When paired together, wine and cheese are truly a match made in heaven. Provence Rosés, for example, have a delicate fruitiness that is perfectly complimented by Monterey Jack. And there are countless other magical combinations. You just have to do a little research to find the right match. So, how do you pair these two classics? We’ve outlined a few tips below to help you pair your next cheese and wine pairing.
The first thing to consider when paired with cheese is the type of wine. Young red wines have strong tannins that mellow with time. Older, more flavorful reds are better suited for aged cheeses. Young reds go well with lighter cheeses. The taste of each bite can change, so try to avoid pairing young reds with older cheeses. But if you’re combining unusual cheese with traditional wine, you’ll end up with a delicious combination.
Depending on the type of cheese you’re pairing, young cheese goes well with lighter, softer wines. Older and stronger wines go well with cheeses with strong rinds. If the cheese is aged or mold-ripened, a wine with a lower acidity and more fruity flavor will complement it.
The style of cheese and wine pairing should be matched by their intensity. A bold, statement-making red can overpower a mild ricotta, while a delicate white wine should complement mild cheeses. Cheeses with saltiness, such as Stilton pair well with wines with cool climates.
Cheese and wine are a yin and yang relationship, and light wines go well with soft or mild cheeses. Lighter wines will emphasize the subtle flavor of a delicate cheese while a bolder red wine will play up the intensity of a bolder one.
When hosting a wine and cheese party, choose a seasonal wine. A crisp white or a light red wine will complement fondue cheese. Charcuterie boards also go well with wine. Use creative cheese board ideas, such as adding edible dried flowers.
Aged cheeses have developed complex flavors similar to those of aged red wines. The intense taste and aroma of a 38-month aged cheddar, for example, call for a wine with depth. The robust tannins of a Chianti or nero d’avola will counteract the fattiness of the cheese. Similarly, a fruity white wine is a perfect match for aged cheeses. You can also pair a light red wine with an aged cheese if you want to avoid a strong flavor profile.