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18th Dec 2019

The expert guide to what wines to pair with your Christmas cheeseboard (yes, there’s a cheese for rosé!)

Leslie Ann Horgan

We love wine. We love cheese. But we haven’t a clue which types of which go together tbh.

If there was a worldwide shortage of turkey and selection boxes, the cheeseboard would more than get us through Christmas. But eating our body weight in cheese is, as everyone knows, very thirsty work – so what should we wash it down with?

Is the whole ‘wine pairing’ lark as simple as simple as choosing a white wine for a light cheese, and a rich red with a big-flavoured cheese? Her sought some definitive answers from Nisea Doddy, Somellier of The Shelbourne.

Below, Nisea shares her expert wine pairings for all of your favourite cheeses. (How did we not think of cheese and Champagne before?!)

With hard aged cheeses like Cheddar, Gouda, Comte for example, Grenache, Tempranillo, Pinot Noir and Brunello are fantastic. They are not too heavyweight and they complement nuttiness in cheese.

Tangy Goat Cheeses are a natural partner for the freshness of Sauvignon Blanc but also try Picpoul, Gruner Veltliner or Chenin Blanc.

Creamy rich and strong soft rind cheese such as ripe Brie and Epoisse are amazing with equally rich Chardonnay or the textured quality of Roussanne and Semillon

Champagne with toast and creamy soft and salty cheeses is a winning combination too.

I love dry Rosé with milky fresh cheese like ricotta and Buratta.

Blue cheese is a classic with Port of course but also with other sweet wines like Vin Santo, Ice Wine, Tokaji and late harvest Riesling.  This salty and sweet combination works great.

Finally, a chilled nutty Tawny Port with Aged Parmesan is a great end to any dinner.

For non-wine drinkers, beer like our new Shelbourne Pale Ale will be fantastic too. The refreshing nature of the Pale Ale will not overpower the flavours of the cheese.