Over the past 25 plus years, I have been taking a very close interest in the pairing of wine with all types of cuisine. Cheese is a ‘food’ group that most of us take for granted and for some, even less thought into how it should be served and with which wine. Most wine and cheese matches are made without much thought or experience - simply by habit, or routine, a large proportion of people pair wine and cheese poorly.
The following combinations are focused on traditional cheese styles made with Cow, Sheep and Goat milk. After a great deal of research in France, Italy and here in New Zealand - I have been running a specific class where we use the many varied types and styles of cheeses - to inform chefs, 'front-of-house' staff and the general public about wine and food matches. Using the varied ages, textures and saturated fats contained in these varied cheeses. I show how wine not only compliments cuisine, (in this case cheese) but brings out all the subtle characters and unique flavours lost when simply enjoyed on their own.
At most refrigerator temperatures, the fat in a piece of cheese is as hard as un-softened butter, and its protein structure is stiff and tangled as well. The flavour and aroma compounds are less easily liberated when this cold. For improved aromas, flavour and texture, it is advised that cheeses be allowed to warm up towards approx 18-20°C *(depending upon style) before eating. If the cheese is further warmed, to 26-32°C, the fats will begin to ‘sweat out’ as they go beyond soft to fully liquid. One of the keys to choosing a wine to suit a particular cheese is to take a moment to consider the 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. I know everyone will surprise themselves and the result will be a more diverse, varied and more enjoyable wine & cheese experience.
The following pairings are only suggestions, guidelines and starting points - enjoy the journey.

You are looking to complement the Parmesan Cheese and its hard, gritty texture and subtle salty flavour, making it an ideal candidate for a Brut Champagne, or quality dry sparkling wine, as it offers lively and refreshing carbonation. The brut style Champagne will pick up the subtle almond notes of the parmesan cheese and release the hidden flavours in the saturated fats and then cleanse the palate.
White Wine:
A lively and refreshing white wine can pair well with Parmesan Cheese - though a perfect pairing is with a NV Brut Champagne, or quality dry style sparkling wine.
Red Wine:
Can be difficult to match as many red wines will clash with the salty notes, but a red wine with ripe fruit and very soft tannins can pair.
 
You are looking to complement the Goat Feta Cheese and its soft, creamy and heightened salty flavour, making it an ideal candidate for a young, crisp Sauvignon Blanc, or lively and fresh, dry white wine, as it offers bright crisp fruits and refreshing palate. The lively Sauvignon Blanc will highlight the subtle creamy notes of the Goat Feta cheese and release the hidden flavours in the saturated fats and then smooth out the saltiness and cleanse the palate.
White Wine:
A lively and refreshing white wine can pair well with Goat Feta Cheese - though a perfect pairing is with a young, crisp Sauvignon Blanc, or quality Retsina, or even a young Albariño.
Red Wine:
Can be very difficult to match - as most red wines will clash with the salty nature of the Feta Cheese.
 
You are looking to complement the Chevre Cheese and its semi-soft, creamy texture and slightly tart, earthy flavour, making it an ideal candidate for a dry style Sauvignon Blanc, or lively and fresh, dry white wine, as it offers bright, crisp notes and refreshing palate. The dry style Sauvignon Blanc will highlight the subtle creamy notes of the Chevre cheese and release the hidden flavours in the saturated fats and then smooth out the tart characters and cleanse the palate.
White Wine:
A lively and refreshing dry white wine can pair well with Chevre Cheese - though a perfect pairing is with a quality dry style Sauvignon Blanc, or a quality dry Riesling or Pinot Grigio.
Red Wine:
Can be very difficult to match - as most red wines will clash with the tart nature of the Chevre Cheese.
 
