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Perfect wine and cheese pairing ideas

  • by Mikela Dennison
Whether you are planning a quiet Friday night at home, or a more lavish get-together and you're on platter duty, we're here to help you nail the perfect wine and cheese pairing for the occasion.
There are some things in life that simply go well together: Sauv and seafood, beaches and barbecues, fishing and beer, and of course, wine and cheese.


Seriously, who doesn't love going around to a friend's house and they serve up a delicious platter to go with the wine; laden with yummy cheeses, seasonal fruits, a good pate, and some fresh baguette, what's better than that?

So whether you’re throwing a small get-together for a few close friends on a Friday night, or you're planning a lavish dinner party over the holidays, a carefully thought-out cheese platter is an instant crowd pleaser and it can also be a great way to complement your wine.

There are a few general rules of thumb to bear in mind when preparing a perfect cheese platter:

  • Consider the texture, acidity and fat of the cheese. You don’t want the cheese to overpower the wine. Remember, just like with real-life relationships, opposites can often attract
  • Generally speaking, red wines go better with older, richer cheeses, as the tannins in the wine cleanse the palate
  • Sweet wines go best with saltier cheeses, as the salt in the cheese really brings out the sweetness in the wine
  • A cheese platter should have a selection of around 3-5 cheeses and it’s also a good idea to add some nuts and seasonal fruit to the platter, as they bring out the fruity flavours of the wine. Think figs and persimmon in autumn, juicy strawberries or plums in summer, crunchy apple in spring, or fragrant slices of pear in winter. 
  • Go bold! Adding edible flowers to a cheese platter can take it to a whole new level, so let your creative side come out with some quirky additions that are sure to wow your guests. 

Sauvignon Blanc - A great go-to is Goats cheese (we love Cranky Goat cheese, which is produced right here in Marlborough). Other cheeses such as Asiago, Gouda, and Gruyere also go well with a good Sauv.

Pinot Gris – Because of its high acidity, Pinot Gris is a great wine to cleanse the palate. Try a Muenster, Gouda, Edam or Ricotta (we love the fresh Italian cheeses that Vivavio over in Nelson make). Conveniently, we've got an award-winning Pinot Gris, and it's a stunner with cheese! 

Pinot Noir – Earthy and fruity, Pinot Noir traditionally has a high level of acidity and a low level of tannins, so try pairing it with Gouda, Feta, Swiss, and Port Salut. With its savoury notes and rich berry flavours, our Pinot Noir is the perfect match for these fragrant cheeses. 

Rosé – Dry and fruity, Rosé is best served with full-flavoured cheeses such as Chipotle, Colby Jack or even a young chèvre such as Goat’s cheese.

It’s also important to remember that there are no clear-cut rules when it comes to food and wine matching - the most important thing is to experiment, try new and interesting combinations and find out what you enjoy most, because ultimately, the best way to tell is to try the cheeses and see what you think goes best together!

As long as there is good wine and good company, your guests are bound to have a good time. Get in touch if you want help designing the perfect cheese platter and wine match, as we are always happy to help!

Tagged with: wine and food

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