Our guide to pairing wine and cheese quickly, simply and deliciously.
The best thing about pairing wine and cheese: There are no wrong decisions, only better ones.
Sure, a bold Cabernet Sauvignon and a light, zesty goat cheese may not be the “correct” pairing, but it’ll taste pretty good. After all, you’re still marrying two of the most delightful indulgences, wine and cheese. Why overcomplicate things? Because if you take just a little time to look at why certain wines and cheeses match so well, you’ll discover pairings that aren’t simply good but truly perfect.
Epicurean beauty really is more than rind-deep.
Cheese: Cypress Grove Humboldt Fog
Wine: Sauvignon Blanc
This slightly aged goat cheese with a creamy edge is delightfully tangy. The classic pairing with really any goat cheese is Sauvignon Blanc, since the wine’s bright acidity matches up with the cheese’s tanginess and makes it taste creamier. Also, this is a “what grows together goes together” pairing: France’s Loire Valley is a hub for both goat cheese and Sauvignon Blanc production.
Cheese: Jasper Hill Farm Cabot Clothbound Cheddar
Wine: Cabernet Sauvignon
Cabernet is classically paired with cheddar because the wine’s fruitiness complements the cheese’s sharp tang and nuttiness. The wine and cheese also have similar weight, or body—one doesn’t overpower the other. Cabot Clothbound also has a slight sweetness that marries perfectly with fruity Cabernet.
Cheese: Vermont Creamery Bonne Bouche
Did we say something about Sauvignon Blanc being the classic pairing for goat cheese? It’s certainly a safe bet, but Bonne Bouche is creamier and oozier than most goat cheeses. That extra heartiness and its breadlike, yeasty flavor and aroma make rosé a better choice. The wine has the fruitiness to complement the flavors of the cheese, and the weight to stand up to it.
Cheese: Spring Brook Farm Reading
Wine: Oaked Chardonnay
This cheese is an American take on raclette, typically melted and served with potatoes, pickles and cured meats. Spring Brook’s version is richer, nuttier and earthier than Swiss raclette, so while you certainly can melt this one, it’s delicious as is and served with Chardonnay. The wine’s fuller body will match the weight of the cheese, and the oaky, vanilla flavor of the wine will complement its nuttiness.
Cheese: La Tur
La Tur is a dense, creamy trifecta of cow, goat and sheep milk. It has a little bit of everything, from tanginess to oozy richness to a slightly earthy flavor, all of it working harmoniously in each bite. La Tur is sublime with a dry, crisp sparkling wine such as Prosecco, which cuts through the cheese’s richness while accentuating the cheese’s tanginess—and doesn’t overpower its complex flavors.
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