Domenico Winery + Osteria

wine and cheese pairing line up

10 Wine and Cheese Pairings You Should Know

Pairing wine and cheese is a delightful culinary art. Of course, pairings do rely on preferences. However, there are go-to wine and cheese pairings to know, giving you guidelines for your next party or wine night out.

10 Wine and Cheese Pairings You Should Know!

Chardonnay with Brie

Let’s start with a tried and true classic: Chardonnay and Brie. The two make a delightful pairing. Chardonnay’s characteristics, such as its often buttery and creamy texture, along with its moderate acidity, complement the creamy and buttery nature of Brie cheese exceptionally well. When enjoying Chardonnay with Brie, you’ll see how the wine’s vibrant acidity helps cut through the richness of the cheese, preventing it from feeling too heavy on the palate. Also, Chardonnay’s mild fruitiness and subtle oak notes can enhance the flavors of brie, making it a harmonious and balanced combination.

Sauvignon Blanc with Goat Cheese

The bright acidity and fresh, herbaceous qualities of Sauvignon Blanc are a natural complement to the tangy and earthy flavors of goat cheese. Sauvignon Blanc is known for its high acidity, which provides a refreshing contrast to goat cheese’s unique tang. The acidity helps cleanse the palate between bites, making each taste of cheese feel vibrant and balanced. Also, Sauvignon Blanc usually boasts herbaceous notes that match and enhance the goat cheese’s herbaceous character.

Pinot Noir with Gouda

The red fruit and earthy notes of Pinot Noir harmonize with the nutty and slightly sweet flavors of Gouda cheese. Pinot Noir is a red wine known for its balanced and nuanced flavors, often characterized by red fruit notes (like cherry and raspberry), subtle earthiness, and silky tannins. Gouda, on the other hand, is a semi-hard cheese with nutty, sweet, and slightly caramelized flavors. These complementary profiles harmonize together to create an elegant and always delectable tasting experience.

Merlot with Cheddar

Of these 10 wine and cheese pairings, this is a classic combination that will rarely lead you astray. Merlot’s red fruit and plum flavors are a natural complement to the sharpness of aged Cheddar cheese. As Merlot does in wine blends, it softens the intensity of Cheddar in a silky and subtle way. We will say it’s quite dangerous to have both in front of you, you may surprise yourself by how much cheddar you can eat (or wine you can drink!)

classic wine and cheese pairing

Malbec with Manchego

The robust, fruity, and slightly spicy qualities of Malbec were born to be sipped alongside bites of the nutty sheep’s milk flavors of Manchego cheese, an iconic Spanish favorite. Also, both Malbec and Manchego have Spanish origins (although Malbec is more commonly associated with Argentina today). This connection can add a cultural and thematic element to your pairing, making it a great choice for Spanish-themed meals or events.

Syrah with Gorgonzola

The bold, spicy, and fruity characteristics of Syrah can stand up to the intense, salty, and creamy profile of blue cheeses like Gorgonzola. The smooth, creamy texture of Cheddar cheese contrasts nicely with the silky, medium body of Merlot, creating a satisfying mouthfeel. Merlot is a red wine known for its medium body and red fruit flavors, often featuring notes of plum, cherry, and sometimes a hint of spice. Cheddar cheese, particularly aged Cheddar, offers a robust, sharp, and slightly nutty flavor. The fruity and savory elements in Merlot complement the rich, bold taste of Cheddar.

Cabernet Sauvignon with Parmigiano

Another French and Italian pairing that we should probably keep between ourselves – the full-bodied and tannic nature of Cabernet Sauvignon pairs beautifully with the salty, aged, and nutty flavors of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. This combination is a true crowd-pleaser. The firm and slightly crystalline texture of Parmesan cheese contrasts nicely with the full-bodied and structured nature of Cabernet Sauvignon, creating a satisfying mouthfeel. Also, Cabernet Sauvignon and Parmesan both have umami characteristics, which can create a rich and savory synergy when enjoyed together.

sparkling wine with a delicious cheese board

Sparkling Wine with Triple Cream Brie

Maybe the most regal of these 10 wine and cheese pairings. The effervescence and acidity of sparkling wine were born to be paired with a velvety, rich cheese like a triple cream brie. The pairing is absolutely luxurious, making you feel quite royal with every bite.

Sweet Riesling with Roquefort

There are many kinds of rieslings out there, from dry to off-dry to sweet. When it comes to a sweet riesling, you can look no further than Roquefort cheese as its ideal match. Roquefort is bold, stinky, and spicy – all the things you want from a good blue cheese. The sweetness in this riesling calms and compliments the intensity of Roquefort, making it a fabulous way to end a meal on a sweet and savory note.

Port with Stilton

Port wine is always fabulous with chocolate, but have you tried it with Stilton? This is quite the classic pairing. A sip of rich, sweet port wine combined with a bit of this creamy, tangy blue-veined cheese will really give your tastebuds the treat they deserve.

Out of these 10 wine and cheese pairings, did you find one that excited you the most? Trick question –  we are sure there were many! While these pairings offer a starting point, don’t be afraid to explore and experiment with your favorite wines and cheeses. The best pairings often come down to personal taste, so trust your palate and enjoy the process of discovering new combinations.