The Ultimate Guide to Pairing Cheese and Wine

Chocolate Wine
547bc59453f13bf63c9455d9_author-vc.png
“Buy wine with water but sell wine with cheese”. This is an old French proverb, and it does ring true. Wine and cheese are not instantly a perfect match, and just like pairing chocolate and wine, there are some key elements to take into account.

What is cheese? Well, don’t tell your waistline, but cheese is essentially fat and salt - delicious creamy fat and salt. These are not attributes that pair well with dry wine traditionally. That being said, it hasn’t stopped almost ever cellar door on earth having a variety available to nibble on while you sample their wares. Fat blocks the wine from getting to your cheeks - it coats your mouth and hence the texture of the wine is changed. Salt, too, changes the wine considerably.  While it may not be the most popular thing to say out loud, the best cheese and wine matches are with sweet wines, not dry table wines. There are always exceptions, but sweeping generalisations are far more efficient.

Here are two exceptions for dry wine and cheese pairings. Old chardonnay and hard cheddar is quite a delicious marriage, as is blue cheese and very old cabernet wines, and an old Bordeaux (particularly if someone else is paying) is really quite something. I find young reds too clunky with most cheeses, and the cellar door experience is mostly taking advantage of the fact that serving everyone a little slow-cooked beef cheek is just impractical. If you are not into dessert wines, then look to the styles of Alsatien whites, like Pinot Gris and Gewurztraminer. There needs to be some residual sugar for this to work, but you need not go all the way into fully sweet. If you find these delicious aromatic whites from the likes of Hugel, or Rene Mure and Dopff, then go in search of soft and pungent cheese. If you can find some Munster or Epoisses, you will be on your way to a very good lunch indeed. A little heads-up here - be careful not to touch the cheese with your fingers as it really is quite generous in the odour department.

I like soft, white gooey cheese, like ripe camembert and fraomager d’affinois. This cheese is designed for a host of wines, starting with Perry, or pear cider as it is often called in Australia. The white mould, triple cream ‘mouthgasm’ as some call it, is also a wonderful match with sweet botrytis effected Semillon, like De bortoli Noble one. The saltiness of the cheese and the sweetness of the wine are brilliant together, and the acid of the wine cuts through the glorious fat and makes your mouth instantly ready for another bite. This, to me, is the ultimate in cheese and wine matching. Find some good quality bread, a nice patch of green to lay a picnic blanket and just enjoy these good things in life. Taking friends is optional if you are prepared to share.

^You must be a Vintage Cellars Wine Club member and present your membership card at time of purchase to quality for points, Cellar Shares or any other 'Member Bonus' offers. Cellar Shares are mailed regularly throughout the year summarising your points for the transaction period.

VIC : WARNING : Under the Liquor Control Reform Act 1998 it is an offence to supply alcohol to a person under the age of 18 years [Penalty exceeds $8,000], for a person under the age of 18 years to purchase or receive liquor [Penalty exceeds $700] NSW : It is against the law to sell or supply alcohol to, or to obtain alcohol on behalf of, a person under the age of 18 years ACT : WARNING : Liquor ACT 2010: It is an offence to supply alcohol to a person under the age of 18 years. Penalties apply. WA : WARNING : Under the Liquor Control Act 1998 it is an offence to sell or supply liquor to a person under the age of 18 years on licensed or regulated premises; or for a person under the age of 18 years to purchase, or attempt to purchase, liquor on licensed or regulated premises. WA Licence No. 6020029967. Type of licence - Tavern licence. Name of licensee - Liquorland (Qld) Pty Ltd. Address - 1120-1124 Albany Highway, Bentley WA 6102. Telephone number - (08) 6254 6200. SA : WARNING : Liquor Licensing ACT 1997: Liquor must not be sold or supplied to persons under 18. Penalties Apply QLD : WARNING : Under the Liquor Act 1992, it is an offence to supply liquor to a person under the age of 18 years. 

Use of this website signifies your agreement with our Terms and Conditions and Privacy and Security Policy. Delivery and Handling charges apply to all products sold unless otherwise specified.

Terms and ConditionsPrivacy and Security Policy. © Copyright Vintage Cellars 2014. All rights reserved.