Have you ever wondered why the pairing of wine and cheese feels so right? What is it about these two that, when combined, create a taste sensation greater than the sum of their parts? This perfect match isn't just about mixing things up; it's about finding the right fit. Now, let's shift our focus specifically to red wines. These aren't just any wines; they're known for their depth, variety, and the rich layers of flavour they bring to the cheese pairing table. Whether it's the boldness of a Cabernet Sauvignon or the subtle fruitiness of a Pinot Noir, each red wine has its own character that can make a cheese truly sing. So, why do these combinations work so well? And how can you find the perfect match? Let's explore together how to pair the rich and varied world of red wines with cheese, turning a simple snack into an experience to remember.

The Importance of Pairing Red Wines with Cheese

Why fuss over pairing red wines with cheese? Well, it's not just about tossing together any wine with any cheese and hoping for the best. The right pair can take your taste buds on a journey they won't forget. Imagine a bite of creamy cheese followed by a sip of rich red wine. Suddenly, flavours you didn't even know were there pop up, making the experience a whole lot more interesting. It's like finding a new friend who just gets you. Some wines have a knack for bringing out the hidden flavours in cheese, making them taste even better together than they do apart. It's all about balance. A bold wine can cut through the creaminess of a cheese, while a lighter wine can complement the subtle flavours of a softer cheese. When you get that balance right, it's magic. So, getting to know the ins and outs of pairing can really amp up your snacking game, turning a simple cheeseboard into the star of the show.

Top 9 Red Wines to Pair with Cheese

After spending days tasting and exploring an array of combinations, we've carefully curated a selection of pairings that represent the perfect match between red wines and cheeses. These pairings are designed to enhance your culinary experience, offering a journey through flavours that complement each other beautifully. Here are the top 9 red wines to pair with cheese, along with some recommended wines available for purchase from our collection.

Cabernet Sauvignon with Aged Cheddar

For a classic pairing, grab a bottle of Oak Ridge Winery's Cabernet Sauvignon. Its bold flavours stand up beautifully to the sharpness of an aged cheddar. The robust body of the Cabernet mirrors the cheddar's intensity, creating a satisfying balance where both wine and cheese get to shine. Shop this top pick: Buy Stonemason Australia Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 - 12 Bottles from Just Wines Australia Tip: Let the Cabernet Sauvignon breathe for about 30 minutes before serving to enhance its bold flavours, perfectly complementing the aged cheddar.

Pinot Noir with Brie

If you're leaning towards something softer, try Meiomi Pinot Noir. Its light, fruity notes are a dream match for the creamy texture of Brie. The Pinot Noir gently cuts through the creaminess, highlighting the cheese's subtle flavours without overpowering them. Shop this top pick: Buy Mania Pinot Noir 2023 Tasmania - 6 Bottles suggested by Just Wines Australia Tip: Serve the Brie at room temperature to fully appreciate its creamy texture alongside the chilled Pinot Noir.

Merlot with Gouda

Looking for smooth and velvety? Duckhorn Vineyards Merlot is your go-to. It pairs wonderfully with Gouda, where the soft tannins of the Merlot blend harmoniously with the rich, buttery flavours of the cheese, creating a seamless experience. Shop this top pick: Buy Allegiance Wines Australia Kindred Merlot 2021 - 12 Bottles from Just Wines Australia Tip: Pair with a semi-aged Gouda to discover a delightful balance between the Merlot's velvety texture and the cheese's richness.

Syrah/Shiraz with Smoked Gouda

For something with a bit more kick, opt for a robust Syrah from Penfolds. Its spicy undertones are perfect with the boldness of smoked Gouda, enhancing the cheese's intense flavours and adding a layer of complexity to the pairing. Shop this top pick: Buy Notes Margaret River Shiraz 2019 - 12 Bottles from Just Wines Australia Tip: Try this pairing with a slice of rustic bread to add an extra dimension to the robust flavours of both the wine and cheese.

Malbec with Blue Cheese

Catena Zapata Malbec is a bold choice that balances the strong, spicy character of blue cheese. The wine's deep, rich notes cut through the cheese's pungency, making for a dynamic and memorable pairing. Shop this top pick: Buy Argento Reserva Malbec 2022 Mendoza - 6 Bottles from Just Wines Australia Tip: Enjoy this pairing as part of a dessert course, where the Malbec's richness and the blue cheese's boldness create a surprisingly perfect finale.

Zinfandel with Aged Gouda

Ridge Vineyards Zinfandel, known for its fruit-forward profile, complements the sweet, caramel notes of aged Gouda perfectly. The wine's sweetness contrasts with the cheese's savoury aspects, offering a delightful taste contrast. Shop this top pick: Buy Hentley Farm Stray Mongrel Grenache Shiraz Zinfandel 2021 Barossa Valley - 12 Bottles from Just Wines Tip: The sweetness of the Zinfandel beautifully cuts through the saltiness of the aged Gouda, making it a great pairing for those who love contrast.

Sangiovese with Parmigiano-Reggiano

A classic Sangiovese from Antinori pairs well with the nuttiness of Parmigiano-Reggiano. The wine's acidity and savoury notes highlight the cheese's rich flavours, making each bite more compelling than the last. Shop this top pick: Buy Dalfarras Sangiovese 2021 Victoria - 12 Bottles from Just Wines Australia Tip: Grate the Parmigiano-Reggiano over fresh, warm pasta and enjoy with a glass of Sangiovese for a truly Italian experience.

Barbera with Fontina

Pio Cesare's Barbera showcases cherry and earthy flavours that align smoothly with the creamy, nutty profile of Fontina. The wine's lively acidity and fruitiness bring out the best in the cheese, creating a harmonious pairing. Shop this top pick: Buy Dal Zotto Barbera 2022 King Valley - 12 Bottles from Just Wines Australia Tip: This pairing works wonderfully in a fondue setting, where the Barbera can cut through the creamy Fontina for a delicious treat.

Grenache with Havarti

Lastly, a fruity, spicy Grenache from Alvaro Palacios works wonders with Havarti. The berry notes of the wine blend beautifully with the cheese's buttery texture, offering a pairing that's both comforting and intriguing. Shop this top pick: Buy Ox Hardy McLaren Vale Grenache 2021 - 6 Bottles from Just Wines Australia Tip: Enjoy the Grenache slightly chilled to complement the creaminess of the Havarti without overpowering it.

Find Your Perfect Match with Just Wines

Experimenting with red wine and cheese is more than just a taste test; it's about creating moments that buzz with excitement and flavour. Our top 9 picks offer a starting point for you to mix, match, and marvel at the combinations you can create. From the robust encounter of Cabernet Sauvignon with aged cheddar to the delicate harmony of Grenache with Havarti, there’s a bunch of flavours out there waiting for you. At Just Wines, we encourage you to bring these pairings into your life. See which ones make your taste buds sing and which ones become your go-to for special occasions—or just a cosy night in. And because great experiences are meant to be shared, we’d love to hear from you! Share your experiments, your hits, your misses, and your all-time favourite pairings with us. Let’s keep the conversation flowing and the wine pouring. Cheers to finding your perfect match!