The Reason You Probably Shouldn't Pair Red Wine And Soft Cheese

Before you start beautifully arranging your next charcuterie board with various cheeses, you may want to consider which wine you plan to sip or serve alongside your curated snack. Unknowingly, you may be doing a disservice to your wine, cheese, and palate, simply with your pairing choices. No matter the price tag or region, you're bound to have an unfavorable match when you pair red wine with soft cheese.

The reason why is red wine is traditionally higher in tannin count and lower in acidity levels, explains cheese author Laura Werlin, via Real Simple. What exactly are tannins, though, and how can they affect cheese pairings?

Tannins, according to Wine Enthusiast, are found in the skins and pips (seeds) of grapes, which are all fermented together to produce red wine (unlike white); this process leaves the wine with a rich red flavor and a more dry bite than grapes fermented without the skin and pips.

Combine the drier taste of tannins and low acidity of red wine and pair them with a softer cheese, and you may be in for a chalky mouthful. Unfortunately, your favorite cabernet sauvignon or pinot noir may not be suited to go alongside beloved Camembert or gorgonzola cheese.

What are the perfect merriments of wine and cheese?

Love a good red wine? Love a soft cheese? Not to worry, there's a perfect combination for you.

If you're a fan of red wine, it may be best to aim harder and sharper. According to cheese author Laura Werlin, via Real Simple, a wine as rich and full-bodied as a red needs a cheese that can match. An option like aged cheddar would work perfectly and continue to be a flavorful pairing throughout your entire glass.

Those drinking white wine can indulge in the softer cheese. As explained by Joe Wolosz, owner and vintner of Gentleman Farmer Wines in Napa Valley, "white wines work best with (soft) cheese pairings because of the lower pH and higher acidity. A sauvignon blanc and goat cheese are a classic pairing. Additionally, chardonnay can be made in a wide range of styles — from crisp and un-oaked to full-bodied and textured — and can therefore work well with a wider range of cheeses."

No matter your preference, a delicious wine and cheese pairing is waiting for you to feast on.