Pairing Wine with Wisconsin cheese is something we love to do at Timber Hill Winery. For close to 200 years, Wisconsin has been making better cheese than just about any place on the planet. It’s hard to name a more iconic pairing than wine and cheeses; fortunately, Wisconsin is also home to some incredible wineries. Find out how you can create pairings worthy of some of the world’s finest delicacies, all paying tribute to the bounty of Wisconsin.
- Aged Cheddar –Big on flavor with plenty of texture, aged cheddar can steal the entire show if it’s not paired with wines capable of standing up to all that strength without overpowering it. Whites like Riesling, Chardonnay, and sparkling or hearty reds both fit the bill.
- Alpine-Style – The darlings of every fondue pot, Alpine-style mountain cheeses like gruyere, fontina, and Emmentaler tend to be rich and a bit nutty and infinitely meltable. Reds and whites alike can work well with these cheeses, as long as they’re fruit-forward and juicy.
- Baby Swiss and Swiss – Where a perfectly-aged Swiss is more intense in flavor than its Baby counterpart, which is butterier and nuttier while being milder all around. For the young and mild stuff, the best rule of thumb is easy. All you need to do is avoid aggressively sweet wines. For aged Swiss, though, a slightly sweet wine complements the complex flavors without overpowering.
- Gorgonzolas and Blues – While Gorgonzola is a type of blue cheese, it’s softer and milder despite bearing the same blue-green veins of mold and intense fragrance. Both truly shine when they’re paired with intense reds and crisp whites.
- Butterkäse – Mild and buttery but still nuanced, butterkäse is semi-soft but sliceable and almost as high in fat as triple-cream cheeses. Perfect pairings are mild whites that don’t compete with the subtle flavor of this “butter cheese.”
- Cheese Curds – Rich, salty, and savory, cheese curds may not look refined, but they’re still a rock star among Wisconsin cheeses. Sparkling or drier whites are the way to play up the creamy texture without clobbering the flavors into submission.
- Gouda – Smoked or not, gouda tends to be nutty with a hint of sweetness. Pair it with a semi-sweet or sparkling white for the perfect balance.
- Havarti – You know those party guests who can be counted on to get along with anyone? At a wine and cheese party, Havarti is that cheese. Whether you’re in the mood for a semi-dry white or a jammy, fruity red, both will play quite nicely with this creamy, smooth crowd-favorite.