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Mac and Cheese Wine Pairing – The Best Wines for Mac and Cheese

Quick Answer

The best wines to pair with mac and cheese are light-bodied reds, such as Pinot Noir, Grenache, Beaujolais, Barbera and even Chianti. These wines have the right amount of acidity to cut through the richness of the cheese. For a white option, go for Riesling or Chenin Blanc.

Mac and cheese is a beloved comfort food enjoyed by many.

Whether it’s made from scratch or out of a box, the creamy and cheesy goodness of this dish is hard to resist.

But have you ever thought about pairing your mac and cheese with wine?

Wine pairing can enhance the flavors of food and make for a more enjoyable dining experience.

In this article, we’ll explore the world of mac and cheese wine pairing and suggest some of the best wines to complement this classic dish.

Whether you’re a fan of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, or Riesling, we’ve got you covered.

So, let’s raise a glass to the perfect mac and cheese wine pairing!

But first, what wine goes with mac and cheese?

Some of the most common wines to pair with mac and cheese are Pinot Noir, Grenache, Chardonnay, or Riesling. These wines have a good balance of acidity and richness that complements the creamy texture of mac and cheese. For a more bold flavor, you can try Cabernet Sauvignon or Syrah.

Slow Cooker Macaroni and Cheese

Pinot Noir – The Best Wine for Mac and Cheese

Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir is a versatile wine that pairs well with a wide variety of dishes, including mac and cheese. Here are some of the characteristics that make it a great choice for this classic comfort food:

Characteristics of Pinot Noir

  • Lower tannin: Pinot Noir is a light-bodied red wine with lower levels of tannin than other red wines like Cabernet Sauvignon or Syrah. This makes it a good match for the creaminess of mac and cheese, which can be overwhelmed by high-tannin wines.
  • Fruity notes: Pinot Noir is known for its fruity notes, which can range from cherry and raspberry to plum and blackberry. These flavors complement the cheese in mac and cheese, making it taste even more delicious.

Reason for Pinot Noir’s suitability for mac and cheese

  • Enhances the flavor of mac and cheese: The fruity notes of Pinot Noir can enhance the flavor of mac and cheese by adding a subtle sweetness that complements the saltiness of the cheese. This can create a more complex and enjoyable taste experience.
  • Complements proteins in mac and cheese: If your mac and cheese is loaded with beef, pork, or other proteins, Pinot Noir is an excellent choice because its fruit notes play well with the savory flavors of the meat. This can create a harmonious pairing that brings out the best in both the wine and the food.

Other Wines That Pair Well With Mac and Cheese

While Pinot Noir is an excellent wine for mac and cheese, there are other wines that can also work well. Here are two more options to consider:


  • Fruit notes that pair well with cheese: Grenache is a red wine that is known for its fruit-forward flavors, including strawberry, raspberry, and cherry. These flavors pair well with the creamy cheese in mac and cheese, creating a sweet and savory taste combination.
  • Complements proteins in mac and cheese: Like Pinot Noir, Grenache can also complement the proteins in mac and cheese. The fruit notes can help balance out the meaty flavors, making for a more harmonious pairing.


  • Creaminess of Chardonnay complements mac and cheese: Chardonnay is a white wine that is known for its creamy texture and buttery flavors. These characteristics can complement the creaminess of mac and cheese, making for a rich and satisfying pairing.
  • Adds complexity to the pairing: Chardonnay can also add complexity to the pairing by bringing out the flavors of the cheese and other ingredients in the dish. This can create a more nuanced taste experience that is enjoyable to savor.

Factors to Consider When Pairing Wine with Mac and Cheese

When pairing wine with mac and cheese, there are several factors to consider to ensure the best possible match.

Here are three key factors to keep in mind:

  1. Cheese types: The type of cheese used in the mac and cheese can impact the flavor of the dish and the wine pairing. For example, a dish made with sharp cheddar cheese may pair well with a full-bodied red wine like Cabernet Sauvignon, while a milder cheese like Gouda may work better with a lighter red like Pinot Noir or a white wine like Chardonnay.
  2. Additional ingredients in mac and cheese: Mac and cheese can be customized with a variety of additional ingredients, from vegetables like broccoli or mushrooms to proteins like chicken or bacon. These ingredients can also impact the flavor of the dish and the wine pairing. For example, a mac and cheese with bacon may pair well with a smoky red wine like Syrah, while a dish with roasted vegetables may pair well with a crisp white wine like Sauvignon Blanc.
  3. Personal preferences: Ultimately, the best wine pairing for mac and cheese will depend on personal preferences. Some people may prefer a bold red wine with their mac and cheese, while others may prefer a lighter white wine. It is important to experiment with different wine pairings to find the one that best suits your taste.

By considering the type of cheese, additional ingredients, and personal preferences, you can create a wine pairing that perfectly complements your mac and cheese and enhances the overall dining experience.


In conclusion, pairing wine with mac and cheese is a fun and delicious way to enhance the flavors of this classic comfort food.

While Pinot Noir is an excellent choice for its lower tannin and fruity notes, Grenache and Chardonnay are also great options that can add complexity and depth to the pairing.

So, what wine pairs well with mac and cheese?

The best wines to pair with mac and cheese are Pinot Noir, Grenache, Riesling, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Chenin Blanc. These light-bodied wines can add a nice acidic touch that accents the creaminess of the cheese. For a more indulgent pairing try a full-bodied red like Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon.

When choosing a wine, it is important to consider factors such as the type of cheese and additional ingredients in the dish, as well as personal preferences.

With the right wine pairing, you can elevate your mac and cheese to a whole new level of enjoyment.

So, grab a bottle of your favorite wine and get ready to savor every bite of your delicious mac and cheese.

jenny happy muncher
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Jenny has always been passionate about cooking, and she uses her platform to share her joy of food with others. Her recipes are easy to follow, and she loves giving tips and tricks to help others create their own unique culinary creations.