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The Secret to Pairing Wine and Cheeses for a Dinner Party

If you love wine and cheeses as much as I do, it’s easy to get a little lost trying to figure out what type of vino goes with the best cheese. Here are some simple tips with pairing ideas to try this year.


With the rising popularity of charcuterie boards, I find it overwhelming to select the right cheeses.

From cheddar to brie and everything in between, I struggle when I’m faced with a huge selection at the market. And then I just start grabbing stuff so I can get out of there stat.

Do you do that too?

In today’s post, we’re going to simplify that process so you head to the market with a plan based on the wine you want to serve at your party.

From casual gatherings to elegant dinners, these wine and cheese pairing ideas will help you choose the perfect pairings for any occasion.

Did you know that certain cheeses pair better with particular wines than others?

Yes!

Some wines can be very overpowering in flavor and need a stronger-tasting cheese to pair with it.

Here’s how to pair wine and cheeses for your next dinner party!

(Posts on stacyling.com may contain affiliate links. Click HERE for full disclosure.)

Supper Club

Today’s post is being shared as part of my monthly supper club, where my friends and I gather each month to bring you a theme, decorating, entertaining, food, and drink ideas.

We’ve been having a great time with it for the last two years, and this month we are celebrating the holiday season with a wine and cheese party. You can get the menu here.

If you are coming from Rachel from the Ponds Farmhouse, welcome to my home. I’m thrilled you dropped by.

In case you are new here, I’m Stacy, a self-taught master gardener who lives and gardens in northern New Jersey, zone 6a.

We recently moved to a beautiful 1850 Farmhouse with 10 acres of gardens, sculptures, and statues.

Stacy Ling and Christopher Ling in the gardens

I’ve been gardening for over 20 years and enjoy helping beginner gardeners find their inner green thumb, as well as discover a love for all things plants and flowers. I love to bring the outdoors inside my home too.

And one of our favorite things to do on a weekend is tour the property with a beautiful bottle of wine and soak in the different outdoor living spaces and garden rooms.

I mean, what better way to enjoy the gardens year-round than with a little wine and cheese? And we don’t care how cold it is either. It is so much fun!

I hope you enjoy visiting my home today and would love for you to come back so we can grow stuff and create beautiful spaces together.

close up of wine and cheeses table in the formal garden with grocery store flowers, pinot noir, cheeses, and crackers
close up of red wine, votive candle, mini gold lanterns and cheese board ready for a wine tasting - pairing wine and cheeses for a dinner party
Stacy Ling and Christopher Ling enjoying a wine tasting in the formal garden at sunset

How to Host a Wine and Cheese Party

What I love most about a wine and cheese party, especially around the holidays, is that there’s no set way to host one.

It’s a pretty laid-back event that is easy to pull together, even on a moment’s notice. We’ve hosted some casual ones with friends and family, but also enjoy doing them on our own.

Particularly since moving here because we enjoy them in the outdoor living spaces more than going out to dinner for date night

wine and cheese in the formal garden at sunset with red roses from the grocery store, on a bistro table with red wine

However, there are things you’ll want to consider before the party to make it that much easier to execute.

Here’s what you need to know.

  • Gather the supplies you’ll need for a wine and cheese party such as wine openers, cheese knives or slicers, wine glasses, small plates, beautiful cutting boards, and serving platters.
  • If hosting a party, set a time that’s early or late enough because most wine and cheese parties are not meant to be a full meal. So ideally, starting before dinner around 4 or 5 PM or after dinner around 7 or 8 PM is ideal.
  • And if you are pre-planning the party, try to pair the wine and cheeses well. If it’s an on-the-fly, impromptu kind of event, then it’s OK to wing it and grab what you can.
  • Choosing the best wines depends on your price point and what you love! From pinot noirs and cabernet sauvignons to chardonnay and rieslings, select red and/or white wines that you and your guests enjoy the most.
  • Go with 3-4 different types of cheeses that have different textures, appearances, and flavor varieties.
  • Include wine-tasting snacks like a beautiful charcuterie board with different fruits, meats, spreads, jams, crackers, etc. But you can also serve some light appetizers and desserts too.
close up of red wine and cheeses on wood cutting board with olives, raspberries and crackers.
close up of chacuterie board with different cheeses, fruits, crackers and olives
New year's eve food ideas with wine and cheeses party
flatlay of chacuterie board with brie, manchago, blackberries, orange slices, grapes, raspberries and crackers on granit countertop

The Best Cheeses to Serve at a Wine and Cheese Party

If shopping at the market is overwhelming with all the different cheeses, here are some ideas of what to pick up.

