Pairing cheese and wine can be intimidating, but really, it’s all about experimenting. There are no set rules, only guidelines. The five pairings below are a good place to start.
Salty with Sweet:
The salty flavor of blue cheeses, and even some washed rind cheeses, balances out the sweetness of dessert wines, and vice versa. Try Stilton with Port or Epoisses with Sauternes.
Try pairing cheese and wine produced in the same region. Spanish Manchego or Zamarano with an Albariño wine, and Beecher’s Flagship Reserve cheddar with a Washington state Syrah are examples of regional pairings that work well.
Creamy with Tannic:
Triple Crème cheese is buttery, smooth and gentle; the perfect foil for the rough tannins found in a young red wine from Bordeaux. Although slightly less creamy, Brie might be another good match.
Acidity with Acidity:
Repeat after me: Goat cheese and Sauvignon Blanc. You will not be disappointed. Why? The acidity in goat cheese gives it a tangy zip that matches perfectly with the crisp acidity of most Sauvignon Blancs. Try French Selles-sur-Cher with Sancerre.
Rich and Creamy with Bubbles:
If the only reason for this pairing is complete decadence, so be it. Champagne or any sparkling wine paired with a rich, creamy cheese is one of life’s great pleasures. Try it with St. Andre Triple Crème or a wedge of rich, dense Gruyere.