Wine & Cheese 101: How To Get The Perfect Pair

Wіne… love іt. Cheese… love іt.

So then why does the іdea of the perfect wіne and cheese paіrіng seem so dauntіng? Well іt won’t be after today!

Іn all honesty, we’ll fіnd just about any reason to host a party and we happen to thіnk that a wіne and cheese theme іs the perfect event for just about any occasіon. Engagement partіes, bіrthday celebratіons, brіdal showers… the lіst goes on and on. Wіth our wіne & cheese 101, you’ll be on your way to thіs delіcіous and sophіstіcated themed party іn no tіme!

 

We think the best way to attack this is by choosing your selection of wines first (we’re obviously a bit of winos over here… don’t judge us), and then pairing with the appropriate cheeses.

WHITES

White wines pair best with soft cheeses and stronger flavors. In fact white wines tend to pair better, more often than reds. So when in doubt, always have a good selection of whites at the ready.

Here’s a suggested breakdown:

  • Champagne/Sparkling:  Brie, Camembert, Cheddar, Colby, Gouda, Gruyere, Parmesan
  • Chardonnay:  Brie, Camembert, Goat Cheese, Gouda, Gruyere, Parmesan, Provolone
  • Riesling:  Gouda
  • Sauvignon Blanc: Asiago, Brie, Cheddar, Feta, Goat Cheese, Gruyere, Parmesan
  • Pinot Grigio:  Chevre, Burrata, Feta, Humboldt Fog

REDS

While reds don’t pair as easily as whites, it’s still a great and often mandatory addition to any wine and cheese party. When choosing your red, go for a light or aged bottle. What makes red more difficult to pair with is its tannins. Tannins will often compete with the delicacy of cheese so a lighter or older wine (where the tannins have had more time to mellow) will be a better match.

When pairing with reds, hard cheeses go best. For bigger reds, choose a stronger flavor cheese.

  • Cabernet Sauvignon:  Camembert, Sharp Cheddar, Blue, Parmesan
  • Port:  Stilton, Gorgonzola, Blue
  • Shiraz:  Sharp Cheddar, Gouda, Parmesan
  • Pinot Noir:  Brie, Camembert, Feta, Gruyere, Monterey Jack, Muenster, Swiss
  • Merlot:  Brie, Camembert, Cheddar, Gorgonzola, Gouda, Gruyere, Parmesan

THE SETUP

(image credit: Beau-coup)

Now that you’ve selected your offerings, it’s time to set up. The presentation is also of utmost importance when it comes to a successful wine and cheese party.

When setting up, keep these tips in mind:

  • Focus on no more than 5 cheeses. For this, less is more – just make sure they’re GOOD cheeses.
  • Be mindful of stinky cheeses. You don’t want the experience to be overwhelming to the point of displeasure for your guests.
  • Bring out the best in serveware. This is the time to invest in platters made of wood or slate, assign a cheese knife to each cheese, and hand out real plates.
  • Be sure to let your cheeses “thaw” to room temperature for optimum taste. Never serve a cold cheese platter.
  • Create cheese stations. Now that you’re a pairing expert, pull together paired wine and cheese stations. This will create a more social environment.

If you’re feeling inspired and itching to throw a wine themed wedding event of your very own, we’ve definitely got you covered. Visit our wedding wine collection now. Also brush up on how-to host a wine tasting for even further wine education!

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