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Cheese and wine is a classic pairing. But with so many varieties of cheese and wine to choose from, it can be difficult to know how to pair them effectively.
When pairing wine and cheese, your choice of cheese can alter the taste of wine considerably. Acidic and sugary flavours, along with chilli heat, can change how your wine tastes, and in worse cases, this can make the wine taste bitter.
This is why it is important to consider your cheese and wine pairing with care to ensure both bring out the very best in each other!
Red wine can overpower lighter and delicate cheeses, which is why it makes sense to go for a powerful cheese, such as blue cheese or aged cheddar.
Pinot Noir is a light red wine, and so it matches up nicely with nutty, medium-firm cheeses, like Gruyere, and delicately flavoured, washed-rind cheeses.
Cabernet Sauvignon matches up well with cheese that is equally intense, such as peppery cheeses and aged cheddars.
Idiazabal is a traditional cheese made solely from raw sheep's milk, and it is a perfect match for Rioja. You can enjoy it with other sheep cheeses too, like Manchego.
Try: Carrizal Tempranillo
You cannot go wrong with white wines and cheese. The sweetness and acidity work well alongside many cheese varieties.
If you're serving up a cheese fondue, off-dry styles of Riesling work perfectly. The nutty, robust flavours of fondue complement the acidity of the sweet wine.
Washed-rind cow's cheeses, like Époisses de Bourgogne, are produced in the same areas Chardonnay grows - a match made in heaven! You can also enjoy blue cheeses with the melon, tropical, citrus flavours of Chardonnay.
Sauvignon Blanc is a perfect match for goat cheese, especially as the cheese develops a spiciness as it ages.
Sparkling wines and soft cheeses are a dream combination, providing a palate-cleansing effect.
Champagne pairs well with earthy and buttery foods, which is why it works wonderfully with brie.
Try: Autreau Champagne
With fresh, crisp acidity, and hints of red fruit, this is another wine that pairs beautifully with lighter Mediterranean cheese.
White wine is more suitable for serving with cheese than red wine. The sweetness, acidity, and milder bouquet of white wine complement cheese better, yet it does depend on the type of cheese you're eating.
Salty cheese with a long aftertaste pairs best with a full-bodied oaky white.
A classic wine and cheese pairing - brie is rich and salty, which works well with the fruity freshness of Champagne.