What are great wine and cheese pairings for your holiday party?
- Cabernet Sauvignon and Aged Gouda
- Zinfandel and Asiago
- Champagne and Gruyere
- Sauvignon Blanc and Havarti
- Merlot and Brie
- Port and Blue Cheese
The holiday season is upon us — which means it’s time for us to gather, eat, drink, and be merry! And of course, the star of the season is the Christmas dinners and soirees you’re planning.
If you’re someone looking for a way to make these occasions more memorable and enjoyable for friends and family, then why not consider a wine and cheese party?
It requires very little preparation, but when executed well, is sophisticated enough to impress! All you need is some knowledge on great wine and cheese pairings, and you’ll be set for the perfect holiday gathering.
Cabernet Sauvignon and Aged Gouda
Let’s start with a classic red wine: Cabernet Sauvignon. This is a bold, tannic red wine with medium acidity and a rich and fruity profile.
These kinds of wines tend to go well with aged cheeses, as their tannins attach themselves to the proteins and fat in the cheese. The result? A pairing that helps cleanse your palate and highlights the taste of stronger cheeses.
For this, we highly recommend aged Gouda. This is a hard and flaky Dutch cheese that features a rich caramel flavor. Its boldness makes it a perfect match for a good Cabernet Sauvignon — like this Pine Ridge Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.
Zinfandel and Asiago
A jammy, fruit-forward (and slightly smoky) red wine like Zinfandel can also make a great holiday wine and cheese pairing for your next event!
To counterbalance the profile that Zinfandel wines offer, we present a rustic cheese: the Asiago. They have a very robust, sweet, and nutty flavor that can bring out this wine’s tartness. Plus, the low bitterness and tobacco notes of this wine can help cut through the butteriness of this soft cow’s cheese.
Our Diamond Collection Zinfandel — and its earthy, oaky notes — will make a great pairing with Asiago.
Champagne and Gruyere
Gruyere cheese is a hearty one, full of dense texture and rich flavors. So naturally, having this one on your board will call for something light and bright, such as a Champagne.
This wine and cheese pairing will highlight your Gruyere’s sweet and nutty flavors, transforming the experience into something elegant. Whether you decide to have this cheese as part of your cheese platter, or in dishes such as a quiche or fondue, make sure to pair it with a good bubbly — like this Brut Souverain by Henriot.
Sauvignon Blanc and Havarti
With a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc, the world’s your oyster. This one offers many options thanks to its crisp and refreshing nature — it can pair with almost anything you can think of.
But, when we take into account its substantial acidity and herbaceous green notes, this white wine will go best with a cheese that’s buttery, creamy, and smooth. That’s what makes it a great companion to artisanal cheese, but our favorite is Havarti.
With Havarti, you’ll also find plenty of herb-infused options to choose from, which you can use to play around with the complementary green flavors of Sauvignon Blanc (try it with our Louis Mel Sauvignon Blanc!)
Merlot and Brie
Merlot is many people’s go-to’s when considering wine and cheese pairings, as it works very well with hard and aged cheeses.
With its characteristic softness, medium tannins, and fruit-heavy notes, it’s a great pairing for buttery French cheeses, such as Brie. The nutty and tangy flavor of the cheese will play off of the plush and supple texture of the wine, making a delicious pairing.
If you want to try this pairing at your next party, we highly recommend our Yalumba Y Series Merlot to start!
Port and Blue Cheese
When you think of Port wines — the richly sweet dessert wine — you normally think of it paired with, well, desserts. However, in combination with the right cheese, this wine can become a very enjoyable appetizer.
For this, we suggest serving Port wine with something salty to create flavor layering, such as a sharp and pungent Blue Cheese. Its rich creaminess and saltiness combined with the sweetness of a red dessert wine (like this Ferreira Dona Antonia Reserva Port) are sure to impress your friends and family!
Looking for ways to elevate your next Christmas get-together? Then you’ve found the right article. With this guide on holiday wine and cheese pairings, you have more than enough options to try out with your loved ones!
That said, these six pairings are just a suggestion, feel free to experiment based on our list, and find your own favorite pairings for your wines and cheeses!
Not sure if this is for you? There are plenty of different ways to enjoy some great wine and food this season! Just take a look at our past tips and guides for something that’s more your style!