You are looking to complement the French Brie Cheese and its soft, rich, creamy texture and white butter cream flavour, making it an ideal candidate for a Dry Riesling, or quality, lively dry white wine, as it offers lively and refreshing fruit with crisp acidity. The Dry Riesling will pick up the subtle almond and cream notes of the brie cheese and release the hidden flavours in the saturated fats and then cleanse the palate.
White Wine:
A lively and refreshing dry white wine can pair well with French Brie Cheese - though an ideal pairing is with a Dry Riesling, or quality dry Pinot Gris or Chenin Blanc wine.
Red Wine:
Can be difficult to match as many red wines will over-power the soft cream notes, but a red wine with soft fruit and subtle tannins can pair.
 
You are looking to complement the Young Camembert Cheese and its semi-firm texture and a white buttery flavour, making it an ideal candidate for a Chablis, or quality, lively dry white wine, as it offers lively and refreshing fruit with cleansing acidity. The Chablis will pick up the subtle blanched almond and butter notes of the young Camembert cheese and release the hidden flavours in the saturated fats and then cleanse the palate.
White Wine:
A lively and refreshing dry white wine can pair well with Young Camembert Cheese – though a perfect pairing is with a lively Chablis, or quality dry un-oaked Chardonnay or Grüner Veltliner.
Red Wine:
Can be difficult to match as many red wines will over-power the soft buttery notes, but a red wine with soft fruit and balanced tannins can pair well.
 
You are looking to complement the Aged Camembert Cheese and its soft-creamy texture and a sweet almond butter flavours, making it an ideal candidate for an oaked Chardonnay, or quality dry white wine, as it offers fuller, ripe fruits with balanced acidity. The oaked Chardonnay will pick up the subtle sweet almond and rich buttery notes of the aged Camembert cheese and release the hidden flavours in the saturated fats and then cleanse the palate.
White Wine:
A ripe, fruit forward, dry white wine can pair well with an Aged Camembert Cheese - a perfect pairing is with an Oak Aged or Barrel Fermented Chardonnay, or a quality Grüner Veltliner.
Red Wine:
Can be difficult to match as many red wines will over-power the buttery notes, but a red wine with ripe fruit and balanced tannins can pair well.
 
You are looking to complement the Triple Cream Cheese and its soft-creamy texture and a sweet almond creamy flavour, making it an ideal candidate for a Barrel Fermented Chardonnay, or quality dry white wine, as it offers a fuller palate with ripe fruits with balanced oak and acidity. The barrel fermented Chardonnay will pick up the full, sweet cream and rich buttery notes of the Triple Cream cheese and release the hidden flavours in the saturated fats and then cleanse the palate.
White Wine:
A full bodied, dry white wine can pair with a Triple Cream Cheese - a perfect pairing is with a Barrel Fermented Chardonnay, or a quality oak aged Chardonnay.
Red Wine:
Can be difficult to match as many red wines will over-power the creamy buttery notes, but a red wine with ripe fruits and dry tannins can pair well.
 
You are looking to complement the Brebirouse Cheese and its semi-soft, mild creamy texture and its bright, mild nut flavour, making it an ideal candidate for a quality Pinot Noir, or quality Dolcetto wine, as they offer lively and soft red fruit characters. The quality Pinot Noir will pick up the subtle almond / hazelnut notes of the Brebirouse cheese and release the hidden flavours in the saturated fats and then cleanse the palate.
White Wine:
A ripe, fruit forward, dry white wine can pair well with an Brebirouse Cheese - a good pairing is an Oak Aged or Barrel Fermented Chardonnay, or a quality Grüner Veltliner.
Red Wine:
Can be difficult to match as many heavy red wines will overpower the subtle notes, but a perfect pairing is with a quality Pinot Noir, or light style Dolcetto wine.
 
You are looking to complement the Aged Gouda Cheese and its firm to hard texture and its bright, cream-nut flavour, making it an ideal candidate for a quality Carménère, or quality Cabernet Franc, as they offer spice, rich dark fruit characters. The quality Carménère will pick up the subtle creamy hazelnut notes of the Aged Gouda cheese and release the hidden flavours in the saturated fats and then cleanse the palate.
White Wine:
A ripe, fruit forward, dry white wine can pair well with an Aged Gouda Cheese - a good pairing is a barrel fermented Chardonnay.
Red Wine:
A full bodied, rich red wines can pair well - but a perfect pairing is with a quality Carménère, a Cabernet-Franc based wine, or a Montepulciano wine can pair well.
 
