Classic Cheese Pairings

Why they work and how to make the most of them this summer


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Parmigiano and Lambrusco

Here’s a case of contrasting flavors layered upon the “if it grows together, it goes together” idiom. Both Parmigiano and Lambrusco come from the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy, and they both rock. In addition, the region was recently hit by a series of earthquakes, so even though this pairing is worthy of recommendation all on its own, there is a humanitarian aspect to supporting the farmers. So let’s have at it!

Why it works: I’m thinking of using a slightly off-dry example of Lambrusco (the classic style), which will lend this a salty vs. sweet contrasting challenge.

How to make the most of it: Big chunks of cheese

Lambrusco and antipasto are a match made in heaven. Add in some salty olives and salumi, chill two bottles of Lambrusco -   more if you’re inviting guests, and enjoy a little, no make that a big, snack-fest al fresco. That’s what summer is all about!

Try This Recipe

Wines to try: Dry Lambrusco is the current craze but there remains a place for a lovely, lightly sweet version to wash down these salty snacks.

Gelsomina Lambrusco

Solo Reggiano Lambrusco

Photo courtesy of SergioBarberi via Flickr/cc

Classic Cheese Pairings 6/8/12

Tiefenbrunner Sauvignon Blanc Alto Adige Südtirol Kirchleiten (2010)
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Russiz Superiore Collio Sauvignon (2010)
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Château Loupiac-Gaudiet Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend Loupiac (2009)
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Chateau du Cros Loupiac (2010)
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Gelsomina Lambrusco Mantovano (2007)
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Medici Ermete Lambrusco Lambrusco Grasparossa le Tenute Bocciolo (2010)
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Hatzidakis Winery Assyrtiko Santorini Nykteri (2009)
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Argyros Assyrtiko Santorini Canava (2007)
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Verget St Veran Terroirs de Davaye (2010)
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Viré-Clessé Domaine de Roally (2010)
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Mentioned in this article


  • Snooth User: amateriat
    618056 9

    Sigh...interesting wines, paired with every single cheese I <i>don't</i> like. I suppose it's because, when the livin' is (relatively) easy, my go-to pairing is Gouda (regular or smoked) and a nice Garnacha (and a locally-baked baguette, which thankfully is once again easier to find in my neck of Gotham). Sometimes you want to foxtrot rather than waltz, yes?

    - Barrett

    Jun 08, 2012 at 1:25 PM

  • Snooth User: envchemist
    340946 18

    That's a very short unusual list. Maybe they were trying to show unusual pairs. My favorite is Baked Brie with Tawny Port --great dessert or Sharp cheese with Merlot.


    Jun 08, 2012 at 2:39 PM

  • Sounds like a reason to have a cheese/wine party! Wine & cheese are like PB&J..meant for each other. Interesting list...I'm sure you could go on & on with combinations.

    Jun 09, 2012 at 9:16 AM

  • Thats fine until youre presented with a cheeseboard - when you say "Dry White Port please" as its versatility copes well with varied cheeses.
    An other surprise - cheeses tend to go with their local wines. Eg Chignin de Savoie with the Vacherin Mont D-Or cheese

    Jul 04, 2012 at 7:08 AM

  • Snooth User: Calamus
    1121277 305

    Breaking the 'rules', I really like a Sauterne with Romano-Parmesan or a Sauterne with a 7 year old Quebec cheddar. Heaven!

    Jul 24, 2012 at 7:53 PM

  • I wonder if Calamus's finding of Sauternes and mine of dry white port (still rather rich and sweet) add up to making sweet wine a good - and certainly under-rated -bet with salty cheese.
    Anyone else out there with sweet wine findings or pairings with specific cheeses?

    Jul 26, 2012 at 6:06 AM

  • Snooth User: Calamus
    1121277 305

    Willamsimpson, There must be others! Cremant and hard French cheese with apples and a few grapes is delicious. On the other side of the palate, A Syrah with cheese curd or gouda is a great Friday night snack. I think I am going to work my way through the pairings, on this list, that I haven't tried yet.

    Jul 26, 2012 at 7:50 AM

  • woww... so sweet.. & nice

    Aug 31, 2013 at 5:00 AM

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