While most wine and cheese pairings are going to be pretty darn O.K., there’s a special kind of magic when the flavors and textures of your wine and cheese are well matched. And who better to match them than someone who made one of them? So, we asked 10 winemakers their favorite cheese pairings for their wine.
If you need us, we’ll just be over here with our mouths watering.
“I love our off-dry Meandering with West Country Farmhouse Cheddar. The nutty component complements the cheese, the acidity cuts through the creaminess.” – Jared Brandt, Owner and Winemaker, Donkey & Goat, Berkeley, CA
“Our 2015 Reserve Pinot Noir is packed with earthy, berry flavors and spicy accents. I like to savor thin slices of aged Parmigiano Reggiano. The crunchy sharpness of the cheese as it bursts with each bite marries beautifully with this Pinot Noir’s ripe berry flavors and spicy finish.” – Rudy Marchesi, President and Chief Viticulturist, Montinore Estate, Forest Grove, OR
“One of my favorite pairings is Gruet Blanc de Noirs with Maytag Blue Cheese. The creamy mouthfeel of Blanc de Noirs makes a nice contrast with the sharpness of the blue, and the finishes of each complement each other well, without one overpowering the other.” – Laurent Gruet, Head Winemaker, Gruet Wines, Santa Fe, NM
“I propose the Nicolau Capra Stanislaus made by Nicolau Farms with our 2017 Symphony No. 9 Sauvignon Blanc. The tart creaminess of this artisanal goat cheese is magical when paired with the bright acidity of the Sauvignon Blanc — the cheese literally makes the wine sing, stylishly expressing its fruit and the nuances of the batonnage process.” – Kari Auringer, Winemaker, Silver Trident Winery, Yountville, CA
“I love Cambazola with our Cabernet Sauvignon. There’s something about the blue mold saltiness that really makes some magic with the dark fruit melange of our mountain vineyard Cabernet.” – Stuart Smith, Enologist, Smith-Madrone Winery, St. Helena, CA
“Any of our rosati pair perfectly with raclette. The meaty funk of the raclette is balanced beautifully by the bright, juiciness of the rosati.” – Christopher Tracy, Winemaker and Partner, Channing Daughters, Long Island, NY
“I love an extra sharp cheddar paired with our Magdalena Vineyard Riesling. The salty and tangy flavors pair well with the floral and tropical notes of fruit-forward Riesling” – Fred Merwarth, Owner and Head Winemaker, Hermann J. Wiemer Vineyard, Finger Lakes, NY
“As both products are derived from a mold, our Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc pairs seamlessly with a Roquefort or Stilton. This wine is rich and sweet and has ample acidity to balance the sugar, resulting in a sensational, full-bodied, dessert wine with a long finish. The oak embellishes the wine by imparting a subtle nutty flavor and by increasing complexity.” – Kareem Massoud, Winemaker, Paumanok Vineyards, Long Island, NY
“There’s something to be said for regional pairings. Pair an aged Tuscan pecorino with a Chianti, like our Frescobaldi Nipozzano Riserva, Chianti Rufina Riserva DOCG, a traditional wine from the region made with Sangiovese grapes. Aged cheeses are at their best when paired with bold reds, as the savory, rich nutty flavors of the cheese soften the wine’s tannin structure and acidity, accentuating both the cheese and wine’s complexity and delicate nuances.” – Lucia Minoggio, Winemaker, Frescobaldi’s Nipozzano Estate, Firenze, Italy
“I recommend pairing Pennyroyal Farm’s Boont Corners with Silverado Vineyards’ Sauvignon Blanc. The salty acidity of this mixed goat and sheep’s milk cheese is a truly delicious counterpoint to the fresh citrus and melon qualities in the wine, and that in addition to the soft texture plays off the mineral components of the Sauvignon Blanc.” – Elena Franceschi, Associate Winemaker, Silverado Vineyards, Napa, CA