Lucky for Cabot fans, cheddar cheeses are very wine friendly. When pairing a glass of wine with a cheese, don’t over think it too much. There aren’t really any pairings that don’t work, especially with Cabot cheeses, since they’re all made with high quality ingredients. Enjoy some pairing tips, suggestions and even ideas for planning the perfect party.
If you’re looking for a few wine and cheese ideas, remember the basic rule: the stronger the wine, the stronger the cheese. For example, if you’re sampling a particularly heavy red wine like a cabernet sauvignon or a pinot noir, pair the wine with a strong cheese, like Cabot’s Vintage Choice Cheddar or even some Clothbound Cheddar. Although, as we said before, there really isn’t a wrong way to pair wine and cheese!
White Wine & Young = Creamy Cheeses
Try our Private Stock
Red Wine & Strong = Aged Cheeses
Try our Vintage Choice Cheddar
Off-Dry White Wines = Spicy Cheeses
Try our Hot Habanero Cheddar
Light Bodied Wines = Light Cheeses
Try our Garlic & Herb
Full Bodied Wines = Heavier Cheeses
Try our New York Extra Sharp
It’s most important to find the right cheese that highlights your wine of choice and fits with your particular taste. Click on the different wine varieties below to learn more.
Red wines complement so many of Cabot's recipes, from the elegant like this one for Beef Stroganoff with Greek Yogurt to more casual comfort food like this Beer Braised Short Ribs Stew with Root Vegetables.
A bold wine needs an equally bold cheese to pair with it. The full-bodied qualities of Cabernet Sauvignon will enhance the larger flavors of less timid cheeses. And of course, the classic with steak or any beef dish.
The dry and dark fruity or herbal characteristics of a classic Merlot combine seamlessly with sharp and tangy cheeses. Also try with lamb, pork or grilled sausages.
Malbec, made from strong, fruity, dark grapes, stands tall against the deep and robust flavors of vintage and reserve cheeses. Also pair with beef or Latin dishes.
Versatile Zinfandel with blackberry and peppery qualities make it a go-to choice for a taste adventure when paired with seriously sharp and spicy cheeses. Also try with a classic New York-style pizza or Texas chili.
An earthier Pinot Noir compliments the classic characteristics of aged cheeses and even plays nicely with herbed cheese varieties. Also try with grilled salmon, lamb or hearty braised chicken dishes.
Why not pair an Italian wine with cheeses that embrace the flavors of Tuscany? Generally, wines and foods from the same region tend to be a perfect match. Also try with chicken or eggplant Parmesan or any pasta with red sauce.
Medium-bodied red blends and table wines are like a little black dress - you can dress them up or down with a range of flavors. Try them with sharp or smoky cheeses. Also try with casual fare such as tacos, burgers, pizza or macaroni and cheese.
An intense, dry Syrah loves the sturdiness of a cheese of sharper, aged cheeses. Earthly flavors in both wine and cheeses make for a savory combination. Also try with an earthy beef stew or game.
We all know that a tasty chicken dish calls for a fine white wine. We love to serve a chilled Chardonnay with this Cabot favorite - Chicken with Creamy Cheddar Rice. And what better pairing is there than fresh seafood with a great white wine. Try this delightful recipe for Crab Cakes with Horseradish Cheddar served with your favorite white wine for a delightful dining experience. Or for an appetizer that will surely impress your guests, try Cabot Seriously Sharp Shrimp Focaccia served with a dry white wine.
A fresh and fruity Chardonnay is a heavenly match for milder cheese varieties, enhancing the creaminess of a Mild Cheddar or Colby Jack cheese with just the right whisper of sweet. Also try with crab cakes, seafood, poultry and salads.
A bright, light-bodied Sauvignon Blanc with hints of citrus will never overpower the freshness and milder qualities of a Monterey Jack nor get lost in the more complex flavors of an herbed cheese. Also try with oysters on the half-shell, flaky white fish or quiche.
The higher acidity of a Pinot Grigio pairs beautifully with creamy, milder cheeses, gently cleansing the palate to let the cheese rise to the top. Also try with a ham and cheese melt or seafood risotto.
The playful sweet and fruity flavors of a Moscato flirts with smooth and flavorful cheeses and will put a smile on your face when paired with spicier cheese favorites. Also try with fresh fruit or spicy ethnic cuisine such as Indian, Latin or Thai.
The combination of acid, sugars and fruit of a Riesling nicely offset zestier, spicier cheeses. A refreshing combination. Also try with sushi.
Try a bright white blend with more complex and flavorful foods. These wines have the table manners to sit back and let spicier cheeses take center stage. Also try with white fish such as sea bass, sole or cod, chicken or pork.
A dry to off-dry sparkling wine or Champagne is delightful with just about anything. Actually, we can't think of a thing these bubblies don't love. Also try with ... popcorn or potato chips!
Grilling season is the perfect time to serve rose wine. The warmer temperatures invite the light, cool taste found in many roses. You can't go wrong when you pair them with lighter dishes like this Fresh Grape and Cheddar Salad with Grape-Yogurt Dressing or this Jicama, Avocado and Cabot Cheddar Salad with Lime Dressing. And nothing goes better with a dry rose than a rich - and thoroughly comforting - grilled cheese like this Ver-monte Cristo Sandwich.
The sugars in a sweet rose are the perfect complement to full-flavored or spicy cheeses. Also try with spicy barbeque or ethnic dishes.
The bright, fruit flavors and acidity in a drier rose makes it a versatile pairing choice for mild or slightly sweet cheeses. Also try with a buttery, flavorful grilled cheese, classic Cubano or panini sandwich or lobster roll.
A lovely red zinfandel is a perfect complement to the creamy, deep flavor of Cabot's Monterey Jack. The pairing is a littleunconventional, a little unexpected and alittle bit of perfection with some summer strawberries. Ilove going a bit against the grain and choosing this mellow, subtle cheese certainly paid off, and the strawberries added a little sweet zing.
-'Farmer-Owner', Jenni Tilton Flood from Flood Brothers Farm in Clinton Maine
See the color of the wine.
As white wine ages the color gets darker, and as red wine ages the color gets lighter. Color tells you what type of grape was used & can help you determine how light or full bodied the wine will taste/feel. The lighter the color, like rose wines, the lighter the wine should feel in your mouth. The flavor of the wine should complement the cheese. If you have a strong, full-bodied wine, you should pair it with a potent cheese, like sharp cheddar.
Swirl & coat the side of the glass.
This will allow the wine to open up and release aromas for the next step.
Smell or sniff the wine.
When trying a certain wine for the first time, it’s important that you take in its scent. Wines give off very particular aromas, and when a person breathes in those scents, their taste receptors become active. And since you’re pairing wine and cheese, don’t be afraid to sniff your cheese too, since that will help you to better describe the flavors.
Sip and you'll taste.
Enjoy the sweet (sugar in grapes), sour (fruit acid in grapes), & bitter (from alcohol & tannins).