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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Homage to Fromage: Tips for Winning Wine and Cheese Pairings!

If you are a fan of wine & cheese, check out this timely article I recently wrote for Cork' Hope you enjoy - Cheers!

With the Holiday Season approaching and entertaining schedules about to kick into high gear, it’s prime time to perfect your wine and cheese pairing prowess! Creamy, comforting and delicious, cheese is synonymous with the Fall and Winter months, and wine can arguably be the perfect accompaniment. But what wine to serve with that wedge of triple cream Brie, charming Cheddar or fragrant Epoisses? Here are a few basic tips for selecting the perfect bottle.

Pair wines and cheeses with similar flavor profiles: The same principle that works for food and wine also works for wine and cheese. If you enjoy particular flavors in a cheese, opt for a wine that mirrors those desirable qualities. For instance, a tangy, acidic fresh goat cheese would be well matched with a zesty, citrusy Sauvignon Blanc. Similar flavors create this fabulous flavor synergy! In addition to fresh goat cheese with Sauvignon Blanc, other examples of this principle include Camembert or Brie with Chardonnay, aged sheep’s milk cheese with sherry, and Emmentaler with Merlot.

Try the 2007 Michel Redde Sancerre “Les Tuilières” paired with fresh goat’s milk Fromage Blanc

Pair the texture and weight of wine and cheese: The texture of a cheese is an important window into its flavor and can aid in finding a great wine to match it. For instance, if a cheese is creamy and viscous, like Brie, you would want to match it with a wine with similar qualities, say a creamy, buttery Chardonnay. Or, if you’re in the mood for a semi-hard cheese like cheddar, a medium-bodied Zinfandel would probably work best. Some classic examples of this principle include Manchego and Rioja, Gruyère and Gewürztraminer and washed-rind cheese and Cabernet Franc.

Try the 2007 Bodegas Faustino VII Rioja paired with Manchego cheese

Pair wines and cheeses with opposite flavors: This may appear contrary to the first pairing tip, however, if you are a fan of sweet and salty or sweet and savory flavors together, this might be the principle for you! Choosing opposing flavors in wine and cheese can make for some delicious flavor combinations. If you have a salty cheese, then it will generally pair well with a sweet wine – as long as the saltiness and sweetness are in balance. Classic “opposite” cheese and wine pairings include Roquefort and Sauternes and Stilton and Port.

Try the 2009 Dr. Heidemanns-Bergweiler Riesling paired with an aged blue cheese

While these principles can serve as a guide for establishing some wonderful wine and cheese pairings, the best practice is to experiment and discover what truly pleases your palate! What are some of your favorite wine and cheese pairings?
Bon Appétit,


  1. Ummm, I love goat cheese with so much white wines!

  2. Well written and informative post. I can learn a whole lot about wine here.

  3. Pairing wine and cheese is something I have to improve-- I just serve red with everything b/c it's what I love! But I want to have a wine and cheese party at some point, and this article will be my reference!!

  4. Love this Stephanie! I won't even eat cheese without wine, actually. Seriously - won't. And you know how I love my cheese! And my wine. They must be together - and a few guidelines like these take the pairing experience to a new level. Grazie mille!

  5. Wow, what a great article. I really need to take your advice and change up my usual 'red with everything' take. I get too used to going with what I enjoy and forget about trying something new.

  6. I'm no good at all at pairing wine and cheese so thanks for the tips. You're making me crave wine and cheese now though, lol!

  7. Thanks for sharing you knowledge.
    Have a great weekend ♥

  8. I love anything with Goat cheese, well I love anything with wine too. But cheese is always better! I missed visiting your blog (busy with family stuff, way too much family stuff). I have a lot of blog catching up to do! ~Leslie


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