The Wine and Cheese Pairing Guide - Grape by Grape, Cheese by Cheese

We'll always put some cheeses out on a plank when company is coming over-- not just because of the myriad pairings that bring out the best in both, but we also feel that wine all by its lonesome just doesn't get a chance to show itself off. We were once at a private tasting with Antonio Gaja, and as we sat at the table with him going through about 10 wines, he talked but didn't taste. When asked why, he said he never drinks wine without food. I figure the man knows a thing or two.....

Your Grape-by-Grape Guide to Pairing Wine with Cheeses from Around the World

*grapes are listed alphabetically, followed by sparkling wines, sweet wines, and then some of the classic blends*

BARBERA
Abbaye de Belloc
Banon
Fiore Sardo
Fontina
Grana Padano
Lancashire
Ossau-Iraty
Piave
Taleggio

BLAUFRANKISCH
Pair your Blaufrankisch wines (also known as Lemberger) with these cheeses:
Cantalet
Feta
Limburger (esp. from Bavaria)
Monterey Jack
Gouda (smoked, aged, or straight up)
Pepper Jack
Piave
Provolone
Smoked cheeses
Sublimity (washed rind cheese from Oregon)
Washed Curd

CABERNET SAUVIGNON
A big Cabernet Sauvignon red will pair well with these cheeses:
Abbaye de Belloc
Ardrahan
Bra Tenero
Chalosse
Cheddar (sharp)
Comte
Danish Blue
Gouda (aged)
Llangloffan
Le Moulis
Ouray
Reblochon
San Andreas
Tome de Couserans

Cantal

 

CHARDONNAY
Chardonnay (Burgundy, California, Chablis, Pouilly-Fuisse, Morillon, etc.) wines can pair wonderfully with these cheeses:
Affidelice
Alpine Shepard
Bel Paese
Bucheron
Brie
Cambazola
Cantal
Cashel Blue
Chaource
Cotija
Dry Jack

S F Drake Cowgirl Creamery
S.F.Drake Cowgirl Creamery

 

Epoisses
French mountain cheeses
Garrotxa
Gruyere
Jarlsberg (esp. Chablis)
Panela
Parmigiano-Reggiano
Pave d'Auge
Pecorino (esp. Pouilly-Fuisse)
Provolone
Shropshire Blue
S.F.Drake from Cowgirl Creamery (if you're lucky enough to get a wheel when they have some)
Tete de Moine

Camembert

 

CHENIN BLANC
A few ideas for pairing Chenin Blanc with cheese:
Blue Castello
Camembert
Derby
Fouchtra
Graddost
Ocooch Mountain
Raclette de Savoie

Morbier

 

GAMAY
Beemster XO
Brie
Camembert
Cheddar
Comte
Durrus
Feta
Morbier

GEWURZTRAMINER
A nice Gewurztraminer or dry Traminer wine would pair well with these cheeses:

Alpine Cheese

Alpine Shepard
Ardrahan
Boursin
Chevre
Durrus
Meunster
Pecorino Romano
Robiola
Swiss
Tome d'Aquitaine
Tumalo Tomme
Wensleydale

GRUNER VELTLINER
Known as being a great food wine that can pair with almost anything, including artichokes and asparagus, Gruner Veltliner will also pair well with these cheeses:

Garrotxa

 

Appenzeller
Brin D’Amour
Caerphilly
Chimay
Double Gloucester
Garrotxa
Harbourne Blue
Harvest Moon (washed rind cheese)
Munster
Livarot
Ibores
Mahon
Vacherin Fribourgeois

MALBEC
Malbec wines pair well with these cheeses:
Cashel Blue
Iberico
Manchego
Mimolette
Taleggio

Gruyere

 

MERLOT
Merlot, and even some Merlot blends, will pair nicely with these cheeses:
Abbaye de Belloc
Alpine Shepard
Cantalet
Camembert
Chalosse
Doddington
Gouda
Gruyere
Ibores

Robiola

 

Montasio
Pecorino Toscano
Robiola Bosina
Roncal
Toussaint

MUSCAT
A white Muscat wine, be it dry, off-dry or semi-sweet, will pair nicely with these cheeses:
Blu del Moncenisio
Fourme d'Ambert
Gorgonzola
Monte Enebro
Valdeon

Piave

 

NEBBIOLO
Fontina
Grana Padano
Piave

PETIT SYRAH
Arina
Benning
Darcy
Pierre-Qui-Vire
Saint-Florentin
Soumaintrain

Fontina D'Aosta

 

PINOT BLANC
Pinot Blanc (AKA Weissburgunder) wines pair particularly well with these cheeses:
Baby Swiss
Brie
Camembert
Dry Jack
Feta
Fontina D’Aosta
Montasio
Ossau-Iraty
Pierre-Robert
Pont L’Eveque
Robiola Vite
Sbrinz
Taleggio

