Wine and Cheese Pairing

When setting up a wine and cheese party, the only thing you have to know is: If it tastes good, do it! There are some guidelines to consider, however, when it comes down to it, it’s all about personal tast e.

When paired up, wine and cheese do their part to bring out the best in each other, and even professionals can’t agree on any absolutes in the wine and cheese pairing match gam e. Instead, it’s understood that we’re talking about delectable wine and cheese pairings — a delectable wine and a delectable cheese, together!

Some Accepted "Truths” About Wine and Cheese Pairing:

Even though it comes down to personal taste, certain guidelines have been proven favourable by a majority of enthusiasts. Here are some of those basic truths:

• White wines match best with soft cheeses and stronger flavours.
• Red wines match best with hard cheeses and milder flavours.
• Fruity and sweet white wines (not dry) and dessert wines work best with a wider range of cheeses.
• The more pungent the cheese you choose, the sweeter the wine should b e.

When offering several cheese choices in a wine and cheese pairing spread, white wines fair better than reds. That’s because several cheeses, particularly soft and creamy ones, leave a layer of fat on the palate that interferes with the flavor in reds, rendering them monotonous and bland.

Quite the opposite, most of those sweeter whites nicely complement a full range of cheeses. Additionally, the "sparkle” in a sparkling wine or champagne can help break through the fat in heavier cheeses. Therefore, the spicy zing of a Gewürztraminer or the peachy zip of a Riesling is ideal if you’re going for wide-reaching appeal.

If you’re a cheese adventurist, meaning you go for the stinkiest of cheeses, pick a big wine to back it up. Try a French Bordeaux or a buxom California Cabernet Sauvignon.

Ports and dessert wines are your best choice if you like blue cheeses.

A brief Cheese and Wine matching Guide;

Asiago (Italian)


Bel Paese (Italian)


Blue Cheeses

Sauternes, Cabernet Sauvignon


Pinot Noir, White Burgundy


Cabernet Franc, Soave


Beaujolais, Sauvignon Blanc

Creamy Blue

Beaujolais, Provençal Rosé


Riesling, Pinot Noir


Sauvignon Blanc, Sparkling


Sancerre, Sauvignon Blanc


Pinot Noir, Valpolicella, Chardonnay


Barolo, Cabernet Sauvignon,


Chianti, Barbera


Barolo, Chardonnay

Smoked Cheese

Pinot Noir, Chardonnay


Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon

Wine and Cheese matching Guide;





Red Variety



Light Italian Red



Powerful Italian Red

Brie, Munster


Fruity French Red

Cheddar, Creamy Blue

Brunello di Montalcino

Powerful Italian Red


Burgundy (White)

Classic French Wine


Cabernet Franc

Red Variety


Cabernet Sauvignon

Red Variety

Blue, Muenster, Swiss


White Variety

Bel Paese, Gouda, Provolone, Smoked


Light Italian Red



Red Variety

Swiss, Wash rind cheeses

Pinot Noir

Red Variety

Brie, Edam, Gouda, Smoked

Provencal Rose

Fruity French Rosé

Creamy Blue


White Variety



Fruity French White


Sauvignon Blanc

White Variety

Cheddar, Feta, Goat


Red Wine; Soft Medium



Light Italian White



Sparkling White Wine



Fruity Italian Red



Red Variety

Salty Blues

White Wines to partner Cheese ...

Champagne or sparkling

Brie, Camembert


Mild Cheddar, Gruyere, Provolone


Swiss, most German cheeses

Loire Valley wines

Goat Cheese




Roquefort, Blue

Sauvignon Blanc

Goat Cheese

 Red Wines to Partner Cheese ...



Gorgonzola, Parmigiano-Reggiano, Asiago

Cabernet Sauvignon

Camembert, Sharp Cheddar, Blue


Stilton, Gorgonzola


Sharp Cheddar

Detailed Cheese List with Wine Matches ….

Amarelo - Portuguese goat and sheep`s milk cheese. A chilled tawny port should be superb

Asiago - Italian cow`s milk cheese. Try with an Italian Chardonnay or for a red a Bardolino.

Azeitao - A Sheep`s milk cheese from just South of Lisbon. Enjoy with a Portuguese red wine.

Baby Bel - a Beaujolais.

Banon - See Goats Cheese.

Beaufort - Champagne Blanc de Noirs, white Hermitage.

Bel Paese - Barbera, lighter style of Chardonnay.

Bleu d'Auvergne - Monbazillac or other sweet wine.

Bougon - A goat`s milk Camembert. See Goats Cheese.

Boursin - A fresh and tangy Sauvignon from New Zealand or the Loire or an Entre Deux Mers.

Boucheron - See Goats Cheese.

Brendon Blue - A strong matured goats cheese from Exmoor. Semi soft with a dense texture and sweet aftertaste.

Brie/Camembert - A difficult one as the classical tang of ammonia often jars nastily with wine. Try a red from the South of France - Fitou or Corbieres. An LBV port is also worth trying. Champagne works as would other dry sparkling wines.

