Different varieties of wine and cheese share a lot of things in common; both are made by the fermentation process and they can be served immediately. Another remarkable similarity is that both taste the best after curing or aging. In case you have a craving for these natural products, there is no question about the wonderful feel which results from their pairings.
The tradition of coupling these items has been around for thousands of years. Their compositional ingredients play an important role to bring out the best flavor. Some people opine that both of them are just inseparable. Thus, when we organize a wine tasting party, we usually include various types of cheese products.
A Brief Guide
Depending on personal taste, there are some classic combination choices which most people prefer at all times. For example, a red wine blends well with a hard cheese having a mild flavor; whereas, a white wine and strong flavored soft and creamy cheese coupling gives an amazing taste. Basically, any type of cheese can be combined with dessert or fruit wines. The thumb rule is to use a sweet tasting wine for pungent cheese, and vice versa.
Generally speaking, white wines are best suited for a wide range of cheeses. At the time of serving, make sure that the wines are served cool (red wine at 60° F- 65° F, white wine at 50° F - 55° F) and cheeses are maintained at room temperature.
Red Wine and Cheese
In most cases, these wines are best paired with cheddar cheese. Some combinations are:
- Cabernet Franc and sharp cheddar
- Chianti and hard cheese (preferably Parmesan)
- Merlot and sharp cheddar
- Cabernet Sauvignon tastes the best with sharp and hard cheese
- Zinfandel and blue cheese
- Sangiovese and creamy cheese (preferably Brie)
- Pinot Noir and white cheeses (preferably a Swiss variety)
- Amarone and Gorgonzola cheese
- Shiraz and sharp cheddar
White Wine and Cheese
Listed below are some white wine and cheese combinations:
- Champagne (or other sparkling wines) and Brie (or other creamy cheeses)
- Sauvignon Blanc and goat cheese (or even Brie)
- Gewurztraminer and Swiss cheese (or other German varieties)
- Riesling and gouda cheese
- Loire Valley wines and goat cheese
- Sauternes and blue cheese (or Roquefort)
- Chardonnay and mild cheddar
- Pinot Blanc and Brie
- Pinot Gris and cheddar (not sharp)
- Madeira wine and blue cheese
Cheese varieties of a specific region are best paired with the wine types of the same area (for example, Chianti wine and Parmesan). However, there are always some exceptions in this regard. You can combine lighter wine types with delicate cheeses and stronger ones with strong flavored cheeses. This way, you can succeed in bringing a balance between their ingredients.