Looking for ways to improve your next holiday celebration? With the holidays fast approaching, many people want to ensure that they and their guests can easily unwind and have a good time. What better way to do that than with some great wine and cheese pairings?
Red wines are an excellent choice for the colder months of the year. To complement your favorite reds, you also need fabulous cheeses. Start your holiday evening right with 10 of our favorite red wine and cheese pairings for you to offer at your next holiday soiree.
1. Chianti and Cello Tuscan Fontal Cheese
Chianti’s smoky plum undertones allow it to pair perfectly with Mediterranean flavors like Cello Tuscan Fontal Cheese’s classic blend of Italian herbs and spices. The high acidity of the wine and the mild, slight sweetness of Fontal Cheese balance each other out for a fantastic flavor.
2. Port and Blue Cheese
Port is a rich, sweet red wine that is usually paired with desserts. However, in combination with sharp, salty blue cheese, it can be a great appetizer. With sweet and salty flavors, the pairing of blue cheese and port is sure to impress your holiday guests.
3. Cabernet Sauvignon and Aged Gouda
Cabernet Sauvignon is known for its full-bodied flavor, which pairs perfectly with the sharp yet sweet taste of aged gouda. Unlike some of the other pairings in this list, Cabernet Sauvignon and aged gouda work well together because of their similar flavors. They manage to be both similar and different enough to make for a delicious combination.
4. Zinfandel and Asiago Cheese
The pop of jammy, fruity flavor and smoky finish a Zinfandel offers is a bodied counterbalance to this rustic cheese that can bring out its tartness. The wine’s low bitterness and notes of black pepper and tobacco-like smokiness make it a spicy companion for buttery Asiago.5.
5. Beaujolais and Feta
Beaujolais is a light red with undertones of red berries that pairs well with feta’s tangy flavor. The mix of sweet wine and salty cheese is always a success, and the combination of Beaujolais and feta allows you to take a unique approach to the classic flavor pairing.
6. Rioja and Manchego
Rioja is similar to Cabernet Sauvignon with the addition of more fruity flavors. Almost a mix of Cabernet and Pinot Noir, this classic Spanish wine is a great match to zesty Manchego. The intense taste of Manchego pairs well with the fruity notes of Rioja to give your guests a distinct combination of unique flavors.
7. Pinot Noir and Cello Bergamot & Hibiscus Fontal Cheese
Cello Fontal cheeses are so good we’ve decided to add another one to the mix. This time it’s the Bergamot & Hibiscus Rubbed Fontal. The heavy perfume and medium body of a Pinot Noir, along with the saltiness of cured meats, make the perfect balanced companions to the aromatic herbs rubbed onto this fontal wheel.
8. Malbec and Aged Cheddar
The dark, rich flavors of Malbec paired with the sharpness of aged cheddar create an amazing combination of tastes. Both the wine and cheese have complex, deep, complementary flavors. Like Cabernet Sauvignon and aged gouda, the tastes are similar yet different enough to create a surprisingly delightful combination.
9. Pinot Noir and Brie
We’re big fans of Pinot Noir here, so it’s on this list twice! Brie is famous for its earthy flavors, and it needs a great partner to show that taste off. The dry acidity of Pinot Noir showcases the nutty characteristics of brie. Pinot Noir is debatably the most popular red, a well-known flavor profile that includes notes of mushroom and fruit. This combination pairs two familiar flavors together for a delicious experience. Both wine and cheese have simple yet complex characteristics that make them work well together.
10. Merlot and Parmesan
Parmesan is one of the most common household cheeses, with a nutty, sharp flavor and limitless versatility. The dry, fruity characteristics of a Merlot help highlight the boldness of Parmesan and balance the cheese’s notes of crushed apple. Merlot’s smooth finish and ability to transform based on what it’s paired with makes for an exciting combination.
With the help of great wine and delicious cheese, your next holiday gathering is sure to be a success. Whether you are serving before, during, or after a meal, your guests will love these combinations. Next time you are planning a get-together, try out one of our favorite red wine and cheese pairings (or our white wine and cheese pairings if you have a strong preference)! We bet it will be a hit!