Your Guide to Wine and Cheese
It’s a chill Saturday night and you’re having some friends over, and you want to make a nice cheese plate to go with the wine you’re inevitably going to drink. You’ve seen all these gorgeous cheese boards on Instagram so you know how to design it, however, you have no idea how to pick out the actual cheese.
Have no fear, we’re here to give you a simple guideline to pairing your cheese and wine!
There are some fairly simple rules to follow when matching cheese to wine:
- Pair strong wine with strong cheese. Check the ABV (alcohol by volume) on your bottle. If it’s over 12%, that’s pretty intense, so you want an intense cheese to go with it.
- Bolder red wines go great with the aged, harder cheeses. Think Italian. Italian red wines tend to have big personalities and flavor profiles, and so do the Italian cheeses (for the most part.)
- Bubbly + soft cheese = magic. We have nothing else to say on this matter
- If you’re drinking French wine, go for French cheese. Typically, wines from the same place are going to have similar qualities and will do wonders to compliment each other.
So what does this all really mean?
Okay, let’s break it down. Here are some of the most common cheeses found on a well-rounded cheese board and the wines that they pair well with.
Brie/ Camembert: Soft, earthy cheeses like these are fantastic with something sparkly. They’re luxurious and rich so the bubbles help to cut through it. If you’re not feeling the bubbly, try a citrusy Chardonnay. The acidity will have the same effect as the carbonation will but with less sweetness.
Manchego: A staple of any good cheese board, go for Spanish reds here. Keep in mind that rule about wines and cheeses coming from the same place! But also, Spanish reds have a delicious peppery quality that will complement the buttery taste of the Manchego. You can also try a Bordeaux-style red.
Parmigiano Reggiano/ Romano/ Asiago: Classic and delicious, these are excellent with tannic reds and full-bodied whites. Each of these cheeses has a sharp nature that will be accented nicely by a bolder Red or robust white like a Cabernet Sauvignon or a Riesling.
Bleu Cheese: Funky cheese needs something strong to bring out its best qualities. Sweeter wines tend to do this better because the sweetness tames the funk without overwhelming it, and there’s less acidity to clash with this earthy, mineral flavors. Try an interesting port or a traditional dessert wine.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, it’s okay to stick with just a couple cheeses that you’re comfortable with so you can increase your variety of wine or vice versa, you can pick one wine (like a Riesling) and experiment with the cheese!