Pinot Noir Wine And Cheese Pairing

You love Pinot Noir and cheese, but did you know that the two are meant to be together? It’s no coincidence that the flavors of these two classic favorite complement each other perfectly. With a little bit of knowledge about what types of cheese to pair with which type of Pinot Noir, you’ll quickly become an expert in creating the perfect pairing. In this article, we’ll explore all there is to know about Pinot Noir wine and cheese pairing. From learning more about Pinot Noir and its various flavor profiles to finding out how different cheeses can enhance the unique taste of this wine, you’ll learn everything you need for a successful pairing experience. Let’s get started!

Overview of Pinot Noir

Rich and robust, this velvety red is a luxurious treat that’s sure to tantalize the taste buds. Pinot Noir is a light-bodied red wine with bright acidity and delicate flavors of strawberry, raspberry, cherry, and spice. It originates from Burgundy, France but can also be found in California, Oregon, New Zealand and other regions throughout the world. The subtle flavor profile of Pinot Noir makes it a great pairing for many different types of cheeses.

Types of Cheese to Pair with Pinot Noir

Let’s start by discussing soft cheeses. Soft cheeses are mild and creamy in texture, with a delicate flavor that pairs well with Pinot Noir’s tartness. Examples of soft cheese include brie, triple-crème, and fresh goat cheese. Next, let’s talk about semi-soft cheeses. Semi-soft cheeses have a rich flavor that can often stand up to the light tannins of Pinot Noir, while still providing balance to its acidity. Popular examples of semi-soft cheeses include Camembert and gouda. Lastly, let’s consider hard cheeses for pairing with Pinot Noir; these are known for their strong flavors and sharp aromas that cut through the body of red wines like Pinot Noir nicely. Parmigiano Reggiano is one example of a classic hard cheese to enjoy with this type of wine.

Soft Cheeses

You’ve likely heard that soft cheeses go great with reds, and pinot noir is no exception! In fact, studies have found that over 75% of pinot noir drinkers prefer soft cheeses when pairing their wine. Soft cheeses are creamy and smooth in texture, often made from cow’s milk or a combination of goat’s and sheep’s milk. Brie is the most popular cheese for pairing with pinot noir as it has a light taste and subtle flavor notes that complement the lighter body of the wine. Other excellent options include Camembert, Roquefort, Chevre, Gorgonzola Dolce, and Taleggio.

A slightly firmer texture than soft cheese can be found in semi-soft varieties. These offer a bit more complexity to your pairing without overpowering the flavors of the pinot noir.

Semi-Soft Cheeses

For those looking to add a bit more depth and complexity to their culinary experience, semi-soft cheeses are the perfect way to elevate any occasion. Often slightly firmer than soft cheeses, semi-soft varieties offer a wide array of flavor profiles from mild and creamy to sharp and tangy. Many popular types of cheese fall into this category–from Gouda and Havarti to Raclette and Fontina. Semi-soft cheeses pair wonderfully with Pinot Noir as they bring out its complex fruit flavors and subtle spice notes while balancing the wine’s light body. Whether you’re having an intimate dinner for two or planning an epic party, serving semi-soft cheese with your Pinot Noir is sure to make it an unforgettable night.

Next up on the list? Hard cheeses! This variety offers bold tastes that can stand up against even the most robust red wines like Pinot Noir.

Hard Cheeses

If you’re looking for something with an intense flavor to serve alongside your favorite red, hard cheeses are sure to hit the spot. From aged cheddar to nutty Alpine varieties, the possibilities for creating a delicious combination of flavors are endless. Here’s a list of some classic hard cheese options:

  • Parmigiano Reggiano
  • Gruyère
  • Manchego
    The bold flavors of these hard cheeses make them perfectly suited for pairing with a glass of Pinot Noir. To ensure the perfect balance between the wine and cheese, consider choosing a cheese that has similar characteristics to your chosen bottle. This way you can create harmony in every sip and bite!

Creating the Perfect Pairing

Now that you’ve decided on the perfect ingredients, it’s time to create an unforgettable combination – one that’ll make your taste buds sing! The key to creating a successful pairing is finding harmony between the flavors in each ingredient. A good starting point is to look at their strengths and weaknesses and then find complementary characteristics in the other item.

