27 Nov Top 5 Christmas Wine and Cheese Pairings for the Holiday Season
A recent study in France confirmed what we already knew: wine tastes even better with cheese.
Participants reported a more pleasurable wine drinking experience after eating cheese than before.
While you can thrill guests at a Christmas party with wine and cheese, not every pairing works. The intensity, flavor, and texture of a cheese interact with the acidity, tannin content, and taste of a wine.
Let’s look at 5 Christmas wine and cheese pairings that are sure to please your guest’s palates!
- Merlot and Brie
Merlot is a medium-bodied wine with medium tannin and acidity. It’s known for its softness and dry, fruity taste.
Brie is a French cheese with a buttery texture. With one bite, you’ll immediately notice a mildly nutty and tangy flavor.
Merlot and Brie create a harmonious blend, as the rich creaminess of the cheese balances out the dry fruitiness of the wine. Neither flavor overwhelms the other. They have a similar intensity, which generally makes for a good pairing.
- Pinot Noir and Gruyere
Pinot Noir is one of the lighter red wines available. It has low-medium tannin and medium-high acidity. It also boasts a sweet and silky taste.
Gruyere is a semi-soft Swiss cheese with a mildly nutty flavor and earthy smell.
Much like the previous pair, the cheese and wine are nearly identical in intensity. The silkiness of the Pinot Noir meshes seamlessly with the smoothness of the Gruyere.
- Cabernet Sauvignon and Aged Gouda
Cabernet Sauvignon is a bold, tannic red wine with medium acidity. It has a rich, fruity taste and aroma.
Aged Gouda is a hard, flaky Dutch cheese with a rich caramel flavor. It’s just as bold as the Cabernet Sauvignon, making the two a perfect match.
In general, wines that are higher in tannin pair well with aged cheeses. Tannins attach themselves to the proteins and fat in the cheese, cleansing your palate with each sip.
- Syrah and Edam
Syrah is a dry, bold red wine with medium-high tannin and acidity. Its deep flavor makes it an excellent Christmas wine.
Edam is a mild but nutty Dutch cheese with a compact texture. While it’s salty, the cheese also has a hint of sweetness and tartness, leading to a distinctive flavor.
Edam and Syrah pair well because of the flavor and fat content of the cheese balances out the rich tannin content in the wine.
- Chardonnay and Camembert
Chardonnay is a full-bodied wine with a smooth, creamy texture and medium acidity. It has a vibrant, citrusy flavor.
Camembert is a soft and creamy cheese with an earthy aroma. Its milky and sweet flavor makes it the second most popular cheese in France.
Both Chardonnay and Camembert have buttery textures. This combination provides a uniquely smooth experience for tasters.
Pairing Christmas Wine and Cheese
The five pairings mentioned above can take any party to the next level. Feel free to experiment and find your own favorite combinations of Christmas wine and cheese.
Keep in mind that wines with a 13.5% ABV or higher go well with strong, intense cheeses, such as Cabrales or aged Gouda. On the other hand, wines below 12.5% ABV pair well with delicate cheeses, like Brie.
Prepare the cheese about an hour before the event, as its most flavorful at room temperature. Also, serve white wines at 50 degrees Fahrenheit and red wines at 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
Are you planning your own Christmas party this year? Make sure to check out our online store for a wide assortment of delectable wines!
Autry Cellars is proud to be one of the smallest boutique wineries on the Central Coast. Autry Cellars begins with carefully selected grapes grown in the highly-prized Paso Robles and Edna Valley appellations along California’s stunning Central Coast.