Wine & Cheese Pairing 101

Making wine is an art, but enjoying wine can be an art as well. And while wine pairing requires a little know-how, anyone can dabble in the art of enjoying wine with cheese. Here are a few basic guidelines to get you started.

Photo via

  1. You can’t go wrong with white wine and cheese. Many white wines go nicely with cheese because of their lively acidity and lack of tannins.
  2. When it comes to reds, choose wines that are low-tannin, high in acidity, fruity in flavor, or lower in alcohol.
  3. Darker, tannin red wines are best with cheddar or jack cheese and other harder, saltier cow’s milk cheeses. Just remember that “tannins need fat,” as Honest Cooking magazine puts it.

Don’t forget that cheese is food, so you can always fall back on the most basic rule of wine and food pairing. We like how Eatocracy words it: “Just as lighter wines tend to go better with lighter foods and heavier wines with heavier foods, lighter cheeses are better with lighter wines.”

If all else fails, just have fun and don’t be afraid to experiment! You can’t really make mistakes when it comes to wine pairing, you’ll just notice that certain pairings end up creating a more enjoyable experience than others. As one cheesemonger told the Napa Valley Register, “Once you hit the right combination (of wine and cheese), you’ll know… your palate will tell you.” So trust your palate!


And to make enjoying wine and cheese together easier, Hickory Farms offers several gourmet food baskets that feature wine, cheese, and other delicious foods to pair with wine including fruit, nuts, and crackers. Our Cheese Trio or one of our Wine Gifts, for example, would be perfect for throwing your own wine pairing party or for gifting to a host.
What are your favorite wine and cheese pairings? Share your wine pairing stories with us in a comment below or on the Hickory Farms Facebook page. Also, don’t forget to see our recent post on Tips from Wine & Food Experts on How to Host a Wine Tasting.

hickory farms

hickory farms

Leave a Reply