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French Wines & Cheese

Our celebration of French cheese wouldn’t be complete without French wine! We’re breaking down some of the most well-known grape varietals in the international wine scene, what region they come from, and which French cheeses these beloved beverages pair best with.

Cabernet Sauvignon

One of the world’s most famous reds, often sought after in California’s Napa Valley, this French grape hailing mainly from the Bordeaux region has a legendary history, with many myths surrounding its origins up until DNA testing proved it to be a cross between Cabernet franc and Sauvignon blanc,which provides its dark, juicy berry essence and gentle earthiness.

Cheeses to Pair With:

Merlot

As the most widely planted grape of the Bordeaux region, it’s no wonder Merlot is one of the most popular French reds around. Traditionally fruity and medium-bodied, this soft and accessible wine can range in flavor from notes of dark, acidic blackberry to bright flavors of raspberry and strawberry.

Cheeses to Pair With:

Syrah

Hailing from France’s Rhône Valley, Syrah is a red grape varietal most influenced by the climate it’s grown in. In the temperate Rhône, it’s known for producing mellow, gently fruity wines, but when grown in hotter climates, Syrah can often be full-bodied and spicy, with notes of licorice.

Cheeses to Pair With:

Sauvignon Blanc

Crisp and refreshing, the ever-popular Sauvignon Blanc is a Bordeaux-born white wine varietal beloved for its sweet acidity and notes of tropical fruit, giving it an elegant, approachable freshness that becomes irresistible when chilled and served with fresh goat cheeses.

Cheeses to Pair With:

Riesling

Known for being acidic and aromatic, Riesling, which originated in Germany, comes in a wide array of forms and flavors, often a sweeter wine without any notes of oak. Riesling from France’s Alsace region tends to develop notes of stone fruit and citrus, with a refreshing crispness and fruity undertones.

Cheeses to Pair With:

Chardonnay

Bursting with buttery, oaky richness, Chardonnay is one of the world’s most easily recognized white varieties. While it originated in the Burgundy region, this versatile wine has spread across the world, with a wide range of styles resulting from the way that its aged, which can create a crisp, mineral flavor or a mouth-coating oak essence.

Cheeses to Pair With:

Champagne

While all Champagne is sparkling wine, not all sparkling wine is Champagne. Made only in the Champagne region of France, this bubbly beverage is a dry, carbonated wine that’s typically made from Pinot Noir or Chardonnay. Pop a bottle for celebration or some everyday luxury.

Cheeses to Pair With:

Rosé

Contrary to popular belief, rosé is not made from combining red and white grapes, but rather from an aging process during which the skins of the grapes are pressed to release color. Coming from an array of regions and individual practices, rosé can range from light and fruity to dark, rich and tart.

Cheeses to Pair With:

Fortified Wines

Also known as dessert wines or digestifs, these rich and syrup-like wines are often enjoyed after dinner as a sweet treat. Typically fortified with a distilled spirit like brandy, these intense and sometimes herbal beverages can range drastically in strength and flavor.

Cheeses to Pair With: