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Ten Wine & Cheese Pairings That’ll Make You A Believer

Wine and Cheese is a term that refers not just to pairing but a celebrated culture with a steeped history and delicious results and if you still haven’t bought into it, here’s ten fab pairings that will make you a believer
Wine and Cheese is a thing. For real. It’s not just one of those high end ruses that luxury brands use as an excuse of an event to peddle their overpriced stuff. Wine and cheese is a culinary ritual with a long, credible history and while the outsider might wonder why there’s more fuss concentrated on this one pairing when wine and food pairing ideas are infinite, wine and cheese has its special place. For starters some of the world’s finest wines and cheeses come from France, Italy and Spain. So it’s not entirely possible to shake off the yoke of being fancy, wine and cheese is a delicious exploration of flavours. Some sharp and stinky cheeses can seem like an assault on the senses but make it vinous pairing and those funky cheeses start tasting pretty good. There’s a long history and compellingly good reason why these two European originals make each other better. Wine teems with intense flavours while cheese has a good amount of fat content. The interplay between wine’s flavours and cheese’s texture is where the secret of this culinary pleasure resides. It’s scientifically legit that cheese enhances the palate’s ability to discern the wine’s copious flavour and appreciate acidity while tempering sharp tannins and astringent tones in red wines.
Wine and cheese pairing much like wine and food pairing can be much easier and always sumptuous if you keep a few thumb rules in mind. Be sure to pair wines and cheeses that have the same intensity of flavour. When you’ve got yourself some full bodied reds, then opt for aged cheese. If your cheese is a quite the bit on the stinkier side, then open an off dry or straight up sweet wine – the wine’s sweetness softens the pungent flavours and makes the cheese rather creamy. Soft cheeses are a safe bet with sparkling wines. And while these plenty more of these inputs to ponder, you can skip all of the above if you prefer because we’ve lined up ten sinful wine and cheese pairings that go above and beyond on proving just why wine and cheese is a pairing decision you’ll never regret.
Cheddar & Cabernet Sauvignon
This English Cheese leads a curious double life, enjoying top of mind recognition owing to humongous industrial production. The original cheese traces its beginning to the village of Cheddar in England and is a great candidate for ageing. Once sufficiently evolved, the cheese takes on a fatty texture that’s ideal for full bodied new world Cabs, softening and lengthening its biting tannins. The Cabernet Sauvignon in turn softens the nutty and earthy, aged Cheddar.
Brie & Sauvignon Blanc
Brie is a universally adored soft cheese produced from cow’s milk in the French region of Brie. Brie has a buttery texture and its flavours range from fruity to earthy. This soft cheese pairs well with new world Sauvignon Blanc as the wine’s light and fruity palate elevates the delicate flavours of the brie.
Fontal & Sangiovese
Fontal is a semi-hard Italian cheese which is a regular on cheese boards across the world. This cheese has flavours that balance sweetness and spice with mild texture and pairs well with Sangiovese wines that are led by berry fruit and tannins that perfectly complement the Italian cheese’s herbaceous notes.
Edam & Malbec
Edam is a tremendously popular cheese that hails from a town of the same name in Northern Netherlands. Edam’s signature smooth and nutty flavours match beautifully with Malbec which is typically medium bodied with ripe red fruit on the palate. Both the cheese and wine are aromatic and balance each other rather than overpower, lifting the flavour of both wine and cheese.
Gruyere & Pinot Noir
Gruyère is one of Switzerland’s most notable hard cheeses. Classified as an Alpine cheese, Gruyere is a cheese that is a great candidate for ageing. When young, it’s nutty and creamy, evolving into something more complex and earthy when aged. Pinot Noir is an ideal companion to Gruyere given its delicate strawberry and cherry tones that perfectly foil Gruyere’s nutty and salty flavours while Gruyere adds to the Pinot’s length.
Manchego & Cava
Manchego is a sheep’s milk cheese indigenous to Spain’s La Mancha region. This hard Spanish cheese tastes tangy and creamy when young and can evolve nutty flavours as it matures. Another great Spanish creation, Cava pairs perfectly with Manchego, matching its nutty flavours and bright acidity, lifting Manchego’s tart flavours and creamy texture.
Monterey Jack & Merlot
Monterey Jack is America’s most famous local cheese that’s semi-hard with mild salty flavours. It’s most popular use is as a melted ingredient for Mexican and Tex Mex cuisine. Monterey Jack by itself pairs well with new world Merlot. The mild cheese’s flavours are amplified by the medium bodied wine and its generous palate of plum and spice.
Comte & Syrah
Comté is a famous French cheese produced from raw cow’s milk on the border with Switzerland – one of the reasons it’s also referred to as mountain cheese. The pale yellow semi-hard cheese tastes of varied flavours like fruit, nuts and a touch of smoke. Comte would do nicely with Syrah wines, especially from Rhone Valley. The Cote Du Rhone in particular, broadens the cheese’s range of flavours with its peppery and fruity palate.
Mahon & Tempranillo
Another great and famous Spanish cheese, Mahon is a semi-soft cheese local to the port town of Maó on the island of Menorca, off Spain’s south coast. This intensely flavoured cheese is curiously underrated given how it impresses with sharp tangy flavours with a touch of herbs. As it evolves, Mahon takes on big and dense flavours and thus is an ideal match for full bodied Tempranillo wines, especially from Rioja that absorb the intensity without overpowering Mahon’s essential flavours.
Roquefort & Riesling
Roquefort is one of world’s most top of mind blue cheeses and the beaming pride of France. Only when the cheese is aged in the Combalou caves of Roquefort-sur-Soulzon in southern France, can it be called Roquefort. As sharp, acidic and tangy as blue cheeses come, Roquefort can pair well with sweet and acidic Rieslings from Mosel Valley that contrast the sharp, pungent notes of the blue cheese, giving the wine an interesting, savoury dimension.