Wines for Cheeses

There are many wine guides that tell you the best wine to go with certain cheeses and I will offer you my take on those.

I take my wine and cheese seriously and I think several factors are important when choosing the right drink:

  • What are you eating – one cheese or a selection of different styles
  • What have you eaten before or drunk with previous courses
  • The company you dine with……

Plus many more factors influence our taste buds.

One thing I believe the continentals have absolutely correct is to have your cheese course before dessert.  It makes perfect sense.  Why break up savoury tastes with sweet as it will just deaden the palate to the drier wines which in turn makes them appear to be slightly sour or thin. 

Another slightly controversial opinion although several eminent sommeliers of my acquaintance agree, in general white wine goes better than most reds with a lot of cheeses. The acidity in white wines helps cut through the deep rich taste of the cheese.  Why not experiment!

Our cheese tastes great and the wine should be good enough to compliment it.  Whatever your choice of colour you will not go far wrong.

The usual pairings are:

British Hard Cheeses:
Cheddar, Double Gloucester, Cheshire, etc – fine Claret or other great wines.

Blue Cheeses:
Stilton, Shropshire, Gorgonzola, Bleu des Causses, - fortified rich wines, e.g. Port, Old Oloroso, Amontillado sherry or Madeira.
Roquefort – sweet white wine, especially Sauteurnes.

Soft paste with white flowery rind:
Camembert, Chaource, Soumaintrain -light red wines, Beaujolais, fruity Bordeaux, young New World reds, dry white Burgundy or unoaked New World Whites.

Soft paste with washed rind, often pungent smell:
Epoisses, Maroilles, Munster, Langres - local reds and whites for the French cheeses, powerful Southern European or vigorous New World wines.

Semi-soft cheeses:
Tomme de Savoie, St Nectaire, Pont l’eveque, Morbier, Reblochon-white   Bordeaux, Southern Italian white, dry, full Sherry.

Hard mountain style cheeses, slightly sweet tasting:
Gruyere, Beaufort, Comte, Old Gouda-dry white or rose wines, mature red Bordeaux or Rhone wines.

The above are the usual recommendations for wine with cheese, however cheeses like wine vary tremendously.

My feeling is with good cheese a good bottle of wine will only enhance the flavour. Although I get great pleasure from a chunk of our cheddar, crusty bread and butter and a nice cup of tea!