Post By: Molly Bohon
Picture By: Sarver Winery

Ever wonder why wine and cheese make such a great pair? The two are like two peas in a pod. Whenever one of them is around, the other is sure to be nearby. But how do you know which cheese to eat with the appropriate wine?

Cheese helps influence the ideal balance of one’s palette. However, not all cheeses and wines are a perfect match. Certain cheese harmonizes with certain wine. There are many factors to examine in order to find the ideal wine and cheese pair. Many complementing and contrasting ingredients work well to integrate the proper flavoring to help create that balance or counterbalance in flavors. For example, a heavier wine most likely would be paired best with an older, richer, nuttier cheese. Factors like the body of the wine, tannin, acidity, and texture affect the type of cheese it should be suitably paired with. Cheese also has factors like its texture, moisture, and intensity that affect which wine it would pair best with.

Young moist cheeses like mozzarella and ricotta would work well with a crisp Oregon Pinot Gris that has proper floral and citrus characteristics. A semi-hard cheese that has more intense flavoring would most likely work best with a wine that had medium viscosity. Either a medium-bodied white like a Chardonnay or a fruity red like a Merlot would be ideal. Hard-aged cheese like manchego works extremely well with a bold wine like a Syrah or Malbec.

So next time you are at a wine and cheese party try and pair the proper cheese with the right wine to give your taste buds a surge of good flavor. The more accurate wine and cheese pairing you choose, the better the wine and the cheese will taste overall.