Wine Information

...your source for everything wine!

  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size
Home Wine and Food Wine and Cheese Pairing

Wine and Cheese Pairing

Wine and cheese are so popular together that there are wine and cheese conventions in Toronto. This popular combination isn't a new thing, as we have documented evidence of this mixture dating back more than 4,000 years. Why and how does this wine and cheese mixture work so well?

Wine and cheese have a lot in common. For example, they're both fermented using organisms. As a result they both are said to taste better as they age. But some say that how well they age and blend is based on the terroir from which they originate. This terroir is simply the whole of their originating environments.

If you listen to the experts in the field, you'll hear that growing regions are vital to decisions about wine and cheese mixtures. If you make a bad choice, one will overpower the other. Even tannin levels have their impact, as white wines tend to be more powerful than red wines. Eating extra rich cheese with a white wine is said to provide a nice balance.

In fact in France, there is a set of regulations about wine growing and labeling in order to make the matching with complementary meal items more feasible. In this way you can be sure your Montrachet wine will go well with your Montrachet goat cheese.

A very creamy cheese may require an acidic wine. A fresh, white cheese may go well with a fruity wine. Heavy cheese may go best with Chardonnay. Some popular matches along these lines are Gewürztraminer and Caraway, Beaujolais and Feta, and Bordeaux and Havarti.

Dessert wines go best with very strong cheeses. Full, white wines and young red wines go well with soft white cheeses. So a Riesling would go great with a Feta, a Gewürztraminer would go great with a Brie, and a Cabernet Franc would go great with a Gouda. You may also want to try such combinations as Syrah with Chaput, Grenache with Cantal, and Auxe Icewine with Cambonzola.

If you're serving up those into old wine traditions, you may want to stick pretty close to the rules. In such a case, full bodied will always go with full flavored, and light will always go with light. However, you can play around with the rules to suit your own wine and cheese tastes the rest of the time. The main thing is to enjoy the beautiful flavors you can create between wine and cheese mixtures.