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Wine and Cheese

Albertina Roca
  |   January 16, 2015   |  

Marrying Wine and Cheese: Making A Good Match

Although there are few things greater in life than a good hunk of smoky Gouda paired with a hearty Black and Tan, wine is the perfect partner for a sophisticated cheese board. Wine and cheese pairings are tricky; no two cheeses are the same, and matching the perfect cheese to its perfect wine calls for much care and thought. Wine and cheese pairings are selected like color in interior design, you can either match or contrast, but the flavor and textures have to complement each other in your palate. It is also a matter of taste…your own. Do you love a good Pinot Grigio, but are having Roquefort? Hey, rules were meant to be broken! Enjoy it!

To wine selection easier for you, we’ve broken it down so you can choose by wine type, cheese category, and most popular cheese. Salut!

Sommelier Tips: When in doubt, follow these simple rules

  • Cheese and wines from the same region will typically go well together.
  • Cheese with a high fat content = Smooth, oily wine
  • Cheese with high acidity = Sweet, alcoholic wine
  • Salty cheese = Acid wines

Wine and Cheese Pairing Chart: By Type of Wine

Type of Wine Example Cheese Type Example
Dry White Wines, light to med-bodied Auxerrois, Travigne White and Rose, Chardonnay Riesling Reserve, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Grigio Riesling and Late Autumn Riesling Cream based Fresh no rind, Most Goat's cheeses Bluish-gray natural rind Crème fraîche, mozzarella, Fontina, Chèvre, Crottin, Feta, Havarti, St-Marcellin, Tete de Moine, Emmental, Ricotta
Dry White Wines, Full-Bodied Chardonnay Reserve Chardonnay Single Vineyards Founder's Reserve Chardonna Semi-softGrey-pink thick rind Soft cheeses w/ bloomy rind Brie; Camembert; Port-Salut, Chaource, Livarot, Pont l'Eveque, Reblochon, Tomme de Savoie, St-Nectaire, Taleggio
Dry White Wines, Full-Bodied Chardonnay Reserve Chardonnay Single Vineyards Founder's Reserve Chardonna Semi-softGrey-pink thick rind Soft cheeses w/ bloomy rind Brie; Camembert; Port-Salut, Chaource, Livarot, Pont l'Eveque, Reblochon, Tomme de Savoie, St-Nectaire, Taleggio
Dry Red Wines, Light to Med-Bodied, Fruity Merlot Pinot NoirCabernet Franc Fresh with no rind Soft cheeses with bloomy rind Some colored thick rinds Brie, Edam, Emmental, Gouda, Gruyere, Mozzarella, Jarlsberg
Dry Red Wines, Medium-Bodied, Complex   Soft w/ washed rindSticky orange-red, brownish rinds Vacherin, Munster, Langres, Mature Epoisses, Maroilles, Raw milk Brie, Coulommiers Morbier, Reblochon
Dry Red Wines Full-Bodied Cabernet Franc Reserve,Merlot, Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon Hard Cheeses, waxed or oiled Parmigiano Reggiano, Ricotta Salata, Romano, Asiago, Pont l'Eveque, Manchego, ComteOld Gouda, Beaufort, Chèvre NoirMahon, Roncal

By Type of Cheese

Type Example Wine
Soft Cheeses Munster, Boursin, Brie Light Reds, Gewurztraminer, Cabernet, Côtes du Rhône, Bourgeuil, Brouilly, Saint-Émilion Pinot noir d'Alsace
Semi-Soft Bel Paese, Swiss Chardonnay
Downy/Bloomy Rind Cheese Camembert, Brie Light Reds
Pressed Cheese Mimollette Light Reds
Fresh Cheese Ricotta, Cottage, Fresh chèvre Light and fruity wines, served cool
Goats Milk cheese / Chevres ValencayCrottin de Chavignol Light Reds, dry fruity whites, Herbal acid whites, Sancerre, Mâcon, Côtes du Rhône
Soft, Washed Rind Munster, Reblochon AOC Robust Reds, Côtes de Nuit, Saint-Émilion, Côtes du Rhône, Chateauneuf du Pape
Blue Cheese/Roquefort Bresse Blue, Stilton Blue Smooth whites, Ports or Madeiras, Graves, St-Émilion, Côtes du Rhône, Cahors, Corbières
Sheep's milk /Ewe's Milk Cheese Feta Queso de la Serena Pecorino Sardo,Pecorino Romano Fuller Whites (Alsace Gewurztraminer), Sweet Whites (Chenin Blanc Demi Sec), Medium Reds (Burgundy)
Processed Cheese Any cheese that is enriched or encrusted with other ingredients, such as nuts, herbs or spices. E.x. Light Whites Light Reds (Beaujolais)

Most Popular Cheese and their Wine Pairings

Cheese Name Wine
Swiss Anti Spumanti
Blue Port, Madeira
Boursin Gewurztraimer
Brie (French) Sweet sherry
Camamber Cabernet, Chenin Blanc
Mild Cheddar Chardonnay
Strong Cheddar Cabernet, Rioja, Sauvignon Blanc
Chevre Gewuerztraimer
Danish Blue Cabernet
Edam Riesling
Feta Beaujolais
Gorgonzola Sauternes, Bourdax
Gouda Riesling
Gruyere Chardonnay, Saubignon Blanc
Havarti Bodeaux, Rioja
Muenster Beaujolais, Zinfandel
Provolone Chardonnay
Roquefort Port
Stilton Port

Questions and Answers

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This was full of wonderful information, most of which I did NOT know.
Laurie from Georgetown, TN


Albertina Roca

Meet Albertina, a seasoned food writing wordsmith and marketing creative split between the sizzling vibes of Miami and the charming streets of Buenos Aires. With a solid 20 years in the traditional and digital advertising world for the gourmet food industry, she’s mastered the art of making words as mouthwatering as the dishes they describe. She’s proudly been part of the Gourmet Food Store family (and its brands) since its very beginnings, and what a fun, flavor-packed journey it has been!

Her journey began at Rutgers College, where she studied in History and Political Science, with a minor in English Lit (where are my Jane Austen fans at?). She honed her craft at The Miami Ad School in South Beach, where creativity and copy collided under the South Florida Sun. From the neon streets of South Beach to the tango beats of Buenos Aires, her pen dances with the rhythm of whatever gastronomic tales she gets to write at the time.

Currently savoring life in Buenos Aires, Argentina, she’s bilingual in English and Spanish, an avid reader, and cheese addict.

Her writing? Seasoned with creativity, spiced with experience, and garnished with a dash of wit.

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