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A Complete Guide to the Best Wine and Cheese Pairings [Infographic]

One marriage no one can object to is that of wine and cheese. The pairing is timeless for a few reasons: the two are made in tandem all over the globe, make for gorgeous presentations at a party, and offer near-endless combinations for both novices and pros alike to explore.

Be it tannic, light, sweet, or dry, you can bet there’s a wine out there for every cheese. But which of them pair best? In general, cheeses that have high fat content and more mild, nutty flavors will typically pair best with tannic wines, while stinkier cheeses beg for a sweeter wine to counterbalance the pungent aromas and flavors. Still, there are no hard-and-fast rules when it comes to pairing your favorite cheeses with wine. Remember that at the end of the day, you like what you like, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

But if you are seeking a few pointers, you’ve come to the right place. Here are 20 wine and cheese pairings you should experiment with the next time you’re fixing a charcuterie board for your friends — or just yourself.

Brie Wine Pairing: Pinot Noir

Brie begs for a wine that will play well with its earthy and creamy flavors, but won’t overwhelm them. That’s why Pinot Noir, known for its delicate flavors and light to medium body, is the perfect complement to the soft-ripened cheese.

Gruyère Wine Pairing: Chardonnay

Known for its rich and nutty profile, firm Alpine gruyère is delicious broiled over the top of some French onion soup or melted between two pieces of bread for a comforting grilled cheese. Whether you choose to enjoy gruyere softened or right off its rind as is, the butter-basted fruit character of Chardonnay will shine alongside it.

Mozzarella Wine Pairing: Pinot Grigio

When pairing with Pinot Grigio, seek out a more mild cheese, as some of your bottle’s more subtle flavors can be easily overpowered. With that in mind, the zippy acidity of the wine will tango flawlessly with soft, slightly sweet mozzarella. Want to level up further? Grab an Italian Pinot Grigio to pair with the nation’s classic pizza cheese.

Aged Gouda Wine Pairing: Cabernet Sauvignon

In order to stand up to aged gouda’s robust caramelized almond flavor, you’re going to need a tannic, full-bodied red on hand. With its plethora of dark berry notes and solid grip, Cabernet Sauvignon will get the job done.

Parmesan Wine Pairing: Prosecco

If you’re someone who fancies something sweet and salty, you’ll want to pop a bottle of Prosecco next time you enjoy some parm. The delicate bubbles in the sparkling wine will cut through the savory hard cheese for a delightful contrast. Plus, they’re both Italian, and what grows together usually goes together.

Feta Wine Pairing: Beaujolais

Light and bright, the delicate red berry notes in Beaujolais are the perfect accompaniment to the brined, Greek cheese’s sour twang and saltiness.

Goat Cheese Wine Pairing: Sauvignon Blanc

Many cheeses are made from goat’s milk, but here, we’re talking about the tangy and funky chèvre that’s usually sold in logs. You’ll want a highly acidic, mineral-heavy wine to stand up against the crowd-pleaser, which is why Sauvignon Blanc is chèvre’s best friend.

Monterey Jack Wine Pairing: Merlot

While Monterey Jack isn’t really American, it’s a stateside classic for a reason. This mild, snackable cheese craves a wine that’s on the drier, red-fruited side — just like Merlot.

Roquefort Wine Pairing: Sauternes

Made from raw sheep’s milk, Roquefort is known for its sharp and savory bite. To stand up to its relatively stinky nose, shoot for a fragrant dessert wine like Sauternes.

Aged Cheddar Wine Pairing: Malbec

Aged cheddar can have an aggressive sharpness, and that’s why we love it. A rich, chocolaty Malbec will balance the stateside favorite’s tangy tilt. Now, who’s up for a bowl of macaroni and cheese?

Manchego Wine Pairing: Rioja

When it comes to partnering up salty, nutty Manchego, it’s best to shop around in the cheese’s country of origin. The semi-hard cheese practically begs for a glass of Rioja, the quintessential Spanish wine.

Comté Wine Pairing: Gewürztraminer

Hailing from France, Comté cheese often develops sweet fruit notes with a bit of age, undercut with a nutty and smoky finish. You’ll want a highly aromatic wine to pair with the semi-soft cheese, and bursting with white flower aromas, low-acid Gewürztraminer will strike the perfect balance.

Ricotta Cheese Pairing: Riesling

Need a new definition of R&R to abide by? Try ricotta and Riesling. The sweet, spoonable Italian cheese will embrace the fruit notes and refreshing edge that dominate the classic German wine.

Blue Cheese Wine Pairing: Port

Some blue cheese haters might change their minds after trying the pungent cheese alongside a glass of port. The thick body and dessert-like sweetness of the fortified Portuguese wine is the ideal foil for the crumbly, funky cheese.

Jarlsberg Wine Pairing: Viognier

With an abundance of stone fruit notes on the palate and a healthy undercurrent of floral aromas, Viognier is a mouthwatering match for the savory, nutty flavors of Norway-born Jarlsberg.

Camembert Wine Pairing: Chenin Blanc

While Camembert and brie are often confused, the former can only be made in Normandy, and is usually more robust-tasting than its sweeter counterpart. The refreshing acidity of Chenin Blanc, along with its nuanced fruit flavors, perfectly cuts through this cheese’s rich and vegetal flavors.

Swiss Cheese Wine Pairing: Gamay

Swiss cheese is characterized by its relatively mild, nutty flavor. So, if you spot it on a charcuterie board, be sure to reach for a fruity red for balance. With heaps of red berry and cherry on the palate, Gamay should do the trick.

Gorgonzola Wine Pairing: Moscato

Gorgonzola, a protected Italian blue cheese, has a punchy flavor profile that can be quick to overwhelm. That’s why it shines just bright enough when paired with a sweet, borderline dessert wine. Teeming with juicy fruit flavors and occasionally some carbonation, Moscato and Gorgonzola are a match made in heaven.

Époisses Wine Pairing: Grüner Veltliner

With an aroma so pungent that the cheese was banned from the Paris metro, Époisses requires a wine pairing that can handle the funk. Grüner Veltliner’s citrus and floral notes and sharply acidic palate can handle the task.

Emmentaler Wine Pairing: Chablis

As the original Swiss cheese, Emmentaler still stars many Alpine dishes, including ooey-gooey fondue. Buttery and nutty, the cheese has an underlying fruit flavor, just like Chablis. The French wine, made from Chardonnay grapes, coats the palate with citrus notes and a light creamy finish, making it the ideal pairing for the Swiss delicacy.

*Image retrieved from George Dolgikh via

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