Reds are harder than whites to pair with cheese because of the tannins in the wine. But there are many red wine and cheese pairings that deliver an extraordinary combination of flavor. Cabernet sauvignon pairs nicely with hard cheeses like cheddar and parmesan. Malbecs pair well with asiago and aged cheddar. Softer, fruitier wines like merlot can complement pungent blue cheeses as well as soft varieties like camembert. And a light and delicate pinot noir works well with brie, gouda, and gruyere.
While people have been pairing wine and cheese for centuries, only recently have scientists delved into the question of why. It seems that the astringency of wine and the fat content of cheese form a perfect and harmonious balance of flavors and texture in the mouth that feels and tastes quite pleasing.