Impress Your Guests! - Wine & Cheese Pairing Guide

One of the best ways to impress your guests, whether it's a new girlfriend, a long-term lover, or company from the workplace, is to show off your class with a wine and cheese course before dinner, or instead of dessert. You don't have to be a gourmet guru to know which wine to serve with which cheeses, with this guide to direct your menu.

Buy several (two to four) cheeses depending on budget and guest list, keeping in mind that you want a variety of textures, countries of origin, and sharpness. Then choose one or two wines found in common on more than one of these cheeses' lists, perhaps one red and one white, depending on how many guests you are expecting.

Arrange the cheeses in an aesthetically pleasing manner on a wooden cutting board, and serve with a baguette or few kinds of crackers: rye crisps, whole-wheat, water crackers, etc. Make sure you have a cheese slicer handy for the semi-soft cheeses and a sharp knife for the hard cheeses.

Fresh fruit can be a wonderful compliment to wine and cheese, especially if you are serving them as a dessert course. For the best flavor, only buy what's in season (Fall/Winter or Spring/Summer), and choose fruits easy to snack on, such as grapes, berries, or sliced pears or apples.

With minimal preparation, you can have your guests eating out of your hand... whether figuratively (with your boss) or literally (with your lover)!

Swiss cheeses

Examples:

  • Emmanthaler
  • Gruyère
  • Jarlsburg
  • Kambera
  • Leerdammer
  • Maasdam

Pair with:

  • Beaujolais
  • Bordeaux (white)
  • Burgundy (red or white)
  • Chardonnay
  • Chenin Blanc
  • Fumé Blanc
  • Pinot Noir
  • Sauvignon Blanc
  • Sherry (dry)
  • Zinfandel

Soft cow's milk cheeses

Examples:

  • Brie
  • Camembert

Pair with:

  • Barolo
  • Bordeaux (red or white)
  • Burgundy (red)
  • Châteauneuf-du-Pape
  • Chenin Blanc
  • Chianti
  • Fumé Blanc
  • Gewürztraminer
  • Madeira
  • Pinot Noir
  • Rhône (red)
  • Rosé
  • Sauvignon Blanc
  • Soave
  • Vouvray
  • Zinfandel

Semi-soft cow's milk cheeses

Examples:

  • Bel Paese
  • Havarti (mild)
  • Mozarella
  • Saint-Paulin

Pair with:

  • Beaujolais
  • Burgundy (red)
  • Chianti
  • Gamay
  • Petit Sirah
  • Pinot Noir
  • Riesling
  • Rosé

Semi-hard cow's milk cheeses

Examples:

  • Edam
  • Gouda

Pair with:

  • Beaujolais
  • Bordeaux (red)
  • Burgundy (red)
  • Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Chianti
  • Petit Sirah
  • Pinot Noir
  • Soave
  • Zinfandel

Blue (bleu) cheeses

Examples:

  • Cambozola
  • Gorgonzola
  • Roquefort
  • Stilton

Pair with:

  • Barolo
  • Bordeaux (red)
  • Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Châteauneuf-du-Pape
  • Chianti
  • Burgundy (red)
  • Gamay
  • Pinot Noir
  • Port
  • Rhône (red)
  • Sherry (dry or sweet)
  • Soave
  • Zinfandel

Goat (chevre) cheeses

Examples:

  • Bucheron
  • Caprino
  • Castelo Branco
  • Chabis
  • Crottin de Chavignol
  • Feta
  • Halloumi

Pair with:

  • Beaujolais
  • Bordeaux (white)
  • Burgundy (white)
  • Chardonnay
  • Fumé Blanc
  • Gamay
  • Gewürztraminer
  • Riesling
  • Rosé
  • Sauvignon Blanc

Fontina

Pair with:

  • Barolo
  • Burgundy (red)
  • Chianti
  • Petit Sirah
  • Pinot Noir
  • Rosé
  • Zinfandel

Port-Salut

Pair with:

  • Beaujolais
  • Bordeaux (red)
  • Burgundy (red)
  • Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Pinot Noir
  • Rosé
  • Sherry (sweet)
  • Soave

Cheddar

Pair with:

  • Bordeaux (red)
  • Burgundy (red or white)
  • Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Chardonnay
  • Châteauneuf-du-Pape
  • Chenin Blanc
  • Chianti
  • Madeira
  • Port
  • Rhône (red)
  • Sherry (dry or sweet)

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Comments 2 comments

GlstngRosePetals profile image

GlstngRosePetals 4 years ago from Wouldn't You Like To Know

Wow excelent!!


Guyana Masala profile image

Guyana Masala 5 years ago from New Jersey

I absolutely love this. Excellent hub.

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