Chianti is a wine that embraces life wholeheartedly. You would, too, if you were you're born on the sun-drenched slopes and gently rolling hills of Italy's Chianti region. So, when choosing a cheese for a chianti pairing, this hearty red looks for varieties that share its generous attitude. Chianti loves the complexity of an aged parmesan – the cheese's salty richness balances the wine's mouthwatering fruit flavors. Chianti feels right at home with an older, buttery asiago. And chianti appreciates the youthful outlook of a mild Colby, too.
In Wisconsin, we're pretty keen on chianti because we, too, have a zest for life. It's why we spend so much time making the tastiest cheese in the world. We know that whatever path your journey takes, life is just better when you've got cheese.
Browse our website to explore cheeses for a chianti pairing or another red wine and cheese pairing. Search our recipe index for the best-looking cheese trays, and build a great charcuterie board shopping list with selections of Wisconsin cheese. Or scroll down for general tips on pairing wine and cheese.
Whether it's a chianti pairing, a cabernet sauvignon pairing, or a matchup of port wine and cheese, keep these tips in mind as you make your selections. But just remember this: pairing wine and cheese is meant to be fun. It's okay to experiment, explore, and make mistakes.
Tip #1: Think about texture. When pairing chianti and other wines, it's helpful to think about choosing cheeses that complement or contrast texture. The acidic quality of a sparkling wine is a nice contrast to a soft, creamy cheese, while the buttery feel of chardonnay complements the richness of a semi-soft cows milk cheese like gouda.
Tip #2: What goes together, grows together. Wine and cheese from the same region often pair very nicely. Goat cheese and sauvignon blanc from the Loire Valley in France or garnacha from Spain are good examples.
Tip #3: Sweet loves funky. The stink of washed-rind and blue-veined cheeses helps balance out the sweet taste of wines like moscato or gewurztraminer.
Tip #4: Balance is beautiful. Lighter cheeses do well with more delicate wines, while big-flavored bottles want a bold cheese to match.
Chianti tends to pair nicely with hard Italian cheeses. Many consider parmesan to be the ideal cheese to pair with a glass of chianti. The nutty, nuanced flavors and the crumbly texture of an aged parmesan balance nicely with chianti's fruit notes. Asiago makes a fine match for chianti as well – the savory notes in the wine accent the herbal accents in the cheese. Cheddar blue, and colby also matchup well with a chianti.
Scientists suggest that the creamy fat content in cheese and the astringency of wine create a perfectly balanced combination of tastes in the mouth. Of course, that's something that anyone who's ever thrown a wine and cheese party could tell you – no offense, scientists.
Get Pairing Ideas, Cheese Recipes, Cheese Facts, Wisconsin Cheese Awards delivered straight to your inbox.
In chianti's home in Italy, they celebrate la dolce vita –"the sweet life." Here in Wisconsin, we celebrate the cheese life. We think cheese sums up everything wonderful in this world: the tradition, craft, and hard work of making cheese. And the most out-of-this-world taste and texture sensations when you get to eat the stuff.
That's why it just makes sense that, when you're looking for a great chianti pairing, you want to look to Wisconsin. We make more than 600 styles, flavors, and varieties of cheese, and we've won more awards for them than any other state or nation in the world. And just so you know how seriously we take our mission: 90% of the milk produced by our dairy farmers heads right for the cheesemaking shop.
So, when you're ready to take a moment to enjoy this life, take a load off your feet, grab a glass of chianti, and slice yourself a bit of Wisconsin's finest. There you go – now you're living the cheese life.
Craving award-winning aged cheddar, pining for parmesan, or searching for a new cheese to try? The world’s best cheese is just a click away! Explore our directory of Wisconsin cheesemakers and retailers who offer online cheese shopping and get cheese shipped right to your door. What are you waiting for?
Check out the world’s largest cheese platform.
View our Current Issue
Need help? Say Hello
In Wisconsin, we make more flavors, varieties, and styles of cheese than anywhere else in the world. We believe in tradition, producing everything from Italian classics, like parmesan and ricotta, to swiss cheese and cheddar varieties. But every Wisconsin cheesemaker is an innovator as well, which is why we have so many Wisconsin originals, like colby and muenster. Whether it’s a grilled cheese sandwich, potatoes au gratin, or a charcuterie board, Wisconsin cheese makes every dish and recipe tastier.