Winemaker Tip #6. Wine & Cheese: Perfect Pairing

Posted on: January 25th, 2014 by Carla Johnson No Comments

Kings Court Estate Winery - wine picWine lovers, I hope you enjoy “The Winemaker’s 7 Essential Tips For Serving Wine With The Best Results!” from Roland Zimmermann, co-owner and winemaker of King’s Court Estate Winery.


Kings Court Estate Winery - Roland Zimmermann

By Roland Zimmermann

If you are anything like me, you agree that cheese is such pleasant company for a fine glass of wine, serving as much more than a prelude to a feast. Add a rustic bread, or crispy crudités, and it becomes a light meal that favours both body and soul. With a few guidelines, individual adventures in pairing will hopefully encourage great culinary discoveries.

Generally, wines with good acidity are more pleasant with cheeses than those with strong tannin profiles. To find a good match, consider the natural geographic origin as a starting point, pairing natives like Parmesan with Chianti, or Brie with Champagne.

Creamy cheeses like camembert and brie pair well with bright Chardonnays, Pinot Blancs, and Champagnes. Blue cheeses, such as Roquefort, Stilton, and Shropshire, highlight flavours in medium bodied reds like Cabernet Franc, but also work well with Port as a final course.

Wine and cheese

Photo Credit: Grand Pré Wines

Substantial, hard cheeses, such as cheddar, Gouda, or Double Gloucester, are solid choices for red pours of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, or Zinfandel. Artisanl Livarot, a pungent cheese aged in the caves of Normandy, is also a good choice for the big, hearty reds, as is Royale, a hearty sheep’s milk cheese from Spain.

Gruyere, which is semi-hard, is a very good match for Sauvignon Blanc as well as Chardonnay. Also try Garrotxa, a semi-firm goat’s milk cheese from Spain; or Chaourse, an old traditional French cheese that hints of mushrooms with a smooth, creamy touch.

Cheese that comes to you fresh, such as ricotta, goat, and mozzarella, pairs best with lighter bodied wines such as Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, and unoaked Chardonnays. For an exquisite light dessert course, serve an Icewine or Sauterne with Crème Fraiche, or Mascarpone, putting an elegant flourish on a memorable repast. For a more savory finish, try a Mycella from Denmark, or a peppery Blu del Moncenisio from the Piedmont region of Italy.

Additionally, many local farms are producing artisanal cheeses that far surpass their cold case counterparts in the local stores, and are worth exploring. The grasses and feed of the animals providing the milk provide extra layers of flavor that are unrivalled. Farmer’s Markets often feature local vendors supplying the area.

“Stin iyia!”

See also…

Winemaker Tip #1. The Corkscrew: Cut, Twist, Pull

Winemaker Tip #2. A Matter of Degree: Temperature & Wine

Winemaker Tip #3. Stemware Selection for White Wine: A Delicate Dance

Winemaker Tip #4. Red Wine Stemware: Passionate Presentation

Winemaker Tip #5. Stemware for Dessert Wines: Short & Sweet

Winemaker Tip #7. Decanting Wine: Sediment & Evaporation

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