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Cheese and Wine

Wine and cheese are natural food partners. Both are products of the fermentation process and offer a wide variety of styles from simple to complex. You cannot go wrong serving friends Canadian wine and cheese, or eating a light meal of cheese, crusty bread, and wine.

Choosing a wine that goes best with cheese is very much a question of personal taste. Red wine pairs well with hard cheese, and white wine with soft cheeses. Flavored cream cheeses go great with fruit wines. Chardonnay is a hit with almost any mild or soft cheese served as an appetizer. White Cheddar and Merlot match gracefully, as does Brie and Pinot Gris. Try a Zinfandel or a Pinot Noir with the popular goat cheeses and Chianti or Cabernet Sauvignon with fresh Parmesan or Asiago.

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Feta is one of the most famous cheeses in Greece. It is made in various sizes, often as a loaf-shape. Feta is solid, but crumbly with some fissures. Pure white, it has a milky fresh acidity. Feta was originally made with either ewe's milk or a mixture of ewe's and goat's milk, but today most feta is made with pasteurized milk

Gewürztraminer,Chardonnay, Gamay Noir, Pinot Gris,Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc

feuille d'automne cheese was conceived by Jean Phillip at Les Dependance du Manoir

This is a beautiful cheese, jack-o-lantern orange, and served up in a little wooden box. Inside the cheese is soft and cream coloured. This cheese smells just like a barn freshly loaded with hay. In the mouth, the cheese is very smooth and clings together, but slowly dissipates, leaving the delightfully chewy rind. The flavour is very mild at first, just a hint of sour bitterness, and then as it approaches the jowls, it ignites for a moment into a brilliant butteriness. The finish is slick like melted butter, perfectly balanced saltiness and a hint of sweetness. Finally the taste leaves the tongue feeling dry and anxious to try more.

Dry Whites, a dry Riesling

Fontina originally comes from the Val d'Aosta region of Italy in the Alps near the French and Swiss borders. Fontina is dense, smooth and slightly elastic.

reds, Nebbiolo, Chardonnay

Fou du Rou -This cheese has a moist and sticky orange rind with nutty but sharp aroma. The sandy rind contrasts nicely with very smooth interior. Very round in the mouth. A slight tang yields to bold dried grassy flavours, not a surprise since the cows eat solely hay from the farm. Very pleasant, finish deep in the nasal passages with light meaty notes.

a good body red

Geai Bleu is a moderately piquant blue with a pleasant balance of sweetness and mineral saltiness, reflecting the oceanside diet of the dairy herd. The cheese is produced by Bergerie aux Quatre Vents in New Brunswick and aged by Dependances in Quebec. Smooth enough to spread on crostini, yet crumbly enough to use in salads of greens and fruits, Geai Bleu is a versatile cheese.

Vidal ice wine and Tawny or Ruby Port

Gorgonzola is a traditional, creamery and co-operative, blue cheese. The greenish-blue penicillin mould imparts a sharp, spicy flavor and provides an excellent contrast to the rich, creamy cheese. Gorgonzola is made in the northern Italian village, according to which the cheese has its name, either from unpasteurized or pasteurized milk to which the mould is added. At about four weeks the cheeses are pierced with thick needles to encourage the spread of the mould. Gorgonzola ripens in three to six months. The cheese is usually wrapped in foil to keep it moist. Its color ranges from white to straw-yellow with an unmistakable marbled green or bluish-green mould. The taste ranges from mild to sharp, depending on age. Gorgonzola is also excellent in salads and dips.

Nebbiolo, Cabernet Merlot, Cabernet Franc
Try Icewine


Gouda,named after the town of Gouda just outside Rotterdam. It accounts for more than 60% of the cheese produced in Holland and it has a very long history. Gouda is a traditional, creamery, hard cheese. It is round with very smooth, yellow, waxed rind. The flavor is sweet and fruity.

Rosé,Chardonnay, Riesling,Merlot,Pinot Noir

Grey Owl Fromagerie la Detour's newest cheese is the grey owl, named for the man who was one of the forerunners of the Canadian environmental movement.

The cheese is an ashed rind goat's milk type, firm and dense with tart, lemony flavours and a rich, crumbly texture. The beautiful presentation and complex flavour would surprise many who think that they know goat cheese. The vegetable ash on the exterior of the cheese is tasteless edible, and helps the cheese to retain its moisture - Sue Riedl


Gruyere is named after a Swiss village. It is traditional, creamery, unpasteurized, semi-soft cheese. The natural, rusty brown rind is hard, dry and pitted with tiny holes. The cheese is darker yellow than Emmental but the texture is more dense and compact. Slightly grainy, the cheese has a wonderful complexity of flavors

Cabernet Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon,Chardonnay
Dolcetto,Gamay Noir,Riesling, sparkling Wines

Aged Gruyere goes great with Icewine.

Havarti is a traditional, creamery and semi-soft. It is a simple, washed-rind cheese with irregular holes throughout. There is an enriched version, with added cream which is softer and feels more luxurious in the mouth. There is also a version with caraway seeds. Havarti is named after the farm in Denmark where Hanne Nielsen first made it.

