Tasting Table Asks: What's The Best Wine And Cheese Pairing?

Pairing wine with cheese is nothing new. Why do we put wine and cheese together? Maybe because a wine expert told us to at our very first tasting, or an article convinced us to pair a certain wine and cheese. The food and drink certainly both have complex flavors that require fine ingredients and particular care for processing and aging. A 2012 study published in Current Biology suggests there's a biological reason why wine and cheese go so well together — namely that astringent beverages like wine and fatty foods like cheese work together to cleanse the palate when sips and bites are alternated.

Of course, wine figures plenty in celebratory events and holiday festivities (see our guide for choosing holiday wines), and we were curious about what our reader's favorite wine and cheese pairings were. So we asked 601 of you for your preferences, and the results are in! Readers could choose from: Cabernet Sauvignon and aged cheddar, Sauvignon blanc and goat cheese, pinot noir and Gruyère, Chardonnay and brie, as well as rosé and gouda.

Which pairing reigns supreme?

Our reader's favorite, with about 28% of the votes went to Cabernet Sauvignon and aged cheddar, and Paso Robles-based Hope Family Wines agrees. They point out that the "sharp, aged, cheddar has just the right amount of flavor and fat content to help balance those tannins while tasting delicious at the same time." Big, sexy wines like Cabernet benefit from the headiness of a strong, flavorful cheese. Coming in at a close second is Chardonnay and brie, which garnered 24% of the votes. Expert palates, like those at J.J. Buckley Fine Wine agree with our readers. They suggest the pairing works because "The acidity of the wine helps to cleanse the palate, keeping the richness of the cheese from becoming too overwhelming."

In third place with 19% of votes is pinot noir and Gruyère, a pairing endorsed by Winevore. Rosé and gouda got a respectable 16% of the votes, and trailing the pack, with 14% of the votes was the Sauvignon Blanc with goat cheese, a match-up that Wine Enthusiast considers a "classic pairing." We like to think there are no wrong answers here, but hope all these pairings give you ideas when assembling your next festive cheese board!