Probably more miss-leading information has been written on the subject of matching wine with ‘cheese’ than on any other aspect of wine enjoyment.
In the past without informed knowledge a sensible ‘rule’ of thumb most people followed was to decide for yourself what suited your taste-buds. But your own, personal experiences and taste does not always match with others and in many occasions the marriage between a cheese selection and a favourite wine was more 'endured' rather than actually enjoyed.
That said - as you gain experience and learn more about wine, and styles of wine - you will think of it not just in terms of flavour, but also in other terms such as weight, power, aroma, texture and length.
One of the keys to choosing a wine to suit a particular cheese is to take a moment to consider these qualities in relation to the cheese and then try to find a style of wine with qualities to match or complement.
Successful wine and cheese matching should be based on similarities rather than contrasts. Match the weight of the wine to the character and intensity of the cheese.
Guidelines - conventional combinations:
Cheese - there are many good cheese and wine matches - mature cheddar and mature red wine, Port with stilton, goats' cheese with Sauvignon Blanc, sweet wine with creamy cheeses are all classic pairings. Avoid reds that are very tannic and whites that are heavily oaked.
Another tip is to drink a wine from the same region as the cheese, as many wine styles have been influenced by the cuisine and cheese in that region.
Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio: - Chevre, Feta.
Pinot Gris, Viognier: - Mozzarella, Emmental.
Chardonnay (with oak): - Aged Brie, mature Camembert, double-cream, Port-Salut.
Beaujolais or Valpolicella: - Mature Brie, Cheshire, Edam, Emmental, Gouda, Gruyere.
New Zealand Pinot Noir, Cru Beaujolais, Merlot: - Raw Milk Aged Brie, ripe Munster.
Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet-Franc, Syrah / Shiraz, Barolo, Rioja Reserva, Amarone, Chianti DOCG, Malbec, G.S.M. blends: - Parmigiano Reggiano, aged Gouda, aged-hard Cheddar, Harvarti and Swiss-styles.
Sauternes or Barsac, Tokaji, Dessert wines and Ports: - Gorgonzola, Roquefort, and Blue Stilton.