Wine & Cheese Math

There are few pairings as tasty and delicious as wine and cheese. If you're thinking of hosting a wine and cheese tasting, make sure there's enough for everyone to try a little of each!

Wine & Cheese - A Perfect Pairing

Wine and cheese are a natural combination for any entertaining occasion. In general, the lighter the wine, the milder the cheese. The more full bodied the wine, the stronger the cheese. Below we've partnered some cheeses and wines to give you the best flavor.

Mild Cheeses

Medium Cheeses

Strong Cheeses

Cheeses

Colby, Farmer’s or Monterey Jack

Mild Cheddar, Edam, Swiss, Gouda, Brie or Havarti

Sharp Cheddar, Extra Sharp Cheddar, Aged Reserve or Blue

Wines

Red Burgundy, Zinfandel or Riesling

Red Burgundy, Pinot Noir, Gewurztraminer or Merlot

Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay or Beaujolais

How much cheese do I need per person?

Cheese Tray Appetizers (based on an 8-oz. bar of cheese)
Allow 1/4 of a bar (2 oz.) per person
You will need to purchase three bars for 12 people

Wine and Cheese Party (based on an 8-oz. bar of cheese)
Supplement the cheese tray with grapes, nuts, crusty bread or your favorite crackers.

Making a Cheese Tray

Cheese trays are a staple at any party and creating the perfect platter is surprisingly simple. Start with a few of your favorite cheeses, and then add a selection of crackers and cut-up fresh vegetables. Garnish with in-season fruits or nuts.

Eight Steps to the Perfect Cheese Tray

1. Choose three to five cheese types for an impressive display. Select different ages, flavors, textures and colors. For instance, try a soft goat cheese, with a medium Cheddar, and sharp blue.

2. Remove soft, semi-firm, firm and hard cheeses from refrigerator 30 minutes before serving.

3. Arrange cheese on a large platter, wooden board or tray. Avoid placing strong, pungent cheese next to a mild cheese.

4. Cut firm cheese into bite-size cubes, sticks, squares or triangles.

5. Serve fresh and soft cheeses as whole blocks or rounds. Serve with a small sharp knife so guests can serve themselves.

6. Garnish tray with grape clusters, apples, pears, dried fruits, nuts or olives.

7. Serve cheeses with crackers of different shapes and textures.

8. Jazz up your cheese tray with a cheese appetizer

 

Cheese Selection

Choose cheeses that vary in flavor, texture and visual appeal. 

Types of Cheese
Choosing cheese is easy since most fall into these five basic categories:

Fresh

Characteristics: rindless; soft texture, often spreadable; mild flavor; white in color; often flavored with herbs and other seasonings; melts quickly at low temperatures.
Try: Cottage Cheese, Cream Cheese 

Soft

Characteristics: ripened; soft edible rind; smooth texture; mild to medium, creamy taste; yellow color; melts quickly at medium temperatures.
Try: Brie, Camembert, Feta

Semi-soft

Characteristics: ripened or unripened; rindless; yellow or white in color; mild to sharp flavor; melts quickly at medium temperatures.
Try: Mozzarella, Havarti, Blue

Firm

Characteristics: ripened and aged; rindless; salty, nutty taste; smooth or crumbly in texture, ivory to yellow color; withstands higher temperatures; good for browning.
Try: Cheddar, Gouda, Emmental

Hard

Characteristics: ripened and aged; hard and dry rind; pale yellow color; hard and granular in texture; withstands higher temperatures; good for browning.
Try: Parmesan, Asiago, Romano

Creative Cuts for Cheese Platters

Cheese trays are ideal for easy entertaining. Include a variety of colors, textures, light and regular cheeses in mild, medium and strong flavors. Knowing how to cut different shapes of cheese can add variety to trays, too.

  • Cheese bars can be cut into slices, triangles, cubes or small sticks.
  • Flat rectangular shapes can be sliced or cubed, cut into squares, triangles, rectangles or sticks.
  • For cutting ease, cut cheese soon after removing it from the refrigerator. Since cheese is best when served at room temperature, allow the cheese to set for 30 minutes before serving.
  • Always re-wrap cheese in fresh plastic wrap to help prevent mold growth and keep the cheese fresh longer.