You are looking to complement the Comté Cheese and its aged, hard dry texture and its sharp bite, and a firm flavour, making it an ideal candidate for a quality Rioja red wine, or quality Rhone blend, as they offer ripe berry fruit characters, with balanced tannins. The quality Rioja will pick up the subtle macadamia nut notes of the Comté cheese and release the hidden flavours in the saturated fats and then cleanse the palate.
White Wine:
A ripe, fruit forward, dry white wine can pair well with an Comté Cheese - a good pairing is an oak aged or barrel fermented Chardonnay.
Red Wine:
A full bodied, rich red wines can pair well - but a perfect pairing is with a quality Rioja, or Rhone blend, or Chianti Classico can pair well.
 
You are looking to complement the Pecorino Cheese and its hard dry texture and its sharp bite, and salty flavour, making it an ideal candidate for a quality Chianti Classico red wine, as it offers ripe cherry fruit characters, with firm tannins. The quality Chianti will pick up the subtle sweet nut notes of the Pecorino cheese and release the hidden flavours in the saturated fats and then cleanse the palate.
White Wine:
A ripe, fruit driven, dry white wine can pair well with an Pecorino Cheese - a good pairing is a barrel fermented Chardonnay.
Red Wine:
A full flavoured, medium intense red wine can pair well - but a perfect pairing is with a quality Chianti Classico, or a Rioja Gran Reserva can pair well.
 
You are looking to complement the Aged / Hard Cheddar Cheese and its hard dry, crumbly texture and its pungent bite, and buttery flavour, making it an ideal candidate for a quality Cabernet Sauvignon, as it offers dark berry characters, with firm tannins. The quality Cabernet Sauvignon will pick up the sweet nut notes of the Aged / Hard Cheddar cheese and release the hidden flavours in the saturated fats and then cleanse the palate.
White Wine:
A ripe, fruit driven, dry white wine can pair with an Aged / Hard Cheddar Cheese - a good pairing is a generous barrel fermented Chardonnay.
Red Wine:
A full bodied, complex dry red wine can pair well - but a perfect pairing is with a quality Cabernet Sauvignon, or a Chianti Classico DOCG can pair well.
 
You are looking to complement the Mild-Blue Cheese and its semi-soft, creamy texture and its subtle salty bite, and creamy flavour, making it an ideal candidate for a quality Botrytis dessert wine, as it offers ripe stonefruit characters, with refreshing acidity. The Botrytis dessert wine will pick up the sweet creamy character of the Mild-Blue cheese and round out the salty notes and release the hidden flavours in the saturated fats and then cleanse the palate.
White Wine:
A ripe, fruit driven style white wine like a Gewürztraminer can pair with a Mild-Blue Cheese - an ideal pairing is a Botrytis dessert wine, Sauternes or Barsac dessert wine.
Red Wine:
Can be difficult to match as many dry red wines will clash with the salty notes, but a red wine with ripe fruit and very soft tannins can pair.
 
You are looking to complement the Stilton / Roquefort Cheese and its semi-soft, creamy texture and its strong pungent salty note, and creamy flavour, making it an ideal candidate for a quality Tawny Port, with ripe berry fruit characters, with a lingering finish. The quality Tawny Port will pick up the sweet creamy character of the Stilton cheese and remove the salty notes and release the hidden flavours in the saturated fats and then cleanse the palate.
White Wine:
A ripe, fruit driven, white wine can pair with a  Stilton / Roquefort Cheese - a good pairing is a Botrytis dessert wine, Sauternes or Barsac dessert wine.
Red Wine:
Can be difficult to match as many dry red wines will clash with the salty notes, but a perfect pairing is with a Tawny Port, or an LBV or aged Vintage Port.