Wine and cheese have been made side-by-side for centuries, so it’s no surprise that this food and drink combination go so well together. The two also share many similarities like ageing, careful production, specialised techniques, and are often created in similar places. But alongside these similarities are sharp contrasts that give wine and cheese that beloved yin and yang, opposites attract relationship. A magical combination of flavour and texture - that's even backed by science. In a recent French study (leave it to the French to conduct a study on wine and cheese) researchers found that cheese actually helps you to pick up on more fruity aromas in reds and enhances the taste of white wine.
So now you know why wine and cheese are such a delicious combination but not EVERY wine goes with EVERY cheese. While wine + cheese pairing might seem straight forward, it's actually quite complex. So to make things easier (and help you impress everyone at your next gathering) we've made a guide with our top tips for pairing wine and cheese.
How to Pick the Right Wine to Suit Your Cheese:
F R E S H C H E E S E
Ricotta • Mozzarella • Feta • Burrata
Fresh, un-aged cheeses can taste many ways, from creamy to firm, soft to chalky. But most will match well with white wines that are crisp, light-bodied, and full of citrusy aromatics -- the Le Libertin Sauvignon Blanc from Domaine La Louviere is a great example.
A general rule of thumb is to pair aged with aged. So a fresh un-aged cheese will be best with a crisp un-aged wine and strong aged cheese with wine that's equally strong and aged.
S O F T C H E E S E
Brie • Camembert • Muenster • Robiola
Most common soft cheese, such as Brie and Camembert, are quite versatile and pair equally well with white and red wines. For red wines, a light and fruity Pinot Noir, like this one from Karl May, is a great complement to the buttery creaminess of the cheese. For white wines, go something light and dry like this Chardonnay from Hinterbichler.
Another good match for bloomy cheeses is a dry sparkling wine like this Crémant De Limoux Brut or even Champagne if you're feelin fancy. And let's face it, we look for any excuse to break out the champagne.😉
H A R D C H E E S E
Cheddar • Gouda • Manchego • Gruyère
Hard cheeses are arguably the easiest type of cheese to pair since many can match with both red and white wine. Typically, you'll want a medium-bodied red like a cabernet sauvignon blend, such as the Feuerberg Rubin from Lebenshilfe. For mild or nutty flavoured hard cheeses, like Gouda, we'd suggest a creamy white wine like the Le Galant Chardonnay from Domaine La Louviere.
B L U E - V E I N E D C H E E S E
Stilton • Roquefort • Gorgonzola • Morbier
Sweet whites such as this late harvest Riesling JOY Spätlese from Lebenshilfe or Gewürztraminer is a great match with blue cheese varieties. The rule for smelly complex cheeses: the stinkier and funkier the cheese the sweeter the wine.
When it comes to wine pairing, the best way to discover what works is to experiment and let your taste buds take the lead. And if it's all too much, we recommend our Cheesy Wine Box to get you started! Now all you have to do is pick up some overpriced cheese (#hongkongproblems), invite some friends over and have a great wine and cheese evening!