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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.

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.

Pair with

Slightly stronger cheeses like sweet Tickler Cheddar or a mild washed rind cheese like Taleggio

Oxidized Chardonnay

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

Pair with

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.

Pair with

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.

Pair with

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.

Pair with

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.


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

Pair with

Creamy goat or mixed milk cheeses with a crisp acidic element. La Tur or Brunet are great alongside the fruit-tart flavors of the wine.


Lighter bodied and delicate. Old World style generally offers more funk and New World more fruit


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.


This food-friendly wine ranges from super sweet to quite dry. Acidity, minerality, and aromas of tropical fruit are almost always present.

Dry Riesling

Characterized by bracing acidity and stark minerality. Tropical fruit on the nose, stunningly balanced flavor overall.

Pair with

A fresh chèvre, which brings out its acidity, as does a funkier cheese like Willoughby, which creates a great sweet and salty contrast.

Sweet Riesling

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.

Pair with

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.


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!


Medium-bodied with flavors of cherry and cranberry, plus bright acidity. Cinnamon and clove spices and an earthy, leathery dimension add balance