Cabernet Franc,Cabernet Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon,Zinfandel and Gamay Noir

Herrgårdsost ( Manorhouse cheese ) is a semi-hard Swedish cheese made from cow 's milk .

The cheese has a mild, sweet, nutty flavour and small round holes

A white wine cheese

Herve is one of the most favorite cheeses in Belgium. It has a shape of brick with glossy, orange-brown rind. The taste and flavor of the cheese deepens on the period of ripening. When young, the interior is sweet, with age the flavor becomes spicy.

Go with white

Hirtenkäse (HEER – tan – kay – sa) translates to “herdsman's cheese.” This is a dense-bodied, medium-aged mountain cheese with a firm texture that is easily shaved, shredded or chunked and served in any dish calling for asiago, parmesan, or even aged Swiss. The flavor is reminiscent of all three, yet distinctive


hercule de charlevoix

Hercule is one of the first and greatest Quebec alpine style cheeses. Smooth and rich textured, hercule has the nutty, sweet, and complexly floral flavours that you expect from the best Gruyeres of Europe, with a delicate washed rind tang that is pure Quebec.

Sherry, Fortified wines

Iberico is a popular Spanish cheese that is made from a blend of cow's, sheep's, and goats milk. It has a firm, hard texture with a mild, but distinctive flavor that can range from nutty to fruity. The cheese ages from several months to a half year and is commonly served as a snack cheese, a grating cheese or a grilling cheese.

Bold reds. Pinot Noir or Beaujolais or for a white wine try Sauvignon Blanc

ile-aux-grues 2 year aged canadian cheddar block

It has a delectable grainy texture, a bold bite and light smokiness. You can accompany it with chutneys or even maple syrup for a pur laine treat.

Chardonnay, crisp Riesling

Jarlsberg is a traditional, creamery, hard, Norwegian cheese. The world's most famous "Baby Swiss", Jarlsberg has the consistency texture and hole formation of Swiss Emmental but its flavor is more nut-like and sweeter. The paste is golden yellow with holes of various sizes. A full wheel of Jarlsberg weighs about 20 lbs., one tenth the weight of a wheel of Emmental. Jarlsberg can be used as a table cheese, dessert cheese or sandwich cheese. Serve it with wine, beer or aquavit. Great deal of this cheese is exported all over the world, especially to the U.S.A.

White Wines ! Riesling

Laguiole is an unpasteurized, hard cheese of cylindrical shape made from cow's milk. It derives its name from the village on the plateau of Aubrac. The cheese has a firm, golden pâté and a thick, natural, dry rind of light orange and white color which darkens with affinage. According to local history, Laguiole was first made in a monastery in the mountains of Aubrac during the 19th century, but the production reached its peak at the beginning of 20th century. Affinage takes at least four months and the temperature of affinage and conservation must be below 14 C.

Red Fruity wines Cotes du Frontonnais

The Langres is a farmhouse and unpasteurized, washed-rind cheese. The shape is unusual - a cone or cylinder with a hollow in the top. To form the hollow, the curd is turned only twice during draining. The brightly colored rind is the result of continual washing, orange bacteria grow on the surface as well as some white flora or yeast. During the maturing period which takes 5 to 6 weeks, the cheeses are placed in humid cellars. The cheeses are regularly rubbed with brine, either by hand or using a damp cloth. The cheese is notable for its pungent smoky-bacon aroma. When young, the texture is firm and grainy. With age, the rind starts to break down and becomes smooth and creamy.

Go Champagne, Sparkling wines, full bodied Reds

Le Migneron de Charlevoix carries the distinction of being one of five cheeses that kick-started the Quebec artisanal cheese industry in the mid-nineties. Created by Maurice Dufour in 1995

A complex mix of fruity, nutty, barny flavours are expressed in a well

Pinot Noir

Lemon Chèvre

Lemon Chèvre: The lemon soft cheese made from Goat's milk created by Josh Wood at Salt Spring Cheese Company.

Sweet whites, dessert wines, Icewine


Limburger has a spicey,piquant flavour and a very distinctive scent. Goes best with rye breads

bold reds or beer

Livarot is one of the oldest cheeses in Normandie. The cheese is circled by five bands of rush leaves that prevent the cheese from collapsing during maturing

Soft cheese, cow's milk and crust known as washed, its marked savour and its inimitable taste make of it a required host of the plates of the experts. Ideally served with Bordeaux or why not a cider

Pinot Gris

Mahon is a traditional, creamery, unpasteurized, hard cheese. It is produced from cow's milk on Minorca, the outermost of the three Spanish Balearic Islands. The hard, orange rind carries the imprint of the cheesecloth and tends to be greasy. The curd is piled in the center of a cloth, square corners are knotted and twisted together and the cheese is pressed and twisted for a few days. This gives the cheese its typical "cushion" shape. Mahon is sold at various stages of maturity. It is usually sold young, when the texture is smooth and supple and the aroma is sweet and fruity. It must be consumed within 10 days.

