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Pairing cheese and wine for the beginner

Pairing cheese and wine for the beginner

Published by Programme B

Wine and cheese go well together, there’s no secret about that. But before you start scouting for cheddar and Sokolin fine wines for sale, you might want to read up a little about how to pair the two together. While it’s not rocket science, it’s not like throwing two things together and expecting it to just work. It is an art form based on the taste of the cheese and what wine can complement and enhance its flavor. This works both ways so the cheese should also bring the wine to a whole other level. According to food scientists, food that sits on opposite ends of the taste spectrum creates a great pairing such as sweet and sour, wine and cheese. Paired with the creamy texture of the cheese and the sharp tang of the beverage, this pairing has survived hundreds of years, dating back to early British wine merchants. 


Pair them according to strength 

You want to make sure both flavors shine in your pairing, this means you don’t want either one overpowering the other. For instance, bold red wine is great with aged cheese. Bear in mind that wines over 14.5% ABV are usually more intense but wines under 12% ABV are more delicate, so match accordingly. 


It should be sweet if it’s funky

Funky cheeses need to go with sweet wines because aged wine will be too strong and the combination would be hard to swallow. 

Pick wine and cheese from the same place

If you’re still clueless, a general rule of thumb is that if it’s from the same country or region, it should go fabulously well together. 

Pick your cheese right

Hard cheddar

If you want to have cheddar on your cheese board, you want to get a medium-bodied red such as a merlot or better yet, a cabernet sauvignon. But cheddar and chardonnay is a winning combo. 


Soft brie 

If you’re going for soft cheese like brie or camembert, you want to take it with a fruity pinot noir. You can also opt for a rosé, depending on your preference. 


Blue cheese

Blue cheese is pungent so you want something sweet to complement those funky notes. Try port or stilton. If you want to be more adventurous, there’s sloe gin and sweet sherry or even stout. 


Goat cheese

Goat cheese goes perfectly with Sauvignon blanc but if you’re going for a picnic, we suggest Provençal rosé because it’s dry. But for fruity wine, try the Beaujolais instead. 


Washed-rind cheese

The most pungent of all cheeses go better with a glass of crispy dry white wine, so drop the red and get your favorite white instead. Or, you can even opt for a Belgian-style ale.



Another great option for white wine is fondue. You want to pair it with either raclette or tartiflette. If you’re after something decadent, you want to try Sauternes. 

If you don’t have the patience to learn all about how to pair, you can take a quick google search and look at the top ten list and just follow those classic pairings because you won’t go wrong with them.

Photo by NastyaSensei from Pexels