Cheese and Wine Pairing Guidelines

February 23, 2012 6:02 PM EST
wine and cheese
wine and cheese (Photo: wendyness)

Wine and Cheese combinations are frequently better than the part. The possibilities of pairing cheese and wine are endless. There are so many wines and so many cheeses, so both can make a myriad of results. Deciding which wine to serve with what cheese can be a little intimidating for starters. But do not fear. Even though it comes down to personal taste, certain guidelines have been proven favorable by a majority. Here are some guidelines and classic combinations.

Basic Guidelines

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• White wines match with soft cheeses and stronger flavors.
• Red wines match with hard cheeses and milder flavors.
• Fruity and sweet white wines and dessert wines work best with many cheeses.
• The more pungent the cheese you choose, the sweeter the wine should be.

Classic Pairings

• Blue Cheese & sweet dessert wines (Sauternes, Port, Sherry)
• Brie or Camembert & Chardonnay or champagne
• Cahill & Pinot Noir
• Cheddars & Merlot
• Chevre & Gewürztraminer or Champagne
• Fontina & Barbera or Nebbiolo
• Feta and goat cheese & Burgundies, Chenin Blanc, or Sauvignon Blanc
• Gorgonzola & sweet Riesling, Cabernet Sauvignon, or Zinfandel
• Gouda and Parmigiano & Riesling or sparkling wines
• Gruyere& Pinot Noir
• Jarlsberg & Sauvignon Blanc or Viognier
• Monterey Jack & late-harvest Riesling
• Pont l'Eveque, Taleggio & Merlot or late-harvest Riesling
• Provolone & Chianti or Syrah
• Roquefort & Riesling
• Swiss & Pinot Noir


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