Despite it being a popular and historic pairing, red wine and cheese should actually not be paired together.
This may come as a shock if this is something you’ve heard and have practiced all your life, so let me first explain the reasoning before you dismiss my claim.
Why it’s not a match, after all
While I’m a fan of both red and white varieties, it’s surprisingly white wine that makes the much better match with cheese.
White wines have significantly lower levels of tannins, which red wines are high in, and are also much lighter in body than reds.
These character traits make for a perfect compliment to cheese because the wine won’t overpower the fatty flavours we all know and love.
White wines also have a higher level of acidity and this helps it to slice through the heavy taste of cheese.
Sugar is also a useful tool when it comes to balancing out cheese’s lactic tang, which is why it’s often served with jellies and dried fruits.
What wine you should be drinking with cheese
While any white will fair better than a red, there are certain white varieties that will compliment cheese to the best of its ability.
These white wines include sweet, high-acid types, such as Alsatian Rieslings and Vidals. Equally delicious when paired are Sauternes and Gewürztraminers.
Don’t forget about Port!
While red in colour, Port is not a red wine. Port is a sweet and fortified wine, usually from Portugal, that is almost exclusively served as a dessert wine.
I love to pair Port with cheese – this combination is simply spectacular in my opinion.
My recommendations for Port producers include Taylor’s Vintage Ports, Graham’s, and Quinta do Noval – all centered in Portugal’s historic trading Port.
Hopefully, we can forget the red wine and cheese rule once and for and focus on enjoying cheese the way it should rightfully be enjoyed – with whites and Port, of course! What are your favourite wines to pair with cheese? Comment below.