The world looks better through a glass of rosé—and more importantly—it makes a heavenly couple with cheese. Once the reject of the wine world, rosé has climbed its way back to the spotlight and we couldn’t be happier to see it back where it belongs.
Although rosés are most popular as a summertime staple, we think any time of year is a good time to have rosé. Why? Because it pairs so darn well with almost any cheese. Better yet, it has some of the best aspects of red and white wine in one bottle, for even better cheese pairing.
The Basics of Rosé Wine and Cheese Pairing
To help us with rosé pairing suggestions and guidelines we interviewed cheese pairing expert, award-winning food and drink author, and fellow Wisconsin cheese lover Jeanette Hurt.
How Is Rosé Different from Red or White Wine?
The process for making rosé isn’t all that different from red or white wine, but there are a few crucial differences that give rosé its distinct character and cheese pairing ability.
Like red wine, rosé is made from dark-colored grapes that are macerated with their skins on. The skin of the grape is where all that beautiful color comes from.
From here, things take a different path than your usual red wine. After several hours, the skins are removed and from here the regular fermentation process begins. By removing the grape skins so early in the winemaking process, rosé gets some of the same flavor and color as red wine, but without the bitter tannins that can make red wine challenging to pair.
Find the Right Color
Rosés come in a dizzying number of varieties, many made with their own unique techniques and grape blends.
How can you pick the right one without being a wine expert? It’s easier than you think: look at the color.
Light, delicate rosés are generally a subtle pink while full-bodied rosés have deeper hues of salmon or pink. Light rosés make perfect pairings with fresh cheeses like burrata or mozzarella while darker fruitier rosés can match firm cheeses like cheddar.
Our Favorite Rosé Wines for Cheese Pairing
Pinot Noir Rosé
Delicate, fruity, and balanced, pinot noir is a red wine and cheese pairing favorite, and—dare we say it—might be even better as a rosé. One of our favorite aspects of this variety of rosé is its acidity and crisp finish that makes pairing it with cheese a breeze.
Must-try Pinot Noir Rosé and Cheese Pairings:
It’s easy to fall in love with a grenache rosé. Bursting with notes of watermelon and strawberry and an acidic kick at the finish, this rosé has plenty of body without being a pain to pair. We recommend pairing a grenache rosé with young and even semi-firm cheeses.
Must-try Grenache Rosé and Cheese Pairings:
If light fruity wines just aren’t your thing—this rosé is for you. A syrah rosé is a big, bold, ruby-colored wine that dares to straddle the gap between red wine and rosé.
Don’t be surprised if you get notes of pepper along with the traditional strawberry flavor that rosé is known for. Since syrah rosés tend to be drier and full-bodied you can pair stronger cheeses with this wine.
Must-try Syrah Rosé and Cheese Pairings:
Also known as white zinfandel, this rosé is the king of the bunch when it comes to popularity. Most zinfandel rosés offer a balanced experience that combine dryness and moderate sweetness. This balance makes it a great rosé for pairing with basically any cheese that suits your fancy.
Must-try Zinfandel Rosé and Cheese Pairings:
Answer All Your Cheese Pairing Questions
Ready to learn more about cheese pairing? We’ve covered everything you need to know about pairing cheese with wine, food, beer, and more. Start with our beginner’s guide or just dive into whatever topic suits your fancy. Explore a world of cheese pairing at your fingertips.
Wine and Cheese Pairing
Liquor and Cheese Pairing
Cheese board Essentials
Flex your cheese pairing muscles and get creative, or try one of our cheese board recipes, like this Summertime Cheese Board or this Sweet and Savory Brunch Cheese Board. If you want to cook a full meal try our selection of over 300 handcrafted recipes featuring Wisconsin Cheese. Share your creation with us on Instagram or Facebook and become part of the largest cheese community in the world.
Want to make cheese pairing even easier? You can plan your cheese board ahead of time and get your favorite Wisconsin cheeses 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.
Is rosé good with cheese?
In a word: yes! Most rosés pair very well with a variety of cheeses due to their light fruitiness and acidity. Delicate cheeses like fresh mozzarella make particularly good pairings with rosés compared to traditional red or white wines. We’d recommend being cautious about pairing piquant or strong cheeses like aged blues or gorgonzola. Although delicious, these cheeses can easily overpower a rosé.
What does rosé pair well with?
Rosés pair well with a variety of cheeses, especially fresh or young cheeses like feta, mozzarella, cheddar, and baby swiss.
Should rosé be chilled?
Like many white wines, Rosé should be served cold at around 45-50°F. If you don’t have space to keep your rosé in the fridge full-time, just chill it for one or two hours before serving.