wine and cheese pairingWINE AND CHEESE PAIRINGS

When selected with care, wine is another great way to compliment a cheese platter. Here are some of the basic guidelines to follow when pairing wine and cheese:

  • White wines are often better for most cheese pairings than reds because of the soft fruit and acidity in whites. Many cheeses bring out bitterness in red wine.
  • Pair simple cheeses with light wines, such as Sauvignon Blanc or Riesling. For rosés, try mild Cheddar, Monterey Jack, or Cream Cheese.
  • Strong cheeses are best with deep, sweet wines. For example pair Blue cheese with Port or Roquefort with a late harvest Riesling.
  • Hard Cheeses taste best with medium to full-bodied wines, while soft cheeses work best with sparkling whites.
  • If you are not the best at wine and cheese pairings think sweet. Sweet wines such as Rieslings, late harvest wines, and Port go great many cheeses. If you are still in doubt choose Gewurztraminer, Sancerre, Chenin Blanc, and sparkling wines or Champagne.

Specific choices: Best wines for the most popular cheeses: Here's a simple pairing guide to help you select the best wines for your cheese platter

Asiago: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, or Syrah

Blue: Cabernet Sauvignon, Sparkling Wines or Port, Syrah, or Zinfandel

Brie: Gewürztraminer, Chardonnay, Zinfandel, or Cabernet Sauvignon

Cheddar: Gewürztraminer, Riesling, medium-bodied Merlot, or Syrah

Colby: Chardonnay, or Sauvignon Blanc

Pinot Noir, Merlot, Zinfandel, Late harvest Rieslings, or Port

Riesling, a fruity Zinfandel, or Merlot

Lesser-oaked Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, or a light-bodied Pinot Noir

Monterey Jack: Sauvignon Blanc, a fruity Zinfandel, or a medium bodied Merlot

Mozzarella: Lesser-oaked Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, or a light-bodied Pinot Noir

Parmesan: Gewürztraminer, Riesling, and Sauvignon Blanc

Provolone: Merlot, light-bodied Pinot Noir, or Syrah

Swiss: Sauvignon Blanc, young Cabernet Sauvignon, or a light-bodied Pinot Noir

[Note: For suggestions on Irish beer to serve with some cheeses, click here.]