Perfect Wine and Cheese Pairings

Quick Guide to Matching Your Favorite Wines with Cheese

Speciality Christmas cheeseboard selection. Stilton, goats cheese, red leicester and cheddar with red wine and crackers
Diana Miller / Getty Images

Wine and cheese have gone hand in hand for centuries; however, with today’s ever increasing options for both wines and cheeses, the pairing decisions can be staggering. So, to take a lot of the guess work out of pairing here is a handy guide to give you a starting point for pairing your favorite wines with soon-to-be favored cheese. Keep in mind that these are just recommendations, not law – experiment with your own pairings and see if there’s a combination, listed or not, that just knocks your socks off.

A few tips to keep in mind: Pairing wines and cheeses from the same region is a good, “safe” place to start wine and cheese combinations. For example, a good Italian Chianti and a potent Parmesan will provide a fascinating mix. Also, remember that the harder types of cheese (i.e. Cheddar or Parmesan) can handle more tannic wines. While creamy cheeses, such as Brie, typically pair better with wines that have more acidity, like a Chardonnay. Give salty cheeses a sweet wine partner (i.e. Blue Cheese and Port).

Looking to host a wine and cheese pairing party? Then check out our 5 Cheese Wine Pairing Party tips for easy planning and pairing. 

Best Bets for Wine and Cheese Pairings

  • Wine: Beaujolais; Cheese to consider: Brie, Camembert, goat cheese
  • Wine: Cabernet Franc; Cheese to Consider: Blue, Brie, Camembert, Cheddar, Fontina, goat cheese, Gorgonzola, Port Salut, Swiss
  • Wine: Cabernet Sauvignon; Cheeses to Consider: Camembert, Cheddar, Colby, Danish Blue, Gorgonzola, Gouda, Parmesan, Blue cheese, Roquefort
  • Wine: Chardonnay; Cheese to Consider: Brie, Camembert, goat cheese, Gouda, Gruyere, Parmesan, Provolone
  • Wine: Chenin Blanc; Cheese to Consider: Camembert, goat cheese, Graddost
  • Wine: Dessert Wine; Cheese to Consider: Crème Fraiche, Mascarpone, or shake it up with a salty/sweet combo. and consider a crumble or two of blue cheese.
  • Wine: Gewurztraminer; Cheese to Consider: Boursin, Camembert, Chevre, Muenster, Swiss, Wensleydale
  • Wine: Merlot; Cheese to Consider: Brie, Camembert, Cheddar, Gorgonzola, Gouda, Gruyere, Jarlsberg, Parmesan
  • Wine: Pinot Blanc; Cheese to Consider: Brie, Camembert, Feta
  • Wine: Pinot Gris; Cheese to Consider: aged Cheddar, Asiago, Edam, goat cheese, Gouda, Mozzarella, Muenster, and even Ricotta for a unique combo.
  • Wine: Pinot Noir; Cheese to Consider: Brie, Camembert, Feta, Gruyere, Monterey Jack, Muenster, Port Salut, Swiss
  • Wine: Port; Cheese to Consider: Blue, Gorgonzola
  • Wine: Riesling; Cheese to Consider: Brie, Blue, Colby, Edam, Gouda, Monterey Jack
  • Wine: Rioja; Cheese to Consider: Asiago, Cheddar, Havarti
  • Wine: Sangiovese; Cheese to Consider: Blue, Fontina, Mozzarella, Parmesan, Provolone, Ricotta
  • Wine: Sauvignon Blanc; Cheese to Consider: Asiago, Brie, Cheddar, Feta, goat cheese, Gruyere, Neufchatel, Parmesan
  • Wine: Shiraz/Syrah; Cheese to Consider: Cheddar, Edam, Gouda, Parmesan
  • Wine: Zinfandel; Cheese to Consider: Asiago, Blue, Feta, goat cheese, Gouda, Gruyere, Muenster