New Year, New Cheese: No-fail Wine & Cheese Pairings for 2024

Pairing food and wine these days can feel like playing a sport where the rules change every quarter. It seems that the accepted guidelines have been torn from the handbook, and every expert has weighed in with a new way of thinking. Luckily, there are three key principles that can steer you to a great holiday wine and cheese pairing without driving you crazy! 

Rule 1: Pay Attention to All Flavors
There is some truth to the old red-and-white rule, but it has to do with the weight of the wine rather than its color. Heavy red and white wines are best with flavorful cheeses; conversely, crisp whites and fruity reds go best with cheeses that are more delicate because food and wine are meant to complement each other. This is easy when the cheese is served alone, but you must consider the other ingredients if the cheese is part of a recipe. While Ile de France Brie alone pairs well with citrusy Sauvignon Blanc or crisp Champagne, it really shines with an Italian red if you serve it with cured prosciutto.

Rule 2: Location, Location, Location
Europeans believe that location determines the best pairing of food and drink because everything ultimately comes from the soil. For instance, Il de France goat cheese is made near the foothills of the Rhone Alps and Louis Jadot produces its refreshing Beaujolais Villages nearby – voila – a perfect pairing! 

Rule 3: Turn It Into a Tasting Party!
If you’re torn between two or three different wines, turn the pairing into a tasting party. Regardless of the number of guests you’re entertaining, the variety of wines will provide a terrific point of conversation – and possibly a perfect pairing. 

Bonus Rule: Eat and Drink What You Love!
The old red-and-white rule still bears merit, but the notion of choosing wine and cheese based on what you enjoy has also spurred many magical pairing! Remember: the only wrong wine is no wine at all! Happy New Year!