The Absolute Best Type Of Wine To Pair With Gruyère

Food pairings like wine and cheese often battle it out like the contestants of "The Bachelorette." Comparisons like creamy, fruity, or nutty are called to attention while one shouts, "This is spicy!" and another, "This has a mellow finish!" Who's to say that pinot noir and salmon won't marry and live on forever in gastronomy bliss?

Lucky for inexperienced matchmakers, wine specialists have plenty of advice and experience to share. Lucia Capretti, a wine specialist for Tasting Table, says that both wine and cheese have a "near-endless variety of options for consumers" and "a wide range of flavor profiles are covered for both," which is why they pair so well together and add a little excitement to the process. However, without understanding flavor profiles, ingredients, aging, and a myriad of other chemical dynamics, excitement turns into a high-stakes risk.

According to Capretti, one couple that plays well together originates from the same country Switzerland.

Gruyère is nutty and mild

The cheese has been produced since 1115 from the Swiss town Gruyère, according to Le Gruyère AOP's YouTube. Gruyère cheese is firm and yellow with small holes caused by gas bubbles but not the large ones of its common Swiss cheese cousin, says All Recipes. Gruyère is made with cow's milk and is traditionally aged six months, writes The Spruce Eats. Le Gruyère says that its "mature cheese" is aged 10 months or longer.

The length of aging determines the flavor. Le Gruyère describes its younger cheese as tasting "soft and refined" on the sweeter side. The cheese aged 10 months or more has a "full-bodied and fruity" flavor. The longer aging means that it will be dryer too. Lucia Capretti describes the cheese's flavors as "creamy and fruity to nutty and earthy," depending on how long it has aged.

This cheese is delicious on its own but also features well in dishes — particularly fondue. Gruyere's high water-to-oil ratio makes it the perfect melting cheese, explains All Recipes. Because of how evenly it melts, the possibilities of its uses are endless.

Spicy Gewürztraminer pairs well with gruyère

Not so endless with the wine pairings. While there is, of course, more than one wine that pairs with this nutty and comforting cheese, Lucia Capretti recommends the Switzerland original Gewürztraminer. This white wine is often described as aromatic. Drink and Pair describe Gewürztraminer as having flavors of "lychee, rose, apricot, cinnamon, black pepper, and ginger" and Halleck Vineyard describes the wine as "full-bodied" and low in acid.

Wine harvested from grapes grown in the Alpine air of Switzerland will taste differently than wine harvested from U.S. state-grown grapes, explains Halleck Vineyard. Capretti says that state-wide planting of the grape is increasing. High-altitude states like Oregon and California are suited to growing the gewürztraminer grapes. Hyland Estates, an Oregon winery, describes the grape as producing a "spicy" wine if harvested at the right time.

The spice of the wine is perfect for fatty foods like Gruyère, according to Winevore. Gruyere's mild sweetness pairs well with the floral aroma of Gewürztraminer, explains Capretti.