Banon

 

PINOT GRIS
Pair your Pinot Gris with these cheeses:
Asiago Fresco
Banon
Camellia
Caprino Tartufo
Crottin
Garroxta
Ricotta
St. Nectaire

PINOT NOIR
Try pairing your Pinot Noir with these cheeses:

Berkswell
Buche
Cheddar (light)
Comte
Edam
Epoisses (with a big Pinot)
French Chevre (Cabriflore is a good example)
Fumaison
Gouda
Gruyere
Inverness
Lancashire
Port Salut
Saint Andre

Stanser Rotelli

 

RIESLING
Austrian, Alsatian, American and German Rieslings will pair with these cheeses:
Cheshire
Colby
Comte
Cotija
Edam
Gouda
Monterey Jack
Morbier
Panela
St.Andre
Swiss mountain cheeses
Red Hawk, Mt.Tam or St.Pat from the Cowgirl Creamery

Saval
Stanser Rotelli
Tarentaise
Tomme Fermiere d'Alsace

SANGIOVESE
Sangiovese (AKA Chianti) wines will work well with these cheeses:
Asiago
Boschetto al Tartufo Bianchetto
Dry Jack
Fontina
Georgia Pecan Chevre
Mozzarella
Parmesan Reggiano
Pecorino
Piave
Provolone
Ricotta

SAUVIGNON BLANC
We particularly recommend pairing Sauvignon Blanc with goat cheese (many types of which are listed here) but we also love it with these other cheeses:
Abbaye de Belloc
Amarelo
Blue Castello
Brie
Bucheron
Cheddar (sharp)
Cheshire
Clochette
Coulommiers
Coupole
Crottin
Derby
Double Gloucester
Drunken Goat
Dry Jack

Goat Cheese

 

Explorateur
Goat Cheese
Graddost
Gruyere
Mahon
Majorero
Neufchatel
Pave D’Affinois
Selles sur Cher
Sonoma Jack
Teleme

Taleggio

 

ST.LAURENT
St.Laurent, which is a bit like Pinot Noir with a wild side, will pair with these cheeses:
Comte
Edam
French Chevre
Taleggio

SYRAH / SHIRAZ
A spicy Shiraz will pair well with a few cheeses:
Cheddar (sharp)
Edam
Gouda
St. Nectaire

TEMPRANILLO
A good Tempranillo wine will pair well with these cheeses:

Azeitao
Cheddar (sharp)
Cotswold
Dubliner
Fium 'Orbu
Fleur du Maquis
Havarti
Mahon
Manchego
Serena
Tomme de Savoie
Zamarano

Livarot

 

VIOGNIER
Pair your Viognier wines with these cheeses:
Blue cheeses (light)
Brillat-Savarin
Goat
Livarot
Pave d'Auge
Stanser Rotelli
Tourmalet

ZINFANDEL
A hearty Zinfandel (AKA Primitivo) red wine will work beautifully with these cheeses:
Asiago
Canestrato
Dry Sonoma Jack
Goat cheese
Gouda
Gruyere

Zamorano

 

Maytag Blue
Muenster
Pau
Pecorino (esp. Fiore Sardo)
Piave
Zamorano

ZWEIGELT
Zweigelt, a red wine backed with great spice notes, pairs well with these cheeses:
Cheddar (sharp)
Edam
Gouda
Salers, A.O.C.
Selun (a Swiss cows milk cheese)
St. Nectaire

SPARKLING WINE
All styles of sparkling wines, including Champagne, will pair well with these cheeses:
Baby Swiss
Beaufort
Brie
Brillat-Savarin
Camembert
Cheddar (mild)
Chevre

Sbrinz

 

Cooleeney
Crescenza
Edam (for dry wines)
Explorateur
Fromage de Meaux
Gouda
Langres
Pierre Robert
Pont l'Eveque
Sbrinz

SWEET WINE / DESSERT WINE
Pair your Ice Wines, BA's, TBA's, Sauternes, Tokaji, and Ruster Ausbruch wines with these cheeses:

Blue cheeses:
Bleu des Basques Brebis
Bleu de Sassenage
Cashel Blue
Fourme d'Ambert
Maytag Blue
or
Crème Fraiche
Marscapone
Taleggio

PORT
Cheddar (sharp)
Gorgonzola
Roqueforte
Stilton

BORDEAUX (red)
Brie
Camembert
Chalosse
Gabletou
Roqueforte
Tome de Bordeaux
Tome des Recollets

CôTES Du RHôNES (red)
Bleu d'Auvergne
Camembert
Chevrotin des Aravis
Fourme d'Ambert
Reblochon

One easy rule of thumb if you don't find what you're looking for here- pairing a wine with a cheese that comes from the same region is usually a fair bet.

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