Brillat Savarin - Red Bordeaux.

Buxton Blue - A cousin of Blue Stilton; Suaternes or Monbazalic

Cabrales - a dry or sweet Sherry for this Spanish blue cheese or a sweet wine.

Caerphilly - Could I suggest a crisp dry English wine with this hard cheese. Or try an Albarinho (Portuguese white), a Spanish Red, a Zinfandel or Sauvignon Blanc.

Cambazola- a lovely smooth creamy brie style blue; partners well with a Chardonnay

Cambembert - at its best when lovely and ripe, although some people do like it a little chalky. Go for a red wine here - Cotes d`Castillon or other aged Bordeaux reds. The Cheese and Wine Shop Pinot Noirs from New Zealand also works very well. 

Cantabria - a Spanish cheese so go for a young, fruity Spanish red.

Capricorn - A soft goats cheese from Somerset, ideal with a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.

Castelmagno - a Barolo or Barbaresco.

Celtic Promise - A semihard cheese with a rich savoury taste, made in Wales and matured with Cider in Surrey so obviously a cider with this one.

Chaource - a Chablis or Blanc de Noirs champagne.

Cheddar - Buy the best you can afford and revel in the flavour combinations with a Sauvignon Blanc for a white or a good claret, Rhone, or Rhone styled wine from California or Australia. Zinfandel is great too. An Argentinian Bonarda makes a tasty, affordable alternative. Try an apple juice for something non-alcoholic. Classically serve a decent ale for a true British taste sensation.

Cheshire - Again a Sauvignon Blanc would be my first choice but for a red consider a Cabernet based wine from the New World.

Chèvre Brie - A goats cheese brie. See either category.

Cimbro - Cow`s milk cheese from north of Verona, Italy. Amarone della Valpolicella Classico is the wine to try.

Colby - red Bordeaux, Champagne, Riesling.

Comte - Grüner Veltliner or a Pinot Noir for a red.

Coulommiers - a small deep brie with a sweetness rather than a saltiness to the taste. Try a New Zealand Pinot Noir or a Cotes du Rhone.

Cornish Yarg - at once creamy and crumbly with a tang, go for a good ale.

Cotija - a Mexican aged cow's milk cheese. Go for a Chardonnay or Riesling.

Crottin de Chavignol - a strong goat`s cheese from Burgundy. Dry and salty with a sweet and sour taste. Try with a Mersault or a Sauvignon Blanc.

Danish Blue - Sauternes is a good match as are other sweet wines.

Derby - similar in taste and texture to Cheddar. Go for the fruit juice of a decent Shiraz. For a white try a Chenin Blanc.

Double Gloucester - A good quality tawny port makes a good airing also look at Montepulciano d`Abruzzo or a Riesling.

Edam - Any Cabernet or Merlot based wine from Bordeaux and surrounds works very well.

Elmhirst - a triple cream mould ripened cheese similar to Vignotte. Light texture and delicate flavour when young. Here a light Italian white wine would be good.

Emmental - Sauvignon Blanc again goes very well try also a Californian Zinfandel or from Italy a Primitivo. Beaujolais and Côtes du Rhône are also recommended.

Epoisses - Napoleon's favourite. Strong in flavour and aroma, this classic cheese from Burgundy should be matched with a wine from the same region - a red or a white will be great. The cheese is washed in Marc and therefore matches well with Marc de Bourgogne.

Evora - From East of Lisbon, Portugal. Sheep`s milk cheese. If you can find it drink a local wine Vila Santa.

Feta - the soft cheese from Greece. A full dry wine such as an Alsace Riesling or a red Beaujolias. Retsina too, for a true Greek experience.

Fontina - a semi-soft Italian cheese. A Gewurztraminer is superb or try a Gattinara. Pinot Grigio too or for a red a Barbaresco, Barolo or Dolcetto.

Gaperon - from the Auvergne region of France containing garlic and ground pepper.Comes in a distinctive dome shape with a hard dry rind. A light red for this one - Beaujolais.

Gloucester - Pinot Noir or Zinfandel.

Goats Cheese - A catch all category for so many different cheeses - to match try a good Rhone Red or a Sauvignon Blanc. Classic taste combinations. Also perhaps an Italian Trebbiano.

Gorgonzola - A sweet wine is needed here. Look into getting a German or Austrian Trockenbeerenauslese or a Hungarian Tokaji. Sauternes is also good.

Gouda - a semi-hard cheese from Holland. Definitely red wine country here try a new World Merlot or Zinfandel.  

Graddost - a semi-hard cheese from Sweden. Try with a good Chenin Blanc or Sauvignon Blanc.

Gruyère - Again a Sauvignon Blanc or for a red wine an Australian Shiraz, a New World Sangiovese or a Chianti. Champagne especially vintage or Blanc de Blancs is also recommended. Gewürztraminer for a white.

Havarti - A semi-soft cheese from Denmark. A red Bordeaux of Rioja would be good. For a white try a Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc.

Jarlsberg - a hard cheese from Norway. A Merlot or Zinfandel here I feel.

