Pairing cheese and wine can be a challenge. There are certain qualities in both cheese and wine that can contrast or complement one another. But we can make pairing really simple, all you need to remember is: acid needs salt and fat needs body.
Salt in cheese can cut through acidity nicely, so saltier cheeses tend to pair with leaner white wines. Meanwhile fat and tannin complement one another well, so fattier cheeses are a good pick with red wines. When you have fat and salt, think mature cheddar, it can be good to opt for a full-bodied red wine with good acidity.
As a quick win, if you only have one wine with your cheeseboard go for balance: a medium-bodied red wine with moderate tannins, good acidity and notes of red fruits will go with a plethora of different cheeses. Likewise, a nicely creamy, high acidity white wine will be versatile next to a cheeseboard as well.
We've suggested a few of our favourite pairings with our award-winning canned wines below.
Pairing cheese with Canned Wine Co.'s wines
Our Gruner Veltliner showcases Austria’s star grape variety in all its glory – super fresh and citrussy with an herbaceous complexity and notes of peaches and green apple. It pairs perfectly with salty cheeses, like a hard goat’s cheese or Cornish Yarg. To emphasise the wine’s herbaceous qualities, pair it with Tomme de Savoie or Winslade, the brainchild of Stacey Hedges and Charlotte Spruce at Hampshire Cheeses (pictured). Described as a cross between Vacherin and Camembert, it’s gooey and ripe with notes of floral pine.
Our No. 2 Viognier is barrel-aged so it has extra character but is still balanced by refreshing acidity. Pair this with fattier cheeses that still have plenty of salt, like creamy Comte from France or a nutty Gruyere (pictured). Semi-soft cheese with pungent character like a well-aged Brie de Meux would also pair well.
Similarly, the ultra creamy Barrel Aged Verdejo needs creaminess in the texture of the cheese, so is an easy favourite with soft cheese, especially Taleggio. Salty crumbliness of Manchego (pictured) makes for the perfect contrast to the bright tangerine aromas in the wine - extra delicious if you add some quince jelly!
If you like juicy, fruit-forward wines you’ll love our Grenache Rose. Soft aromas of clementine, wild strawberries and butterscotch are backed by puckering pink grapefruit acidity, warm pepper spice and juicy orange citrus. Soft cheeses will complement this wine’s silky texture. We’d recommend a velvety blue cheese like a dolcelatte (pictured), which will enhance the rose’s creaminess and give you ultimate lusciousness. Equally rose is delicious with melted cheese, so would match well with your favourite pizza or a grilled cheese sandwich.
For red wines, a wine like our No. 4 St Laurent is the ideal all-rounder. So if you're a cheeseboard lover who delights in variety, this is the wine to choose. Dark fruits and spice notes in the wine also make it a great choice for curveball pairings like fruity cheese; try Wensleydale with cranberries for something a bit different, alternatively try Comté (pictured) for a more classic pairing.
Our Old Vine Garnacha is rich with flavours of black cherries, chocolate and vanilla spice. Despite being full-bodied with high tannin, it retains a racy acidity. The high level of tannin means this wine can withstand strong cheeses like mature cheddar or baked camembert garnished with rosemary. Alternatively, its fruitiness means the OVG also pairs well with hard, salty cheeses like Gouda or Emmental (pictured); the Emmental’s freshness cuts through the Garnacha’s richness.
But these are our favourites, yours may be different. Keep on experimenting and try our award-winning canned wines with any cheese that takes your fancy. Some of the best pairings come from the most unexpected matches.
By Niamh Harkett & Ben Franks