December 26, 2020

The Ultimate List of Wine and Cheese Pairings

Since I lived in wine country for a few years (Kelowna, BC), I was introduced to my all-time favourite appetizer ever, which is the legendary charcuterie board. Every winery offers charcuterie at their restaurants which has locally made meats, cheeses, jams, fruit, etc. The thing that I love about charcuterie boards is that you can tweak the look of them depending on the season/holiday and have it all year around. This year on New Years Eve, my mum is going to prepare a giant charcuterie for the whole family to enjoy with a glass of wine (she knows that's my favourite!). I've learned over the years about wine pairings and it's amazing how the taste of the wine changes with the type of cheese you have with it. So, if you want to make your own charcuterie through the holidays, here is a cheat sheet of which wines pair with which cheeses! (Can you tell I'm from a European heritage yet? lol).

Brie Cheese → Champagne

Why it works: The softer texture of creamy cheese allows your palette crave something sharp and acidic to cut through the fat. The bubbles from champagne and the sweeter taste of brie contrasts and thus makes it taste unbelievably good.

Sauvignon Blanc → Goat Cheese

Why it works: Goat cheese serves as a great cleanser of the palette, so the citrus and herbal flavours from a Sauvignon Blanc can be very clearly tasted and enhanced. Depending on the goat cheese, sometimes it can be very strong, so the acidity from Sauvignon Blanc helps minimize the strength goat cheese has as well.

Cheddar → Pinot Gris

Why it works: Semi-hard cheese such as Cheddar is one of the easiest cheese to pair with any wine, but Pinot Gris is a great choice since it's light bodied and brings a refreshing taste to it as well. Cheddar enhances the fruits within the pinot gris, making it the perfect pairing!

Blue Stilton → Aged Port

Why it works: Since Blue Stilton is a stinkier cheese, it pairs nicely with a full-body, sweet wine. Port has a very overwhelming taste drinking it by itself, adding a stinky cheese allows for a balance between the sweeter wine.

Moscato → Pepper Jack

Why it works: Moscato is commonly known as one of the sweetest white wines and sweet wines pair best with a spicier cheese such as pepper jack. The spicy cheese brings out the flavours of lemon, orange and other aromatic flavours!

Riesling → Raclette

Why it works: Since riesling is full of those stone fruit flavours, it's important to pair it with a cheese that blends with the high acidity. The best type of riesling with Raclette cheese would be something off-dry. If the riesling is too sweet, it can affect the taste of the cheese.

Gewürztraminer → Gouda

Why it works: This wine is usually made on the sweet side, so pairing it with a cheese like Gouda allows for very sweet wines like Gewürztraminer to be less harsh! The spice that most taste in Gewürztraminer's is lifted up by the Gouda and allows for a great pairing.

Malbec → Edam

Why it works: Since Malbec has the velvet fruit taste, it's best paired with a more nuttier tasting cheese such as Edam. Both the wine and the cheese in this pairing are very powerful but they help balance each other out for a very unique taste together.

Chardonnay → Havarti

Why it works: The oaky tastes of chardonnay are beautifully paired with a creamy and buttery cheese like Havarti. If you age Havarti for a bit, you get more sharper and earthier tastes that combine perfect with the chardonnay.

Pinot Noir and Gruyere

Why it works: The bursts of berry flavour in a Pinot Noir pairs perfectly with a cheese like Gruyere because of its nutty flavours and the overall complexity of its taste. Since both the pinot noir and gruyere have many different aromas, they combine nicely.

I hope this helps you make the perfect charcuterie! This could also be a really fun game to play with friends or family. Gather as many cheeses and wines you can and notice the drastic changes in tastes depending on what you pair each wine and cheese with, it's truly incredible! I'll definitely be posting pictures of the charcuterie we have on NYE, so stay tuned on my IG stories!