5 Wine and Cheese Pairings

Susan Hoff
February 15, 2022

Confidently host your next happy hour and unveil new, magnificent flavors with these pairings!

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Hosting a dinner party soon? Then, you will want to confidently pop open the right bottle of wine to pair with the right cheese. Impress family or friends and guests by unveiling new flavors that each sip and bite bring out. Here are five tips for wine and cheese pairings to help you knowledgeably host your next dinner party.


1. Strong Wine and Strong Cheese

You might think a strong wine and cheese pairing sounds like too many competing flavors. But, you want to balance strong cheeses out with strong wines or else one will overpower the other. For example, the richer, bolder wines usually run around 14.5% ABV and pair well with strong-flavored cheese. The milder wines usually contain 12% ABV or less and pair best with weaker cheeses. Try pairing a glass of bold-nosed cabernet sauvignon with a salty, sweet Swiss cheese. And a glass of light Pinot Grigio will taste good with the deliciously-smooth, buttery flavor of a Provolone cheese.


2. Bold Wines and Old Cheeses

Did you know that aged cheeses lose a lot of their water content, which creates a stronger, richer flavor and a higher fat content? The higher fat content can help offset the higher tannins of a bolder wine. Try biting into a cheddar, Gouda, or Parmigiano-Reggiano as you sip on a highly-tannic shiraz.


3. Sweet Wines and Stinky Cheeses

Uncork a bottle of your sweet wine to mellow out the strength of the cheese's stink. You will still taste the deliciously-strong flavor of your bleu cheese, the wine will just create a creamier environment for it. Also, sometimes sweet wines can be overwhelmingly sweet. A stinky cheese will balance out the sweetness in your port or Moscato.


4. Sparkling Wines and Soft Cheeses

Unwrap a sticky cheese, like Brie or Cremont with your highly-carbonated sparkling wine. The creamy cheese will support the acidity and carbonation in the wine and turn it into a wonderfully-pleasing combination of flavors.


5. Fail Safes

If a friend brings a bottle of wine or a block of cheese, don't fear! Have a couple of fail safes in the fridge or wine rack to pull out. When in doubt, choose a strong, nutty cheese to go with the new, mystery wine. Cheddar, Gouda, and Gruyère compliment most wines, balancing out the tannins of strong wines and drawing out the flavor profile of delicate wines.

Oath & Grind By Susan Hoff
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