Murray's Beverage Pairing Guide
Wine and cheese. Beer and cheese. Bourbon and cheese. Tequila and cheese. Whiskey and cheese. Cocktails and cheese. Whatever you're drinking, we've got a cheese that pairs beautifully with it. Here are some general rules to creating delicious combinations.
This wine is all over the map—literally! Its flavor varies widely depending on where and how it’s made.
Old World Chardonnay
Crisp and minerally, with flavors of apple and roasted pear.
Fresh or bloomy rind cheeses, like Délice de Bourgogne or Vermont Creamery Bijou.
New World Chardonnay
Richly buttery and oaky, with heavy notes of vanilla, brown butter, and tropical fruit. New World chardonnay refers to wines from the United States and warmer climates.
Slightly stronger cheeses like sweet Tickler Cheddar or a mild washed rind cheese like Taleggio
When Chardonnay is intentionally exposed to air, it is oxidized. Common in the Jura mountain region, this wine is almost sherry-like with spicy, nutty flavors
Play up the bolder flavors with a more complex or funky cheese. Almost any Alpine cheese, like Comté, or an earthy aged goat cheese, like Chevrot, make a great match.
Full-bodied with no shortage of flavor. This grape is grown in almost every climate, which means lots of diversity across bottles.
Old World Cabernet
Earthy with aromas of leather, hay, and dark dried fruits. Sometimes a hint of eucalyptus or violet.
Cheese with flavor that can stand up to this big wine. Alpine style cheeses like Comte or Challerhocker and some sweeter blues like Bleu d’Auvergne would make a good match.
New World Cabernet
Characterized by bold oaky flavors and high levels of tannins. These wines are about as full-bodied as you can get, very jammy with flavors of reduced fruit.
Sweet clothbound cheddar or a Grana style cheese like Parmigiano Reggiano or Podda Classico.
Crisp and acidic with light minerality. You may smell stone fruit, apples, pear, quince, and even some fresh herbs.
A tangy Loire Valley goat cheese to bring out crisp, mineral qualities in both. Something like Selles-sur-Cher also pairs perfectly.
Chianti is named for a region in Italy and is made from a blend of grapes, mostly sangiovese. This dry, medium-bodied wine has a distinct herbal quality—think rosemary and oregano—with flavors of dried plums and cherries.
An herb-crusted cheese like Hudson Flower or a Tuscan pecorino.
This rustic wine is inky and dark, full-bodied with plenty of tannins. Fruity flavors of plums and berries are contrasted by spice and leather.
A smooth and medium-bodied wine with a more rounded flavor than other reds. Dark fruits are present but with minimal tannins and no noticeable spice.
A lighter, crisper white wine. Tends to be refreshing and fruity, with aromas of stone fruit, peach, quince, and lemon
Lighter bodied and delicate. Old World style generally offers more funk and New World more fruit
Old World Pinot
Old World style generally offers more funk
Almost anything! Works with funky Frenchies Epoisses and Langres or mild natural rinds like Tomme de Savoie.
New World Pinot
More sugary, with jam-like fruit, dried cherries, oak, and spice.
Full, rich flavors. Alpines, Cheddars, and manchego
Vintage port possesses extraordinary power, with deep fruit, spice, and chocolate notes. Full-bodied with integrated tannin. Tawny ports change flavor profile depending on their age, whether 10, 20, or 30 years old. It is a superb alternative to other dessert wines, such as Madeira or late harvest riesling and Tokaj.
Vintage port needs a powerful cheese to stand up to its strength. Anything mellow or subtle may get brushed aside. Try Colston Basset Stilton, High Plains Cheddar, or Scharfe Maxx Extra.
This food-friendly wine ranges from super sweet to quite dry. Acidity, minerality, and aromas of tropical fruit are almost always present.
Characterized by bracing acidity and stark minerality. Tropical fruit on the nose, stunningly balanced flavor overall.
A fresh chèvre, which brings out its acidity, as does a funkier cheese like Willoughby, which creates a great sweet and salty contrast.
At the other end of the spectrum is a sweet, syrupy wine. Aromas of ripe peaches and tropical fruit dominate, along with floral, perfumed accents.
A pungent washed rind like Grayson or a punchy blue like Bleu d'Auvergne. With something this strong, it’s best to contrast the sweetness with something funky or salty.
We love them all! Everything from light, crisp Provence-style to deep and fruity Spanish rosados. Don’t be afraid to enjoy rosé year-round, although this summer staple shines with refreshing, mild cheeses that are great in warm weather.
Young chèvres like Coupole and bloomy rinds like Moses Sleeper for lighter rosé. A darker, fruitier rosé can stand up to a heavier cheese like nutty Pecorino Oro Antico. Sparkling rosé is a perfect match for Nettle Meadow Kunik
Typically bright and lemony, with clean citrus flavors. Can also have grassy and vegetal aromas—think green bell pepper.
Champagne, cava, prosecco…anything with bubbles!
Creamy cheeses that coat the mouth, as the effervescence will cut through the richness. Think La Tur or a triple crème like Delice de Bourgogne. For a more traditional French pairing, enjoy your champagne poured over Langres.
Medium-bodied with flavors of cherry and cranberry, plus bright acidity. Cinnamon and clove spices and an earthy, leathery dimension add balance