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Which cheeses to enjoy with white wines

Cheese and wine are the perfect combination.  Choose the right pairing and the flavour and enjoyment of both the wine and the cheese will be enhanced.  We often think of red wine when we talk about cheese and wine but many cheeses do in fact work better paired with white wine.

Red wines will certainly work well with strong cheese but experts are saying we’ve been getting it wrong for years!  Red wine can be too robust and will overpower the subtle flavours of some cheeses.  The creaminess of many cheeses is lost when accompanied by red wine due to the tannins. White wines are more versatile and will complement a greater variety of cheeses.

Here are some suggestions for which cheese to try with white wine.

Try

  • Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, dry Riesling or Semillon with goat cheese.
  • Chardonnay with creamy brie or camembert
  • Champagne and other sparkling wines such as Cava and Prosecco with soft young cheeses, for example a young chèvre, or a creamy brie
  • Chardonnay, white Burgundy, white Bordeaux, Pinot Blanc, Viognier with hard cheeses such as a mild cheddar or a manchego.
  • Gewürztraminer with full-bodied cheeses or smoked cheeses. Matching wines with smoked cheese can be difficult but Gewürztraminer works well.
  • Pinot Grigio with mild and fresh, young cheeses like mozzarella or ricotta
  • Sauternes with strong salty cheeses such as stilton and Roquefort. The sweetness of this wine will enhance the saltiness of the cheese.

Of course, these are just some suggestions.  The fun of cheese and wine pairing is in trying different combinations and seeing what works for you.  If you always reach for a bottle of red to accompany your cheese board then think again and try white next time.  You might be pleasantly surprised!