The Underrated, Budget Cheese That Pairs Perfectly With Chardonnay, According To A Sommelier

Soft mild cheeses, like brie and camembert, are perfect for pairing with a young, lively chardonnay. These are often, however, not the most budget-friendly. Brie, for example, can cost over a dollar an ounce, while a good camembert will cost at least $1.75 per ounce. We spoke to expert Catherine Fallis, Master Sommelier at Planet Grape, to uncover an underrated, budget cheese that pairs perfectly with that oaky white wine we all know and love. Not only is this cheese sommelier-approved, but it's also one of the 13 best cheeses for fondue

When you don't want to break the bank, "Don't forget to pick up widely available The Laughing Cow [cheeses] — creamy, individually wrapped wedges, now available in a plant-based version," Fallis said enthused. Made with milk powder, water, a processed blend of cheese, and butter, The Laughing Cow's vegan cheese spreads, cost about 68 cents per ounce.

While Fallis' budget cheese pick to pair with a glass of chardonnay is a bit unconventional, it's not too surprising, due to its flavor profile. "Creamy and mild, [The Laughing Cow cheese] really brings out the nuances and enhances the silky texture of chardonnay," Fallis explained. As chardonnay is a crisp, light, fruit-forward white wine, you want to pair it with a mild cheese that isn't too bold, rich, or flavorful that becomes overpowering. 

Ideas for serving this simple yet savory pairing

We dove deeper with Fallis to uncover how she would enjoy this spread. "Serve it on those buttery, salty Ritz crackers to impress your guests," she suggested. After all, one does not have to spend a fortune to enjoy a cheese and wine, whether it's an appetizer for friends or you and your beloved for a picnic. 

If you prefer something lighter like a water cracker to buttery Ritz, it's your good time. Consider also some suitable accompaniments, like fruits and nuts, which will go nicely with this basic pairing. For more ideas on how to craft the perfect cheese board, check out our 12 tips for putting together the ultimate cheese board. For the budget conscious, it's affordable and resourceful to pair a budget-friendly cheese with chardonnay. To save further and still enjoy a delicious cheese and white wine pairing, consider checking out the 10 best budget chardonnays we've uncovered.