Pinot Noir cheese pairing is a wonderful way to elevate your wine and cheese experience.
Pinot Noir is a delicate and complex wine that pairs well with a wide range of cheeses.
The subtle fruit flavors and smooth tannins of Pinot Noir make it a versatile wine that can complement a variety of cheeses, from creamy and mild to bold and pungent.
In this article, we’ll explore the 10 best cheeses for Pinot Noir and how to create the perfect pairing for your next wine and cheese party or cozy night in.
Whether you’re a cheese lover or a wine enthusiast, Pinot Noir cheese pairing is sure to be a delicious and satisfying experience.
The 13 Best Cheeses For Pinot Noir
Pinot Noir is a light and fruity red wine that pairs perfectly with certain types of cheese.
Here we look at thirteen cheeses that will provide an ideal contrast to the delicate flavors of Pinot Noir:
Gruyère is a hard cow’s milk cheese hailing from the Swiss Alps. It has a nutty, slightly sweet flavor that pairs perfectly with Pinot Noir. The sweetness of the wine and savory notes of the cheese balance each other out beautifully.
The texture is slightly dense but still creamy, making it an ideal cheese to pair with Pinot Noir. This lesser-known Swiss gem will surprise you with its deliciousness! Try pairing it with your favorite bottle of Pinot Noir for an unforgettable experience.
Comté, also known as Gruyère de Comté, is a semi-firm French cheese made from raw cows’ milk. It has an intense nutty flavor and its texture ranges from firm to buttery and creamy.
Comte pairs really well with Pinot Noir because it doesn’t overpower the delicate flavors of the wine. Its nutty sweetness complements the red fruit notes, while its boldness stands up against the earthiness of some Pinots.
When selecting a Comte for pairing with Pinot Noir, look for one that is aged 12 months or more for a stronger flavor profile. Younger cheeses will have a milder taste that won’t stand out quite as much in comparison to the wine.
Emmental is a beloved Swiss cheese, and it’s one of the best cheeses for Pinot Noir. This cow’s milk cheese has a rich sweetness and nuttiness that makes it the perfect accompaniment to red wine.
Emmental has a semi-firm texture that melts in your mouth when warm. As you bite into this cheese, you’ll experience its mild flavor with notes of fruit and nuts. The savory yet slightly sweet taste pairs perfectly with Pinot Noir’s fruity body, making them an excellent match.
This cheese can be enjoyed on its own or melted over toast or vegetables as an appetizer that pairs beautifully with your favorite bottle of Pinot Noir!
Gouda is a Dutch cheese made from cow’s milk, and it has a slightly sweet taste with nutty undertones. It pairs really well with Pinot Noir because of the wine’s light body and sour cherry notes that add depth to the earthy flavor of gouda.
The creamy texture of this semi-firm cheese rounds out the tannic structure present in most Pinot Noirs.
Aged goudas are especially amazing for pairing as they have a more intense flavor that complements Pinot Noir’s tartness beautifully.
Epoisses is a cheese that was created hundreds of years ago and has since been enjoyed by many. It’s made from raw cow’s milk, giving it a unique flavor that can pair well with Pinot Noir.
The texture of Epoisses is soft, creamy, and slightly rubbery, which makes for an interesting contrast when paired with the berry-like flavors of your favorite Pinot Noir. The rind on this cheese also adds an aromatic character to the pairing experience.
Epoisses has a pungent aroma due to its washing process in brine; however, this smell does not permeate through the paste and will provide an enjoyable aroma without overwhelming your guests or masking the taste of your wine.
In fact, when paired with Pinot Noir, these two elements work together to form a harmonious balance between richness and acidity that highlights both components beautifully!
Taleggio is a semi-soft, washed-rind cheese with a mild flavor. It’s one of the oldest cheeses in Italy and is produced in Lombardy and Veneto. The rind is usually bright orange and slightly sticky, while the interior paste can range from white to yellowish, depending on its age.
The texture of Taleggio cheese is creamy and smooth with a slight buttery or nutty taste.
When paired with a Pinot Noir such as an Oregon Willamette Valley Pinot noir or French Burgundy it will bring out the complex tastes of blackberry jam, red fruit, cola, and earthy spice tones in the wine. The complexity of flavors makes it an ideal accompaniment for red wines that have good tannins—it cuts through them nicely!
Reblochon is a delicious French cheese with a soft, creamy texture and earthy flavor. It’s made from raw cow’s milk and aged for two to three months, resulting in its characteristic semi-soft consistency.
Its slight sweetness pairs perfectly with Pinot Noir; both the wine and the cheese are traditional staples in France’s Savoy region. Reblochon has a rich buttery taste that complements Pinot Noir’s earthy elements, while its slight nuttiness balances out the wine’s tannic notes.
