The Best Wine + Cheese Pairings

Matches that bring out the best of both


We asked Dave McHugh, the executive chef at SeaWorld and culinary arts teacher at Grossmont College for his favorite wine-and-cheese pairings and how to properly taste wine.

“Swirl the wine around with the glass at an angle then smell the top of the rim,” he says. “You’ll sense the alcohol that’s been released. Smell the center, and you get the oak from the barrel. Smell towards the bottom, you will perceive fruit and any subtle earthy undertones such as leather and leaves.”

Then taste the cheese.

Here, the six wines and the suggested from age counterparts to enhance every sip you take. (All of these West Coast wines can be found at Costco for $15-$20 each.)

1. Roederer Estate Anderson Valley Sparkling Wine
Cheese suggestions: Brie, Camembert, any triple cream or blue cheese

2. Chateau Ste Michelle Columbia Valley Riesling
Cheese suggestions:
 Asiago, young cheddar, Gorgonzola, Gouda

3. Rodney Strong Russian River Valley Rosé of Pinot Noir
Cheese suggestions:
 goat, feta, Gruyère

4. Panther Creek Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
Cheese suggestions:
 Gruyère, Rogue River blue, sharp cheddar

5. Alexander Valley Vineyards Syrah 2014
Cheese suggestions: blue cheeses, aged cheeses, goat, Gouda

6. Gnarly Head Old Vine Zinfandel
Cheese suggestions:
 Parmesan, aged cheddar, aged Gouda

Categories: Entertaining, Food & Drink, Home Design, How-To Guides, Tricks of the trade