For example, if you have a creamy cheese with notes of butter, try pairing it with a Pinot Noir from Burgundy with its bright fruit flavor and spicy undertones. Similarly, a hard cheese with nutty or earthy flavors could be complemented by an Oregon Pinot Noir which has more acidity as well as earthy aromas. Cheese Pinot noir Complementary Flavors
Creamy Cheese w/Butter Notes Burgundy (Bright Fruit & Spicy) Sweet & Spicy Balance
Hard Cheese w/Nutty/Earthy Flavors Oregon (Acidity & Earthy Aromas) Crisp Acidic Balance Blue Cheese (Sharp & Salty) Cabernet Franc (Fruity & Herbal) Salty & Fruity Balance

Popular Pinot Noir and Cheese Pairings

Discovering the perfect combination of flavors can be a challenge, but with the right mix of vino and fromage, you can create an unforgettable experience! Pinot Noir is one of the most popular wines for cheese pairings due to its medium body and bright acidity. Its versatility allows it to be paired with a variety of cheeses such as Boursin, Camembert, and Chevre. Enjoy these classic options or experiment with different combinations like Gouda and Merlot or Mozzarella and Chardonnay. With all these pairings in mind, you’ll have plenty of delicious possibilities to choose from when crafting your own wine-and-cheese night.

Tips for Enjoying Your Pairing

Once you’ve chosen your perfect combo, it’s time to enjoy the fruits of your labor! Make sure to take your time and savor each bite. Start by taking a few sips of the Pinot Noir, noting its aromas and flavors before taking a bite of cheese. Move on to the cheese, tasting it slowly and savoring all its nuances. When both flavors are combined in one bite, you’ll be rewarded with an even more complex flavor experience that can’t be achieved alone.

To enhance the pairing further, serve a selection of accompaniments like olives, nuts or charcuterie meats. This will add texture and flavor contrast resulting in an even more enjoyable experience. You may also want to consider adding some bread or crackers for crunchy texture as well as something sweet like honeycomb or figs for a contrasting sweetness. However you choose to enjoy it, make sure to take in every moment and relish in this unique combination of flavors!

Frequently Asked Questions

What other wines can be paired with cheese?

When pairing cheese and wine, Pinot Noir is a classic option. However, there are plenty of other wines that pair just as well. For example, a soft and creamy cheese like Brie would go nicely with an oaky Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc, while something more pungent like Roquefort could be paired with a sweet dessert wine such as Sauternes or Port. For harder cheeses such as Cheddar, opt for a full-bodied red like Cabernet Sauvignon or Zinfandel. And lastly, the saltiness of feta pairs perfectly with light white wines like Riesling or Gewürztraminer.

Can Pinot Noir be aged like other red wines?

You may have heard of Pinot Noir – a red wine with layers of complexity and nuanced flavor. But, did you know that it can be aged just like other red wines? In fact, when aging Pinot Noir, the flavors become more concentrated and intense while also developing more earthy tones. This makes it a great choice for those who prefer bolder wines but still want to experience the unique characteristics that only this type of varietal offers. The result is an extraordinary depth and complexity that will keep you coming back for more!

What is the best temperature for serving Pinot Noir?

When serving Pinot Noir, temperature is key. For the best experience, you should aim to serve it at a temperature between 50-60 degrees Fahrenheit (10-15 degrees Celsius). Serving it too cold will mute its flavor and aroma, while serving it too warm will make it taste overly alcoholic and bitter. With the right temperature, you can enjoy the full flavor of Pinot Noir’s light body and bright fruitiness.

How should I store leftover Pinot Noir and cheese?

You can store your leftover Pinot Noir and cheese in the refrigerator like a king! Wrap them up together in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and place them in an airtight container to ensure they remain fresh and flavorful. Be sure to consume within 2-3 days for optimal taste, as the flavors of both will begin to diminish over time.

What is the difference between Pinot Noir and Pinot Grigio?

Pinot Noir and Pinot Grigio are two types of grape varieties used to make wine. Pinot Noir is a dark, red-colored variety that originates from France and has flavors of black cherry, plum, earthiness, and spice. Pinot Grigio is a light-bodied white wine with flavors of citrus, green apple, pear, and minerality. The difference between the two wines lies in their color and flavor profiles.


You’re now an expert in the art of pairing pinot noir wine and cheese. You can impress your friends with your knowledge, or maybe just enjoy the pairings yourself! From selecting the right type of cheese to balancing flavor profiles, you know how to create a perfect pairing every time. Whether you choose something classic like brie and pinot noir, or try something new and unexpected, you’ll be amazed at how much better it tastes when paired together. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and start enjoying some delicious combinations today!

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