March 14, 2023

The Ultimate Cheese And Wine Pairing Guide: Matching The Perfect Wine With Your Favorite Cheeses

Looking for something special that packs a punch? Or perhaps something more subtle and delicate? With my expert knowledge as a sommelier in both wine and cheese, I can assure you that there’s something in this guide to please everyone. By exploring the different tastes, textures, and aromas available, we’ll find the perfect match between each type of cheese and its ideal partner: a glass of fine wine.

Let me take you on a journey to discovering how to bring out all the exquisite flavors in your favorite cheeses through carefully-selected wines. Together we’ll explore unique flavor profiles and learn about classic combinations used by experts around the world. So sit back, relax, and enjoy learning about what makes this union so magical!

What Makes A Good Wine & Cheese Pairing?

When it comes to pairing wine and cheese, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Every cheese has its own flavor profile and texture, which will be complemented differently depending on the type of wine you choose. It takes a bit of knowledge and experimentation to find the right combination for your palate. As a sommelier, I’ve learned that effective pairings are tied together by three core elements: aroma, intensity, and contrast.
Aromas should complement each other in order to create an inviting experience. Cheese can bring out subtle notes in certain wines—for instance, sharp cheddar can enhance the earthy tones found in Pinot Noir or Cabernet Sauvignon. The intensity between the two components must also balance each other so neither overwhelms the other; think about how pungent blue cheeses demand bold reds for maximum impact. Finally, contrast is key when creating dynamic flavors; try sweet Riesling with salty Parmigiano Reggiano or nutty Gruyere with crisp Sauvignon Blanc.
Ultimately, selecting the perfect marriage of wine and cheese requires trial and error—don’t be afraid to experiment! With a little practice and guidance from this guide, you’ll discover delightful combinations that tantalize both your taste buds and those around you.

Soft Cheeses

Now that we know the basics of pairing wine with cheese, let’s dive into a few specific kinds of cheese. Soft cheeses are some of the most popular and versatile to pair with wines because their light texture can be matched easily with a variety of styles. From mild-flavored bries to tangy blue cheeses, there’s something for everyone!

When selecting your soft cheese, it’s important to consider things like flavor intensity, fat content, and degree of ripeness. Milder cheeses such as fresh chevre or ricotta will work better with lighter-bodied white wines or rosés while stronger flavored varieties such as gorgonzola would match best with robust red wines. For example, an oaky Chardonnay is an excellent choice to bring out the subtle nutty flavors in a Brie de Meaux, whereas a creamy Camembert could be paired perfectly with an earthy Pinot Noir. The possibilities are endless when experimenting with different combinations – so don’t be afraid to try new things and find what works best for you!

Semi-Soft Cheeses

Are you looking for the perfect wine to pair with your favorite semi-soft cheeses? Look no further! Let’s start off by examining Brie cheese, which pairs wonderfully with a full-bodied Chardonnay. This creamy delight will bring out the subtle notes of citrus and oak in the Chardonnay that makes it an excellent match.

Gouda cheeses are another great option when pairing wines and semi-soft cheeses. A big fan favorite is Cabernet Sauvignon, as its bold fruit flavors along with hints of spice and coffee make it a luxurious complement to Gouda. The combination creates a delightful interplay between sweet and savory that can’t be matched!

No matter what type of semi-soft cheese you have on hand, there’s sure to be a delicious wine that pairs perfectly with it. With some trial and error, you’ll soon find yourself confidently matching up different types of wines and cheeses like a professional sommelier!

Hard Cheeses

When it comes to hard cheeses, there is a wide variety of options and opportunities for the perfect wine pairing. Hard cheese like Parmigiano-Reggiano, Asiago, Gruyere, and Cheddar are all excellent choices that can be paired with some incredible wines.

Here are our top five pairings of hard cheeses and wines:

  • Parmigiano Reggiano & Barbera D’Asti
  • Asiago & Prosecco
  • Gruyere & Riesling
  • Cheddar & Chardonnay
  • Gouda & Pinot Noir

The key to getting the most out of your cheese and wine pairing is to find complementary flavors that enhance one another. With these classic combinations, you can create an unforgettable experience for yourself or special guests. Whether you’re entertaining at home or hosting a larger gathering, these pairs will definitely leave everyone feeling satisfied. So enjoy the unique flavor profiles each combination has to offer!

Blue Veined Cheeses

Having explored the world of hard cheeses, let us now delve into the rich and complex flavors of blue-veined cheese. This type of cheese is unique in that it has a sharp yet earthy taste from its signature blue veins that have been created by adding Penicillium cultures to the curds during production.

