Wine Pairing Ideas from Cheese Experts

If you have any doubt that the good people of Wisconsin know their cheese, simply tune in to an NFL football game from Lambeau Field.

There, at the home of the Green Bay Packers, many fans make a fashion statement (of sorts) by wearing a plastic replica of a wedge of cheese atop their heads. They gladly accept the somewhat derisive designation of “cheeseheads.” TBS even has planned a reality series about this “hilarious subculture.”

So, when the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board publishes a guide to the cheeses of the state—including food and beverage pairing partners—it should not be ignored.

Here are a few of the pairings gleaned from that guide…

  • The cheeses: rich, buttery and slightly sweet Mascarpone; creamy and mildly sweet Ricotta; and tart, salty and crumbly Feta. The wine: fruity, floral and herbal Chenin Blanc—including Vouvray from France.
  • The cheeses: rich, creamy and mushroomy Brie and Camembert. The wine: a fortified wine aperitif.
  • The cheeses: mild, earthy and nutty Fontina; buttery, slightly acidic Haverti; mellow, savory and creamy Muenster; and tart and creamy Monterey Jack. The wine: slightly fizzy Gewurztraminer, with its winter spice and fruit undertones.
  • The cheeses: fresh, moist and crumbly Queso Fresco and Queso Blanco; creamy, slightly tangy Asadero; and dry, salty and crumbly Cotija. The wines: Mead (made from honey — dry, sweet or in-between), or sparkling Spanish Cava.
  • The cheeses: rich, buttery, slightly sweet and creamy Gouda; and light, nutty and smooth Edam. The wine: a low-acid, off-dry (slightly sweet) Riesling.The cheeses: sharp and nutty Asiago; buttery, sweet and nutty Parmesan; tart, tangy and assertive Romano; and hearty, robust and peppery Pepato. The wines: fruitful and high-acid Nebbiolo (including Barolo and Barbaresco), or sparkling Italian Prosecco.

For more ideas on pairing Wisconsin cheeses with wine, visit

Posted in Food and Wine Pairings/Recipes
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