The classic combination of cheese and wine has been enjoyed for hundreds of years. It can be tricky to know where to start when it comes to cheese and wine pairings as there are so many varieties of each, but you can find a few simple guidelines and five cheese and wine pairings in this article.
There are a few simple guidelines which can really help when trying to match cheese with wine. Although pairing wine and food can be quite subjective, there are some combinations which can taste quite unpleasant when put together and it is helpful to know why. Generally, white wines go best with soft cheese and red wines are better with hard cheese. Sweet, fruity wines are the most versatile and the sweetest wines are best with the most pungent cheese. When serving a variety of cheese, white wines are the better choice as soft, creamy cheese can leave red wines tasting dull and flavourless. Another fairly safe option is to pair wines and cheese from the same geographic area.
Cheese and red wine
One of the traditional cheese and wine pairings is Port and Stilton. Although blue cheese can be quite a tricky type of cheese to match a wine to, this pairing is so well-balanced that it has been a favourite choice for years. A sharp aged cheddar works well with a deep red wine. Try a flavourful Cabernet to balance the strong mature taste of the cheddar.
Cheese and white wine
A fresh goat's milk cheese (sometimes known as chevre, the French word for goat) such as a Bucheron matches very well with a white wine like a Sauvignon Blanc. The wine is crisp on the tongue and matches the fresh but sharp flavour which the goat's milk lends to the cheese. As a match with cheese Chardonnay is very versatile, but a popular choice is to pair it with the hard Swiss cheese Gruyère. The nutty flavour of the cheese complements the wine perfectly.
Cheese and sparkling wine
The perfect cheese selection for a champagne or other sparkling white wine is Brie or Camembert. This is another tried and tested pairing, and the bubbles in the wine cut right through the rich and creamy texture of the cheese, freshening up the mouth ready for the next bite.