Wine and Cheese Pairings for National Drink Wine Day

There’s no shortage of National Days to celebrate during the calendar year. Just this month we have National Pizza Day, National Sticky Bun Day, and National Drink Wine Day. I’m personally stoked about the latter, observed on February 18. As a registered dietitian, who is also an influencer, National Drink Wine Day is an opportunity for me to suggest wine as yet another good way to enjoy cheese! I hope you will be including it for its taste and also for its health benefits. A one-ounce serving of cheese provides 6 essential nutrients including: calcium, protein, phosphorous, vitamin B12, pantothenic acid, and niacin.

Cheese makes everything better, but do you know what cheese to pair with your favorite wine? You’ll want to give it some thought, as this combo can make or break the experience. Shopping for wine and cheese can be daunting; the possibilities are endless. Although I’m far from an expert on the subject, I’ve learned some simple tips through the years by working alongside folks in the food industry. Here’s what I know about finding the perfect pairing:

  • Pair wines and cheeses from the same region.
  • Light wines go well with light food, so light cheese goes better with lighter wines.
  • Hard cheese, such as Colby, gouda or cheddar, will pair better with reds.
  • Salt loves sweet: Port wine paired with Blue Cheese is always a safe choice.
  • When in doubt, find a reputable cheat sheet and follow it. I’ve done a little leg work for you:
    • Chardonnay: Mild Cheddar or Colby Jack
    • Cabernet Sauvignon: Blue Cheese, Camembert, Extra Sharp Cheddar
    • Merlot: Cheddar, Brie, Gorgonzola
    • Pinot Noir: Brie
    • Pinot Grigio: Mozzarella, Ricotta
    • Riesling: Aged Cheddar, Gruyere, Pecorino, Asiago, Parmigiano Reggiano, Havarti, Jalsbery, Monterey Jack

Here’s to enjoying National Drink Wine Day with two culinary delights!

Diane Boyd, MBA, RD, LDN

Diane is a registered dietitian who’s passionate about helping women over the age of 35 lead vigorously active lives. She has a private nutrition practice in Wilmington, NC where she educates her clients about the benefits of integrating food with physical activity, and champions practical ways to reach health and fitness goals that include: maintaining and/or achieving a healthy weight, preserving lean muscle mass, reducing body fat, and preventing bone loss.