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A Cheese Pairing Guide for Wine, Beer, and Fruit

BY: Editors | Nov 20, 2017

It really doesn't get any better than cheese, right? It's phenomenal on its own but even better when paired with other delicious food and drinks. But with the wide array of cheese options, finding complementary flavors can be a bit overwhelming. Use our cheese pairing guide as a reference point to delightfully match a few of your favorites.

Wine

Wine and cheese basically belong together, but marriage isn't easy. Both tend to have bold personalities, so you must take extra care when pairing to ensure your couple is a match. Dry wines pair best with aged cheeses. This is because they are full of tannins, which are the natural organic compounds that produces distinctive flavors in wine. These tannins bind to food with high amounts of protein and fat for a nice balance. White wine is a little bit easier to pair; try it with creamy, rich cheeses for a delectable duo. Salt and sugar pair nicely when drinking sparkling wines. Some of our favorite pairings are below:

  • Reds: cabernet sauvignon and gouda | pinot noir and brie | malbec and aged cheddar | merlot and monterrey jack
  • Whites: chardonnay and gruyere | riesling and ricotta | mozzarella and pinot grigio | sauvignon blanc and goat cheese
  • Sparkling: prosecco and parmesan | rosé and havarti | champagne and colby

Beer

Did you know beer pairs well with cheese, too? And we don't just mean a tub of pub cheese! Both can have intense flavors, so you're looking for the perfect harmony of light and dark, rich and delicate, etc. The goal is to make sure that nothing is too overpowering, but don't just think about taste, consider texture, as well. Here's our beer and cheese pairing guide:

  • Light beer: wheats and mozzarella | pale ales and burrata | amber ales and muenster
  • Dark beer: stouts and porters and blue cheese | malts and aged gouda
  • Hoppy beer: IPAs and cheddar | sour ales and mascarpone | double IPAs and funky stilton
  • Cider: dry ciders and blue cheese | semi-sweet ciders and goat cheese | sweet ciders and nutty alpine

Meats

It may seem that cheese goes with nearly every meat, but some are more complementary than others. Whether you're putting together a cheese plate for the holidays or just trying to be innovative with some dinner recipes, we've got the lowdown on what cheese pairs best with your everyday meats.

  • Prosciutto: goat cheese, mozzarella, blue cheese
  • Salami: parmigiano reggiano, jarlsberg, gruyere
  • Summer sausage: double gloucester, emmental, cheddar
  • Pastrami: manchego, idiazabal, monterey jack

Fruits

Unlike vegetables, whose flavors often don't do much to accentuate those of a nicely aged cheese, fruit pairs nicely. The juiciness of stone fruits mingled with the creamy funkiness of a soft cheese can create a truly surprising dessert. Follow our guide below:

Type of Cheese Fruit Pairings
Asiago Figs, grapes
Bleu Pears, figs, blackberries
Brie Pears, plums, apples, strawberries
Cheddar Apples, grapes
Cream cheese Raspberries, kiwis, strawberries
Feta Watermelon, grapes
Goat cheese Figs, peaches, pomegranate, berries
Gouda Apples, apricots, pears
Ricotta Berries, peaches, bananas