White wines - Madeira or Tempranillo
D'angelo Winery Tempranillo

Manchego is named for the Spanish region of La Mancha, also home of Don Quixote. This historic cheese is produced in the La Mancha region from pasteurized sheep's milk. It has a black gray or buff colored rind with a crosshatch pattern, the interior ranges from stark white to yellowish, depending on age. The aroma should suggest lanolin and roast lamb. The final cheese is usually smeared with olive oil and surface mould is removed. It has a number of holes and a mild, slightly briny, nutty flavor.

Unsworth's Symphony Red blend
Dessert wines Icewine, Sherry

Majorero (pronounced ma-ho-RER-o) is a goat milk cheese from from the island of Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands . Similar in texture to Manchego , this firm cheese has a milky, nutty flavour that goes well with various pear products. It is pale white in colour, and comes in large wheels.

It is from the Majorera goat that this particular cheese is made. The goat produces a thick, aromatic and high-fat milk.

Majorero cheese is usually available in three ways: in its natural rind rubbed with oil, rubbed with pimenta , or with roasted gofio . The cheese has a slightly gummy texture. The taste is acidic, with a buttery but not salty taste. This cheese is very versatile, and can be used with pastas, potatoes and many vegetables.

Best with reds

Maroilles usually has a square shape with brick-red, smooth, washed rind. The pâte is soft and oily. It has a powerful aroma suggesting fermenting fruit and the flavor reminds smoky bacon. The period of maturation is from five weeks to four months as the cheese can be eaten young, when it is still chalky in the center and has bitter rind. During this time, the cheese is regularly turned and brushed and the rind changes its color from yellow to orange and finally red. This process is very important because repeated turnings promote the development of bacteria that forms the rind. This cheese is produced in various sizes and the content of fat is about 45 per cent



Mascarpone is a triple-creme cheese, made from a generally low-fat (25%) content fresh cream. It's made from the milk of cows that have been fed special grasses filled with fresh herbs and flowers – a special diet that creates a unique taste often described as "fresh and delicious."

Goes with Rieslings,Viognier, and Sparkling wines.

Mondseer, also known as Schachtelkase, is made in Austria, Salzburg. It is a pressed, semi-hard, washed-rind cheese which is close to Munster or Limburger despite its relative hardness. Mondseer has a slightly spicy aroma and sweet-sour taste



Montasio is similar to Swiss. Montasio cheese has a mild, delicate, somewhat fruity flavor with just a hint of nuts. It resembles the flavors inhibited in the Italian cheese, Asiago

Made in large wheels, Montasio cheese may be used as a grating cheese or an appetizer. Montasio cheese is the traditional Italian cheese used for making frico , or fried cheese. It also makes a flavorful fondue.

Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio.

Mont d'or is a cheese produced with such high regard for tradition that it is only available from September to April Vacherin Mont-d'Or is a protected designation of origin (PDO) in Switzerland and the EU for a soft cheese from raw milk made in the Swiss/French Jura

The Cheese is made from thermised milk and mixed with cultures of lactic acid bacteria. Thermisation (heating) is a gentle process that allows the raw milk to preserve its natural qualities that improve bacteriological conditions considerably. Thermisation does not impair the specific qualities of the real Vacherin in any way.

White wines Riesling, Champagne

Morbier a cows milk cheese that is aged 4 months.

With a bold & complex flavor, Morbier has a yellow-ivory interior and is wrapped by a creamy-brown crust It is a creamy cheese with a flavor of nuts and fruit and an aroma of fresh hay. The cheese is elastic and springy, with a pungent, yeasty aroma and a sweet, fruity

White wines Gewürztraminer or Pinot Noir.

Mozzarella Fresh mozzarella is generally white, but may vary seasonally to slightly yellow depending on the animal's diet. It is a semi-soft cheese. Due to its high moisture content, it is traditionally served the day it is made, but can be kept in brine for up to a week, or longer when sold in vacuum-sealed packages. Low-moisture mozzarella can keep refrigerated for up to a month, though some pre-shredded low-moisture mozzarella is sold with a shelf life of up to 6 months.

white wine Pinot Grigio


Munster comes from Vosges France This soft cheese has a washed rind with red Cultures.
The yellow dough is creamy and supple.

Made from cows milk

White wines Gewürztraminer or Pinot Noir
also try late harvest wines

More Cheese and Wine matches


Like Shiraz try a sharp cheddar. The dark berry and tar flavors found in Syrahs meld gracefully into sheep's milk cheeses, from young to old. Try Syrah with British farmhouse cheddar and well-aged Alpine-style cow's milk cheeses. Avoid strong blues, their flavor dominates the pairing.


~ far too many wineries to mention all
~ Cheese.com
~ Lexicon of Cheese, Rebo Publishers
~ OregonWines.com
~ Wikipedia
~ AFtouch Cuisine
~ Gourmet Foods.com
~ artisanalcheese.com
~ The wonders of Cheese
~ Icewine Extreme Winemaking, Donald Ziraldo, Karl Kaiser
~ montasio cheese.com
~ reluctantgourmet.com
~ Gourmet Sleuth
~ Aboutcheese.ca
~ Sue Riedl
~ Salt Spribf Island Cheese Company

Wineries of Canada


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