Food & Drink

How to Pair Cheese and Wine for the Perfect Cheese Board

by Dani Howell January 07, 2019
ReadHow to Pair Cheese and Wine for the Perfect Cheese Board Image from Opinel

Separately, wine and cheese are both classics you can count on. Paired together, though, they create a culinary experience in a league of its own. There’s a reason why wine and cheese nights are so popular. The flavors complement and enhance each other for a delicious and unique combination.

If you’re deciding on what wine and cheese to buy in a rush, a safe bet is to stick with ones from the same region. These typically pair well together.

But, if you want to get a bit more creative, keep the complementing and contrasting textures and tastes of each in mind. While you really can’t go too wrong (it is wine and cheese after all), you can elevate the experience by purposefully choosing your pairings.

To make the ultimate wine and cheese night, I’d recommend picking up some quality artisanal cheese for optimal flavor. You’ll be able to taste the difference. Also, see if you can try some samples before you buy so you know the exact flavors you’re getting.

Now, it’s time to choose your cheese and wine.

Below you’ll find some classic pairings—but don’t let them stop you from coming up with your own inventive matches.

Aged Gouda and cabernet sauvignon

With sweeter, nutty notes, an aged Gouda goes well with a cabernet sauvignon’s full-bodied flavor for a complex, layered taste.

Brie and chardonnay

This rich and creamy cheese has a subtle, buttery taste that adds to the citrus and herbal notes in a chardonnay, making these perfect complements.

Gruyère and merlot

Gruyère is known for its mild taste, which is heightened by a lighter red wine. Enter your glass of merlot. These enhance both flavors without either overpowering the other, so you can fully appreciate them.

Freshly made mozzarella and pinot grigio

Mozzarella is fresh and soft with a milky flavor. Pinot grigio is crisp, vibrant, and citrusy. Together, these pair for a taste you definitely want to add to your next wine and cheese party.

Gorgonzola and port

The best drink to pair with a funky, potent cheese? A sweet, red dessert wine. Port flavors often include hints of raspberry, chocolate, and blackberry that go wonderfully with gorgonzola’s bold, savory notes.

Goat cheese and sauvignon blanc

With the subtle, acidic notes in goat cheese and sauvignon blanc’s light, tangy taste, this combo makes for a refreshing experience that brings out herbal flavors. It only takes one bite to see why this is such a classic pairing.

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