How To Create Autumnal Cheese Pairings

October 20, 2021

How To Create Autumnal Cheese Pairings

Have you noticed something in the air has changed? Tank tops are being traded for flannels, pumpkin lattes are popping up on menus, and whispers of apple picking are rustling through the trees. That’s right! Fall is on your doorstep, and that means it’s time to start planning your autumnal cheese pairings.

Whether you love pairing cheese with wine, fruit, or snacks, we’ve got a bounty of dynamic duos filled with flavor and classic fall favorites. (We promise there’s more to fall than just pumpkins!) From creamy blues to crumbly goudas, you’ll fall in love with our cheese pairings at first bite.

The basics of cheese pairing

Before diving into creating fall-inspired cheese pairings, let’s lay out some fundamentals of pairing cheese with beverages.


Start by matching strengths

Whether you’re pairing cheese with wine, beer, or anything in between, we always recommend you start by asking if the strengths of flavors match. For instance, a pungent limburger necessitates an equally strong pairing so the cheese doesn’t overwhelm the other flavors.

A mild gouda, meanwhile, would be best suited to a light-bodied wine to complement its more delicate flavor profile. By matching strengths, the flavors of the wine and cheese dance in synchrony with each other rather than competing for the spotlight.

Think about contrast

This is where the oft-repeated principle of opposites attract comes into play. This rings true for cheese pairings as much as it does for anything else. Salty and sweet are especially popular flavor pairings that can really play off of each other well. For instance, the creamy, salty, and earthy notes of blue cheese pair exceptionally well with a ripe, juicy fig or a sweet dessert wine like sherry. While the individual elements of the pairing possess distinctly different characteristics, the blending of their opposing flavor profiles creates a complex and delicious contrast. 


Find flavor bridges

When putting a pairing together, certain flavors may need a little help to really shine. That’s where flavor bridges come in handy. As the name suggests, flavor bridges are ingredients included in a pairing to form links between cheese and your other foods or beverages.


For example, a simple but effective ingredient that acts as an optimal flavor bridge is honey. While it may not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about cheese, honey complements a variety of cheeses. Try a bite of ricotta topped with honey and a small slice of salty prosciutto. Paired with a sip of sauvignon blanc, it tastes just like a crisp autumn day spent cuddled under a cozy blanket.

Our Top 5 Autumn Cheese Pairings

Marieke® Aged Gouda and Candied Pecans

A mild, yellow cheese with Dutch roots, Marieke® Aged Gouda is an autumn must-try cheese. Beginning with fresh raw milk from her family farm, Marieke handcrafts each wheel with Old World inspired cheesemaking techniques.

This includes aging their gouda to perfection on Dutch pine planks. As their gouda ages, the cheese develops caramel notes, nuttiness, and a little tang that makes it picture-perfect as fall fare. Try pairing Marieke® Aged Gouda with candied pecans for a sweet, salty, and crunchy pairing. It’s an unbeatable autumnal combination that will get you ready to pick pumpkins and enjoy the changing colors of the season like nothing else.


Thinking of taking a deeper look into the world of cheese pairing? We recommend starting with our beginner’s guide to cheese pairing. It's super fascinating.


Maple Leaf Cheese’s Apple Harvest Cheddar and Fresh Apple 


Originally hailing from England before spreading around the globe, cheddar is a time-tested and widely beloved cheese. When combined with apple and cinnamon, Maple Leaf’s award-winning cheddar evolves into Apple Harvest Cheddar Cheese—a sensational fall cheese perfect for the harvest season.

Expect a perfectly balanced sweet and salty cheese, with spicy swirls of cinnamon running throughout. Adding a fresh, crisp apple further elevates this autumnal powerhouse cheese while adding textural variety. A sweet apple like a Pink Lady or Honeycrisp are exquisite choices to pair with Maple Leaf’s Apple Harvest Cheddar Cheese.


Roth Buttermilk Blue and a Pumpkin Ale 

Whether you’re still on the fence about blue cheese or a die-hard blue-iever, blue cheese makes for a perfect fall pairing. We love enjoying Roth’s flagship Buttermilk Blue year-round for its tangy yet mellow flavor, especially in the autumn. Roth crafts this creamy cheese with fresh, local milk and cellar ages it for over two months.

Pumpkin ale is the ideal pairing to match the intensity of Roth Buttermilk Blue. Commonly infused with cinnamon and nutmeg, the sweet notes of pumpkin and spicy seasonings balance this savory blue cheese. Consider any blues (not of the cheese type, of course) to be washed away with this pairing.

Cello’s Rubbed Fontal-Pumpkin Spice Wedge and Sauvignon Blanc 

Pumpkin Spice Latte season, anyone? Pumpkin spice is the quintessential flavor of the season, and this cheese is the best way to indulge. Cello’s Rubbed Fontal- Pumpkin Spice Wedge delivers a smooth, creamy texture and mild, slightly sweet flavor. What sets this fontal cheese apart? The rubbing and aging process. Combining cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and honey, this seasonal blend is hand rubbed onto the creamy fontal cheese.

To create Cello’s signature fontal cheese flavor and texture characteristics, cheesemakers add the rub during its 60-day aging process. The result is a sweet, spicy, and deeply aromatic cheese. A wine that matches the lower-intensity flavor profile of this fontal cheese is a sauvignon blanc. Crisp, light, and refreshing, this wine pairs perfectly with the delicate balance of flavors in Cello’s Rubbed Fontal-Pumpkin Spice Wedge.



Edelweiss Butterkäse Cheese and an Oktoberfest Ale 

Originating in Germany and Austria, butterkäse is a creamy, mild cheese perfect for the fall season. butterkäse, which translates to “buttery cheese,” received its name based off its soft and silky, butter-like texture. Edelweiss Butterkäse cheese is mellow in flavor with a lovely creamy texture. Edelweiss crafts this cheese with the addition of butter cultures, resulting in an exceptionally rich mouthfeel.

For cheese pairing, we love to “go where it grows”—picking out a beverage from the same region where the cheese was first developed. That’s why we recommend pairing Edelweiss Butterkäse cheese with an Oktoberfest beer like Marzen. Rich in malt and balanced with a hoppy bitterness, Marzen’s crisp edge cuts through the butterkäse’s decadent flavor profile for a complex and satisfying contrast.  





If all this talk of cheese pairing has gotten you hungry for a cheese tasting, you can get Wisconsin’s finest cheeses and cheese gift baskets delivered right to your door with our continuously updated list of cheesemakers and retailers that allow you to order cheese online. Award-winning Wisconsin Cheese is just a click away. 


Craving something else? Choose from our selection of over 400 recipes featuring Wisconsin CheeseDon’t forget to share your creative cheesy creations with us on Facebook and Instagram. 


Leave A Comment