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Cheese Pairs Better With White Wine Than Red

Say Cheese! On Pairing Cheese With Wine

There was one thing I learned at the Artisan Cheese Festival that changed my life. No joke! Normally when I think of pairing wine and cheese I choose a red wine.

However, after tasting over 30 types of cheese paired with both red and white wine, I have to agree with cheese expert Laura Werlin: in general, cheese pairs better with white wine than it does red wine.

Why? Simply put, cheese affects the taste of the wine more than the wine affects the taste of the cheese. A bold, highly tannic red wine cancels out the flavor of most cheese and leaves a soapy taste in the mouth. On the other hand, the buttery richness of cheese is complemented by a creamy Chardonnay or acidic Sauvignon Blanc.

Especially if there is a dominant characteristic in the wine — too much oak, extremely high alcohol content, etc. — it won't pair well with cheese. To truly understand the difference, I highly suggest you perform your own cheese and wine tasting. To learn how


  1. Select several different types of cheese from a variety of cheese families. Brie, cheddar, Pecorino Romano, and Stilton would be a nice group for the tasting.
  2. Pour two glasses of wine. A red (easy-drinking Pinot Noir) and a white (unoaked Chardonnay).
  3. Take a bite of cheese and a sip of white wine.
  4. Take a bite of the same cheese and a sip of red wine.
  5. Think about how they taste together. Which one tastes better?

Let me know how your tasting goes and if you agree that cheese does in fact taste better with white wine!

Image Source: Shutterstock
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LittleMzFit LittleMzFit 7 years
I agree with you on this, white does seem to be better than red. But, I wouldn't turn down red if that's what was served & I would still "Oooh!" & "Ahhh!" with my host! :)
aimeeb aimeeb 7 years
I love cheese... :)
pennylela pennylela 7 years
hahaha modus vivendi that is so funny....
Modus-Vivendi Modus-Vivendi 7 years
I feel like I just heard somewhere that studies show drinking wine actually inhibits your ability to taste the cheese...
Soniabonya Soniabonya 7 years
I love wine and cheese and I used to drink nothing but red, though now I am enjoying the white varietls. I always try to get different cheeses at the local produce stand since they offer since an eclectic mix and try pairing it with a Pinot Grigio or a Sav Blanc. I am not a fan of Chardonnay
browardbubble browardbubble 7 years
not sure if anyone mentioned it but regional craftsmanship is something to keep in mind: cheese styles local to the area where the grape is harvested tend to pair well with the wine.
Swedeybebe Swedeybebe 7 years
very true! whites taste incredible with cheese. i recently had a tasting with cheese at domain carneros... bubbly with cheese is quite tasty as well :)
shoneyjoe shoneyjoe 7 years
How odd - I very rarely even think to pair cheese with red in a straight-up tasting. I do as part of food & wine pairings that contain cheese, and with certain singular instances like port and Stilton. But as a general rule, I don't.
Dana18 Dana18 7 years
I love white wine with cheese. And another good pairing is fig jam is delicious.
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