CheeseWine Pairing
RoquefortCabernet Sauvignon/Merlot blend
Gorgonzola DolceMoscato d’Asti
Pinot Grigio
Asti Spumante
Stilton Gold or Blue-Veined White Stilton with Apricots or FigsRiesling Kabinett/Spätlese
Chenin Blanc
Vouvray Demisec
Moscato d’Asti

These hues not only add an eye-catching element to your charcuterie board but also bring out subtle notes of sweetness and nutty tones when paired correctly with wine. The best wines for pairing with these types of cheese are full-bodied reds such as cabernet sauvignon and merlots, along with bold whites like rieslings and chenin blancs. For something light, try a sparkling rosé or prosecco, while sweet dessert wines such as sauterne or moscato d’asti will perfectly complement gorgonzola dolce and other soft blue-veined varieties. Take a look at the table below for some popular pairings:

With these expertly matched combinations, you can create a truly memorable culinary experience that will linger long after dinner is over. So go ahead—experiment boldly with different styles of blue veined cheeses, seek out interesting new varietals, and take advantage of this opportunity to expand your palate!

White & Sparkling Wines

When it comes to white and sparkling wines, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. The best way to determine which wine will pair perfectly with your favorite cheese is by experimenting. To illustrate this idea, think of a blind taste test: the surprise in each sip can be just as thrilling—and delicious—as the last!

For fresh cheeses like Chevre or Feta, opt for an unoaked Chardonnay that has notes of citrus and tropical fruits. For creamy Brie or Camembert, you’ll want to seek out something with more body like an oaky Chardonnay from Burgundy or California with hints of butterscotch on the palate. If you’re looking for something lighter yet still flavorful try Pinot Grigio from Italy’s Veneto region. It pairs beautifully with soft cow’s milk cheeses such as Gouda and Gruyere.

On the other hand, if bubbles are what you crave then Prosecco might be your go-to bottle. Its light flavor makes it a great accompaniment to nutty Parmesan and sheep’s milk Ricotta Salata while its fine perlage will bring out the subtle sweetness of Alpine-style cheeses like Comte and Beaufort. And don’t forget about Champagne! This classic French bubbly complements blues such as Roquefort exceptionally well due to its acidity and hint of toastiness in the aftertaste. Whatever your preference may be, rest assured knowing that these white and sparkling wines will always make a delightful pairing partner for any type of cheese!

Red Wines

When it comes to red wines, we have a plethora of options that pair wonderfully with cheese. Whether you’re looking for something light and crisp or deep and full-bodied, there’s something to fit every palate in this family of wines.

Let’s start with Pinot Noir: It is one of the most versatile red varieties out there. Its delicate aromas pair perfectly with soft-ripened cheeses such as Brie de Meaux and Camembert. If you prefer a more robust flavor, try pairing Cabernet Sauvignon with aged cheddar or Gruyère—a classic combination! Merlot complements creamy blue cheese like Roquefort or Gorgonzola Dolce beautifully; while Zinfandel is ideal if you’re looking for something sweeter yet still vibrant enough to cut through richer flavors.

Ultimately, pick what speaks to your taste buds – there are no wrong answers when it comes to wine and cheese pairings. With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to find the perfect accompaniment for any occasion!


As a wine and cheese sommelier, I’m here to tell you that the perfect pairing of these two delicacies is an art form. With careful selection and consideration, you can create combinations that will tantalize your palate and leave lasting impressions on everyone around you.

When it comes to soft cheeses like brie or gouda, white wines are typically recommended for their lightness in flavor and body. But don’t be afraid to experiment with sparkling wines too – the bubbles provide an interesting contrast against the creamy texture of softer varieties. For semi-soft cheeses like cheddar or havarti, reds such as cabernet sauvignon or merlot make great partners due to their bolder flavors and richer bodies. Finally, hard cheeses such as parmesan pair best with full-bodied whites like Chardonnay which accentuate the nutty notes of aged varieties.

Ultimately, when selecting a wine to go with your favorite cheese remember: there’s no right or wrong answer! The fun part about creating ideal food and drink pairings is experimentation – so feel free to mix things up until you find something that truly satisfies your taste buds!

About the author 

Karina Kahale

I was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii. After years of travel, exploration, and education, I founded Underground Wine Merchants in 2019.

Currently, I work as a sommelier at a fine dining restaurant here in Hawaii. I pursued my education at the prestigious ICE Sommelier Institute in Los Angeles, which has equipped me with the knowledge and skills to excel in my profession.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}