ask dr. vinny

Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, or "Vinny" for short. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the technical aspects of winemaking to the fine points of etiquette. I hope you find my answers educational and even amusing. Looking for a particular answer? Check my archive and my FAQs. You can also follow me on Twitter: @AskDrVinny.


Dear Dr. Vinny,

I’m hosting a wine and cheese evening and was looking for some specific suggestions of great pairings.

—David B., Rochester, N.Y.

Dear David,

I should point out that we did a cover story on cheese in our Sept. 30, 2008, issue. If you’re a member of WineSpectator.com, there’s a story in our archive specifically about pairing cheese with wine that you might find helpful, as well as a list of 100 great cheeses.

Beyond that, there are a few not-to-be-missed classic pairings I should let you know about. The first is fresh goat cheese with a crisp Sauvignon Blanc—just the thought of it makes my mouth water. There’s also Sauternes and Roquefort, and Port with a Stilton or cheddar.

To broadly generalize, you’ll find that rich white wines will pair with softer-textured cheeses like Brie, while bold red wines do well with firm, mellow cheeses. I think it would be fun to just get a whole bunch of cheeses from your favorite cheese monger, along with some tasty wines, and have your guests explore how the wines and cheeses interact.

—Dr. Vinny


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