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Cheese and Wine Pairings

Many cheeses are too strong to match with fine or mature red wine. In fact, white wines are often better with cheese than reds. Sweet white wines, in particular, taste good with sharp, salty blue-veined cheeses.

The softer the cheese, the more it coats your mouth - requiring higher acidity in the wine.

The sweeter the cheese, the sweeter the wine should be. Some mild cheeses, especially, have a sweetness that requires an off-dry wine. Dry wines may be perceived as acidic.

Strong, pungent cheeses need strong wines. Extreme flavors in cheese can be matched by big red wines, sweet wines, and fortiĀ­fied wines.

The harder the cheese, the higher level of tannins a wine can have.

blue cheeses

  • Sauternes
  • Or a late-harvest California Sauvignon Blanc.

stilton

  • Mature tawny or
  • Vintage port.
  • Spain's Cabrales
  • Dry Oloroso sherry
  • Or a mature red flo Rioja.

gorgonzola

  • Barolo from Italy or
  • Australian Shiraz.

brie/camembert

  • Younger tawny port
  • Pinot Noir from California's Russian River Valley or
  • Beaujolais.

cheddar

  • Late-harvest Sauvignon Blanc,
  • Oloroso sherry, or
  • Good vintage port.

goat's milk cheeses

  • Sancerre from France,
  • Sauvignon Blanc from California,
  • Sauternes, and
  • Tawny ports and lighter vintage ports.

gouda

  • Bordeaux wine or
  • California Cabernet Sauvignon.

manchego

  • Vintage port,
  • Sweet Muscat, or
  • Fruity Zinfandel.

parmigiano-reggiano

  • Barolo
  • A reserve Chianti, or
  • California Cabernet Sauvignon.

percorino

  • Zinfandel,
  • A lighter Rhone red wine, or
  • Sherry.

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- , Editor, Etiquette Scholar

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