Reblochon is best served at room temperature with some dried fruits or nuts alongside it; the slightly sweet flavors of these snacks will bring out even more complexity in your favorite bottle of Pinot Noir!
Zamorano is a hard cheese from the Castile and León region of Spain. It has a semi-firm texture that feels smooth in the mouth, and its flavor is full-bodied yet delicate.
One of the best pairings for this cheese is Pinot Noir with its vibrant cherry notes, light tannins, and earthy tones. The boldness of the wine brings out deeper flavors from the Zamorano such as roasted nuts or caramel undertones, while still allowing for some creamy sweetness to shine through.
Pinot Noir also nicely complements Zamorano’s high-fat content without being overwhelming so you can really get an enjoyable mix of sweet and savory tastes when they come together. For a truly unique pairing experience, enjoy your Zamorano served at room temperature along with a glass of Pinot Noir!
Cheddar is a classic, and for good reason! It’s made from the milk of cows that are grass-fed and aged for at least 9 months. This long aging process gives cheddar its sharp, complex flavor – and it pairs excellently with acidic pinot noir.
Cheddars come in different styles that range from mild to extra sharp, so you’re sure to find one that matches your taste preferences. Mild cheddars tend to be creamy and smooth while sharper varieties have a more robust bite.
No matter which variety of cheddar you go with, make sure you get one aged over 12 months if possible as this will bring out even more flavors when paired with your favorite pinot noir.
Brie is a soft, creamy cheese that pairs well with Pinot Noir. This French-style cheese has a slightly nutty flavor and is often sold in rounds.
The texture of brie can range from firm to very soft depending on how long it has been aged. If you’re looking for something milder than camembert, brie is the perfect choice! Its subtle flavor will complement the fruitiness of your favorite Pinot Noir, making it the ideal cheese for a laidback evening with friends or family.
Camembert is a soft, creamy cheese from the Normandy region of France and pairs perfectly with Pinot Noir. It has a strong aroma of mushrooms and butter, while its flavor is nutty and slightly tangy.
The rind ranges in color from reddish-brown to gray, depending on its age. The longer it ages, the softer it becomes as its moisture reduces; this makes it perfect for spreading onto crackers or bread.
When trying to pair your Pinot Noir with Camembert cheese, look for one that still has some moisture left so that you can enjoy the full flavor profile of both the wine and cheese together!
12. Goat Cheese
For many, goat cheese is considered to be one of the best cheeses for Pinot Noir. With its creamy texture and slightly tart flavor, it creates a great contrast with the dryness and bright fruit notes of the wine.
Goat cheese pairs exceptionally well with cherries or other tart fruits, which are often present in Pinot Noir. The richness of the cheese helps balance out any tannic notes from the wine.
It also has a nice tang that complements both red and white wines made from pinot noir grapes. As an added bonus, goat cheese tends to have lower fat content than cow’s milk cheeses, so it’s a healthier option if you’re looking for something lighter.
13. Smoked Cheeses
Smoked cheeses are a great addition to any cheese board, and they pair particularly well with Pinot Noir. The smoky flavor of the cheese matches the tartness and fruitiness of the wine, and you can find varieties that will work for any palate.
Smoked gouda is a classic combination with Pinot Noir – its creamy texture provides a nice balance for the acidic flavors in the wine. Other smoked hard cheeses like cheddar or manchego also work nicely with this type of red wine, as their nutty elements play off of its sweetness.
Soft-ripened cheeses such as brie are also delicious when combined with Pinot Noir – especially if it has been smoked! The depth provided by smoking cuts through some of the creaminess in these types of cheese, giving it more contrast against the acidity in your glass.
Pinot Noir is one of the most versatile wines, so it should come as no surprise that it pairs wonderfully with a variety of different cheeses.
From sharp cheddars to smoky goudas and smooth bries, there are countless options for pairing your favorite Pinot Noir with an equally delicious cheese.
So, what cheese pairs well with Pinot Noir?
The best cheeses to pair with Pinot Noir are Gruyère, Comté, Emmental, Gouda, and Brie. These semi-hard or soft cheeses have a mild flavor that won’t overpower the delicate notes of the wine. Other pairings include blue cheese such as Stilton and Roquefort, as well as soft goat cheese like Crottin de Chavignol.
Whether you’re looking for a classic combination or something more adventurous, these thirteen best cheeses offer something for everyone. Cheese boards make excellent accompaniments to any bottle of Pinot Noir, and by incorporating some of the fantastic choices listed above you can create a truly impressive cheese board. So grab your favorite bottle of Pinot Noir and get creative with your next cheese plate!
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.