top of page

Cheese & Wine Pairing Tips

Can you think of a better combination than cheese and wine? We doubt it! Pairing cheese and wine first came up centuries ago, and due to the age of the practice, we are at full liberty to say that it’s practically an art form. The combination offers a sensational way to enhance both the flavors of the wines and the richness of the cheese, providing a truly exceptional experience. However, mastering takes a bit more effort than initially thought. Namely, creating the perfect combination of cheese and wine can turn a simple dining experience into something that can blow you away, which is why you need to pick up on a few tips so you can provide something rather extraordinary. This is where we come in!

No matter if you’re a beginner or a season wine connoisseur, the team behind Tikves Wines has rounded up a couple of essential tips for pairing cheese and wine, aiming to provide clarity on the process and practical advice for creating the best matches to satisfy all kinds of palates.

The Basics Of Cheese and Wine Characteristics

Before you stock up on a variety of wines and cheeses, you must understand the basic characteristics of the two, specifically their flavors, textures, and aromas. This plays a crucial role in how they either complement or contrast each other so that you can make up a sensational match.

Wine Characteristics

  • Body: Wine can either be light, medium, or full-bodied which heavily affects the pairings.

  • Acidity: Wines with higher acidity go along with creamy cheeses as they can refresh the palate, while lighter ones are paired with hard, heavy-smelling varieties.

  • Tannins: This mainly refers to red wines as tannins can add bitterness that interacts with the cheese’s fat content.

Cheese Characteristics:

  • Texture: Cheeses can range from soft and creamy to rough and hard.

  • Flavor: Can be sharp, mild, buttery, nutty, or strong.

  • Age: Much like wines, young cheeses are rather soft and mild, whereas aged varieties are harder and have a distinctly stronger and more intense flavor and aroma

Tips For Pairing Cheese and Wine

To create the best cheese and wine-tasting experience, know that you can go several routes. In other words, many combinations involve balancing flavors, textures, and intensities to ensure neither overpowers the other. For one, you can go for complementary flavors. This means pairing similar flavors and intensities which can further enhance the experience. Alternatively, contrasting, opposite characteristics can create a delicious balance. Finally, you can pair cheese and wine that come from the same region as they usually pose the perfect combination.

With that out of the way, it’s time to explore the specifics for pairing cheese and wine, ensuring a gastronomic journey everyone is bound to love.

  1. Soft Young Cheeses with Light Whites

Cheeses like Mozzarella, Ricotta, or Goat Cheese go extremely well with light-bodied, slightly acidic white wines. For instance, the distinct acidity of Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio cuts through the cheese’s creaminess, creating a refreshing taste. This combination doesn’t involve too many strong flavors or aromas, so you can easily serve it during the summer or as an appetizer before you continue to the main course.

  1. Rind Cheeses with Sparkling or White Wines

If you’re a fan of Brie or Camembert, or mainly any cheese that is creamy on the inside and has hints of mushrooms, then either sparkling or white wines are the choice you should aim for. Our Alexandria Cuvee White perfectly complements the creaminess of said cheeses, thus creating a counterbalance of earthy flavors. Much like the previous pairing, this combo is ideal for hot weather as it is not intense. With that in mind, this might be the perfect pairing for beginners to start with!

  1. Semi-Hard, Medium-Aged Cheeses with Medium-Bodied Reds

While we’ve mainly stuck with creamy and white combos, it’s time to paint our pairings red! More specifically, semi-hard cheeses like Gouda and Cheddar, or namely any cheese that has a firmer and richer texture and flavor due to aging go extremely well with medium-bodied red wines. A Merlot offers a balance between fruitiness and tannins, further complementing the nuttiness and slight sharpness of the cheese. Don’t worry though, you still get to enjoy the one-of-a-kind flavor of the cheese as this combo isn’t overpowering at all!

  1. Hard, Aged Cheeses with Full-Bodied Reds

Hard cheeses may not be everyone’s go-to due to their intense flavors and textures, but when paired with wine, they can truly provide a great experience. Aged Gouda and Parmigiano need wines that can match their intensity, specifically their robustness. For that reason, go for full-bodied reds like Cabernet Sauvignon, as their deep fruity and sometimes smoky flavors with higher tannin content, can create a powerful contrast. In other words, when savoring this paring, you’ll truly get to feel how both the cheese and wine mesh well to enhance their best qualities. 

  1. Blue Cheeses With Sweet Wines

Much like aged varieties, most people can’t even bring themselves to think of blue cheese, let alone taste it, as it truly has a pungent flavor and aroma. However, if love varieties like Gorgonzola and Roquefort, or you’re willing to give them a try for the first time, always aim for sweet wines. Our suggestion is to go for Tikves Temjanika as the sweet, rich, and aromatic wine contrasts beautifully with the distinct sharpness and saltiness of the cheese, creating a rather harmonious experience of flavors in your mouth. 

Tips For Hosting A Cheese & Wine Tasting

Now that you know some of the best cheese and wine pairings out there, you also need to learn how to create the ultimate tasting experience for your friends and family.

  • Don’t Be Afraid To Experiment: While you can never go wrong with following the above-mentioned guidelines, sometimes going outside the “conventional” can provide a surprising experience! Although we suggest you do this after you’ve hosted a couple of experiences, plan a night where you’ll combine unusual pairings. For instance, try combining a spicy and aromatic wine variety with a creamy blue cheese. The taste might be exactly what you’re looking for!

  • Variety: For your dining experience to be successful, offer a vast array of cheeses and wines, covering all sorts of textures, flavors, aromas, and intensities. Try to include at least one category from the ones mentioned above - if you like them.

  • Order: Always start with the lightest pairings and finish off with the stronger ones. This will prevent overpowering in taste.

  • Serving: Serve the cheeses and wine at room temperature. Additionally, some red varieties need to be aerated before you serve them, while you may want to chill white varieties before you pour them.

  • Support: Provide cheese-bearing crackers or breads to cleanse the palate after tastings as this cleanses the palate. Moreover, you can go for nuts, fresh fruits, and honey to enhance and complement the tasting experience.

With this, you can officially call yourself a master of pairing cheese and wine! Like any tasting experience, this requires a lot of trial and error, so don’t refrain from experimenting with combinations - you never know which combos you like best before you try them! Whether you’re doing this for the first time or you have many tasting experiences under your caliber, the world of wine and cheese offers endless possibilities that will provide the ultimate enjoyment! Finally, go for a selection Tikves wines for the best experience - check out our store now!

For more wine tips, check out the rest of our blogs.

9 views0 comments


bottom of page