat cheese, Munster (the original French version)
Wine: Merlot ; Cheese to Consider: Brie, Camembert, Cheddar, Gorgonzola, Gouda, Gruyere, Jarlsberg, Parmesan
Wine: Pinot Blanc; Cheese to Consider: Brie, Camembert, Feta
Wine: Pinot Gris; Cheese to Consider: aged Cheddar, Asiago, Edam, goat cheese, Gouda, Mozarella, Muenster, and even Ricotta for a unique combo.
Wine: Pinot Noir; Cheese to Consider: Brie, Camembert, Feta, Gruyere, Monterey Jack, Muenster, Port Salut, Swiss
Wine: Port; Cheese to Consider: Blue, Gorgonzola
Wine: Riesling; Cheese to Consider: Brie, Blue, Colby, Edam, Gouda, Monterey Jack
Wine: Rioja; Cheese to Consider: Asiago, Cheddar, Havarti
Wine: Sangiovese; Cheese to Consider: Blue, Fontina, Mozzarella, Parmesan, Provolone, Ricotta
Wine: Sauvignon Blanc; Cheese to Consider: Asiago, Brie, Cheddar, Feta, goat cheese, Gruyere, Neufchatel, Parmesan
Wine: Shiraz/Syrah; Cheese to Consider: Cheddar, Edam, Gouda, Parmesan
Wine: Zinfandel; Cheese to Consider: Asiago, Blue, Feta, goat cheese, Gouda, Gruyere, Muenster