  • Gouda
  • Aged Cheddars
  • Gorgonzola
  • Havarti
  • Manchego
  • Goat Cheese
  • Swiss
  • Ricotta
  • Parmesan
  • Gruyere
  • Brie
  • Bleu Cheese
  • Feta
  • Fresh Mozzarella
pinot noir tasting station in the formal garden in the gazebo with cafe lights from aq lighting and red roses at sunset
close up of red wine tasting table for wine and cheeses party in the formal garden with grocery store flowers and christmas greenery
The garden statues are lit up as the sun sets in the formal garden of 1850 farmhouse
flatlay of wine and cheeses table with red roses, red wine in wine glass, cheeses, crackers and fruits on small bistro table

Pairing Wine and Cheeses: Simple Tips to Remember

When you understand some pairing basics, you can pull together some beautiful wine and cheese pairings with ease.

Here are some of pairing ideas and why they work well together.

  • Pair wines and cheeses with equal flavor intensity.
  • Bold red wines, like cabernet sauvignon, pair best with aged cheeses, like cheddar.
  • Pair sweeter wines with funky or stinky cheeses.
  • Sparkling wines pair best with soft, creamier cheeses like feta, brie, or ricotta.
  • Location location location – wines and cheeses from the same region pair well together.
  • And if you’re not sure what to choose? Go with a firm, nuttier cheese that is easier to pair with like swiss, gouda, and gruyere.
red wine tasting station for a wine and cheeses party in the gardens with candles, red roses and greenery at sunset

Wine and Cheese Pairing Ideas You Should Try

When in doubt, there are certain cheeses that pair with many types of wines, like brie, ricotta. The white and red lists below are some flavor combinations that we’ve enjoyed through the years, but are not an exhaustive list.

Do you have a favorite pairing of wine and cheese that you enjoy?

Ideas for Pairings with Red Wine

  • Cabernet Sauvignon pairs really well with gouda and aged cheddars.
  • Pinot Noir works well with blue cheese or goat cheese
  • Rosé pairs well with feta, mozzarella, and swiss.
  • Merlot and brie pair nicely as well.

Ideas for Pairings with Sparkling or White Wine

  • Chardonnay pairs well with Gruyere and Manchego, as well as brie, ricotta, and mozzarella
  • Prosecco is nice with parmesan, ricotta, brie, and mozzarella
  • Sauvignon Blanc or a sweet Riesling pair nicely with feta, brie, and ricotta.
  • Champagne is wonderful with brie, especially when it’s baked.
close up of cheese board with raspberries, oranges, manchego, brie and backberries with crackers on bistro table.
close up of wine and different cheese on wood cutting board with fruit and crackers on bistro table with candles, roses, and red wine in glasses
wine and cheeses tasting in the formal garden with pinot noir, red roses, crackers, grapes, fruits and cafe lights by AQ lighting

Thanks so much for dropping by my home and gardens today. Next up in our wine and cheese party is Michele from Vintage Home Designs.

And… If you’re catching up on blog posts you may have missed, be sure to sign-up to get my newest posts via email to stay up to date with everything that’s happening here on the blog and more.

Watch the Video

Want to feel like you’re there?

Come join me in the formal garden where you can see this wine and cheese tasting station in real-time.

Watch it here.

Formal garden party with wine and cheese pairing for two with red roses, flowers pinot noir, cheeses and fruits on wood cutting board and candles at sunset

Shop the Look

Click on the image below to shop the look.

More Wine and Cheese Party Ideas

If you love a good wine and cheese party, here are some more entertaining and decorating ideas you should try.

Simply click on the blog name on the photo below to see the post.

eleanor rose home wine and cheese party
Eleanor Rose Home
midwest life and style wine and cheese dinner party table
Midwest Life and Style
vintage wine and cheese gathering to celebrate the holidays
Vintage Home Designs
Simply 2 moms wine and cheese dinner party table
Simpy 2 Moms
The ponds farmhouse wine tasting table
The Ponds Farmhouse

Looking for More Supper Club Ideas?

Our supper club has been so much fun and we’ve covered so much over the last year.

Whether you are in a supper club or just want some dinner party theme inspiration, check out some of the themes we’ve hosted before.

And click here if you want to learn how to organize and host your own supper club. They are so fun to do and provide a great reason to gather regularly with family and friends.

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Enjoy a beautiful day! xo

Stacy Ling

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Home and Garden Blogger Stacy Ling cutting zinnia flowers in her cottage garden with wood picket fence in front of garden shed

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20 Comments

  1. Your wine and cheese party is perfect Stacy! It’s absolutely beautiful in your garden. Thank you for including me this month in supper club, you ladies always have the best ideas!

  2. This was such a fun theme! Love all the tips you shared. Pinned so I can refer back to all your suggestions for pairings.

  3. Your table is so stunning Stacy. As always you inspire me. I know nothing about pairing wine and cheese. Thank you for the great tips.

  4. What a beautiful setting Stacy. It’s the perfect spot for wine and cheese. Absolutely magical!