Wine and cheese, can you name a better combination? I’ll wait…
Now you can elevate your happy hour gatherings with this quick pairing guide! This how-to will help beginners and long-time wine enthusiasts know what to pair with what and why.
Not only will these cheeses be common grocery store finds, they will also be pairable to wines we are currently featuring in our wine clubs! Nothing wrong with being a little cheesy, right?
Pair wines and cheeses with the same amount of intensities, wines with a higher alcohol by volume are more likely to go better with more intensely flavored cheeses, wines with lower amounts of alcohol pair well with more mild cheeses.
Bold Red Wine
(Cabernet Franc, Syrah, Malbec, Zinfandel)
As cheese ages, the fat content increases. The water content in the cheese is evaporated over time making the flavor richer and more concentrated. This high fat content counteracts the high-tannins found in rich red wines. That’s why aged cheeses like Parmesan and Asiago tend to compliment intense flavors of Cabernets, and red blends.
Jeff Cohn '16 Zinfandel with an extra sharp Cheddar
Potek '14 Syrah with an aged Parmesan or Asiago
Silver ‘13 Cabernet Franc with an aged Gouda
Medium/Light Red Wine
(Merlot, Grenache, Pinot Noir)
While these wines are considered reds, the body doesn’t tend to be as bold. It’s important to match the intensity of the cheese with the same flavor power of the wine so nothing is competing with the other. For medium reds, you’ll want to search for a milder cheese, this will bring out the notes of fruits without overpowering the entire experience.
Metzker ‘Terra de Promissio’ ‘16 Pinot Noir with mild Cheddar
Magnus '14 Merlot with a Gruyere
Site ‘13 Grenache with a Swiss cheese
(Chardonnay, Riesling, Chenin Blanc, Pinot Grigio)
These types of wines are known for having high acidity, detectable fruity flavors, and a hint of creaminess. All perfect flavors for a yummy treat. Sometimes, these flavors can be a challenge when pairing with cheese but don’t worry! I did all the research for you. Cheeses like Camembert or those derived from goats milk have those natural soft buttery textures that will compliment the notes in your favorite white wine.
Lucas & Lewellen 2018 Riesling with a Brie cheese
Metzker ‘16 Chardonnay with Camembert
Avondale 2015 Chenin Blanc with Gorgonzola
Just remember, wine is made from grapes, so when in doubt you can never go wrong with a semi-firm nutty cheese! Happy hours can always be elevated with cheeses, nuts, fruits, and especially bread! Celebrate warm weather with a gathering of friends and family, just don’t forget the wine...cheers!