Merlot Pairing

Wisconsin cheese makes merlot pairing easy

Merlot is like the perfect friend. It's got personality in spades and is often mistaken for a Cabernet, but it gets along with almost everyone. That's why, with merlot, pairing your cheese with wine is easy. Need a wine that goes with mozzarella? Merlot says yep. How about a bloomy taleggio? Merlot will be happy to oblige. A nutty, slighty salty gruyere? Merlot's all over it!

In Wisconsin, we keep plenty of merlot on hand because we enjoy a lot of different cheeses. Our cheesemakers make more than 600 varieties, flavors, and styles, and we like to show them all a little love. (We try not to play favorites.) Because pairing merlot with cheese is such a breeze, we can be sure we'll always have a good glass of wine when we're ready to enjoy Wisconsin's finest.

Take a spin through our website to meet some of the cheese merlot enjoys most. Search our recipes to find the best meat and cheese pairings for your next charcuterie platter. Or scroll down for more tips on what to drink with this generous wine.

Our favorite merlot pairings

  • Cheddar – the bold sharp flavors of cheddar contrast nicely with the milder notes of many merlots.
  • Havarti – the smooth and supple texture of havarti complements the medium tannin content of merlot.
  • Swiss – the mild, nutty taste of swiss goes well with the fruitier textures of merlot and offset the acidity.
  • Gruyere – the nutty and salty flavor of gruyere brings out the boldest flavors in merlot.
  • Parmesan – the crystalline texture of parmesan pairs nicely with the tannins in merlot.

Other cheeses that go well with merlot include asiago, brick, muenster, gouda, brie, colby, camembert, and a blue-veined cheese like gorgonzola.

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FAQs: What is the best cheese for merlot pairing?

What is the best cheese for merlot pairing?

Merlot is a very versatile wine when it comes to pairing with cheeses. Many varieties do quite nicely with merlot, though semi-hard cheeses with salty, nutty flavors tend to be favorites.

Why do cheese and wine pair well together?

Scientists have learned that alternating astringent foods with creamier foods creates a pleasant taste combination in the mouth. The astringency of the wine balances the creamy fat content in cheese, resulting in an attractive sensation.

What are some general tips for pairing cheese and wine?

Whether you're choosing a cheese for a merlot pairing, Chardonnay pairing, or a Malbec pairing, the idea is pretty much the same. Match cheese and wine with similar intensity; for example, bold wines love big-flavored cheeses. Try to match the texture of the wine and cheese or to sharply contrast it. Remember that stinky cheeses and salty cheeses are well balanced by a sweeter wine. And wine and cheese from the same geographic region are often a perfect pairing.

Merlot is always welcome in Wisconsin

When considering a pairing, merlot will always find a cheesy companion in Wisconsin. We have hundreds of varieties that would love to spend a minute with merlot – and loads of cheeses that help merlot become the best version of itself.

That's because Wisconsin cheese is simply the tastiest, highest-quality cheese in the world. Our 5,552 cheese awards – more than any other state or nation – are proof of how amazing our cheeses and their cheesemakers are. Of course, when you've been obsessively making cheese for 180 years, you're bound to get pretty dang good at it. And when you produce one-quarter of the cheese in the country – and nearly half of all the specialty artisan cheese – you'll always be able to find plenty of mates for your merlot. So welcome to Wisconsin, merlot.

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?

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