Lancashire - Superb with a tawny port or a Sauternes/Barsac. Try a Sauvignon or better I think a Chianti.

Le Chevrot - A superb goats cheese. See Goats Cheese.

Livarot - a very strong tasting cheese from Normandy with a heavy moist texture. Chardonnay or a Pinot Gris or an Alsace Gewürztraminer.

Mahon - a Spanish red especially Rioja.

Manchego - A Spanish red for a Spanish cheese or open that aging claret. A Cava is recommended for a young cheese or a Fino or Amontillado Sherry.

Maroilles - a soft but powerful French cheese with a very powerful aroma. Perhaps too overpowering for wine but try with an Alsatian Pinot Gris or a Châteauneuf-du-Pape.

Mimolette - Cahors or Saint Emilion or other Bordeaux Red.

Muddles Green - A Camembert style goats cheese named after the village in which it is made.

Munster - Try a Gewürztraminer from Alsace or a cheaper version from Chile or New Zealand if you can find one.

Monterey Jack - An American semi-hard Cheese best with Rieslings or Californian Chardonnay. For a red try with Zinfandel or Cabernet Sauvignon.

Monte Veronese - for a 'match made in heaven' go for a Valpolicella.

Morbier - This is a mild cheese made in two sections with a thin charcoal layer between. Worked very well with an unoaked Chardonnay. Try also with a decent Fleurie or other Beaujolais. Arbois white or red.

Mozzarella - Do people eat this on its own? Try with a crisp white like a Cotes du Duras or Bergerac or a Beaujolais or an Old Vines Zinfandel for a red.

Neufchatel - from the north of Normandy. A smooth texture with a core of crumbly, dryer cheese. Go for a good quality red Loire - a Chinon for example.

Ossau-Iraty - from the Pays Basque region of France. Try with Bordeaux or Rhone reds.

Parmesan - If eaten on its own try with a Spanish Cava, an Amarone or a Super Tuscan wine.

Pecorino - Great with a rich Zinfandel or try with a full Italian red, an Amarone, Chianti Classico or Brunello.

Pie d`Anglous - a light soft cheese ideal with a ripe plum or sweet grapes. Try any sweet wine - Sauternes or Monbazillac.

Picos de Europa - Northern Spanish cheese try with high Acidity/high tannin red wine, Italian Primativo, Zinfandel or certain Merlots.

Pont l`Eveque - White Bordeaux, Chardonnay from anywhere or try a white Rioja. For a red try with a red Burgundy.

Port Salut - A good quality Cotes du Rhone or similar blend works well as does a lighter style Italian red such as a Bardolino

Provolone - Dolcetto

Raclette - A hard French Cheese best with a Beaujolais or a Sauvignon Blanc.

Reblochon - A mountain cheese from the Savoie. A thin orange rind, a smooth fatty texture and a nutty aftertaste. Try with a fino sherry or if you can find one a Vin Jaune. A lighter styled Pinot Noir for a red.

Red Leicester - Pick a nice Rioja or a full and rich Australian Shiraz. Very good with an ale.

Roquefort & Stilton - The classic combination is with a Sauternes, but try also with any botrytis affected wine (Australian Semillon for example), a sweet Jurancon or cheaper sweet wines from anywhere really. Aged tawny port is also delicious. Vintage Port is wasted on it though.

Rosary Ash - An English Goats cheese from Salisbury, rich, fresh with a hint of lemon.

Saint Andrews - A supple creamy textured Scottish cheese. Went very well with a Bordeaux white (Sauvignon-Semillon blend) although a straight Sauvignon Blanc would be just as good.

St.Marcellin - A French full-fat soft cheese made from cows milk. Fresh, yeasty aroma and a mild fruity taste. Try with a Savoie white - Roussette for example.

St.Nectaire - try with an off dry Vouvray for a white or a Bordeaux red.

Sao Jorge - Full flavoured unpasteurised cow`s milk cheese from the Azores. Accompany with a LBV Port.

Taurus - A rare cows cheese from Somerset. Full flavoured and creamy. Went very well with a Bordeaux white (Sauvignon-Semillon blend).

Taleggio - a full-fat soft cheese from Lombardy, Italy. An Italian white wine would be superb or try with a Chianti Riserva. Traditionally matched with Barbaresco.

Tornegus - a farm house Caerphilly.

Vacherin - a Blanc de Blanc Champagne, an Alsatian Rielsing or a red Beaujolais.

Vermont - Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Syrah or an off-dry Riesling are suggested.

Vignotte - a triple cream cheese from the Champagne region. Mild soft texture. A St.Emilion is great.

Wensleydale - A sweeter wine needed here like a German Spatlese or a late picked Muscat from Australia. But it is also lovley with Montepulciano d'Abruzzo.

White Cheshire - As an accompaniment try a Riesling.

White Stilton - often found blended with cranberies for which a champagne is recommended.

Woolsery - An English Goats cheese, moist, open texture with a distinctive taste with hints of almonds and pinenuts.