Best Wine with Blue Cheese

Wine and blue cheese are a classic pairing that has been enjoyed for centuries. The sharp and tangy flavor of blue cheese is perfectly complemented by the rich and complex flavors of wine. However, not all wines are created equal when it comes to pairing with blue cheese. In this article, we will explore the best wines to pair with blue cheese and the reasons why they work so well together.

What is Blue Cheese?

First, let’s take a look at the characteristics of blue cheese. Blue cheese is a type of cheese that has been inoculated with a specific type of mold called Penicillium roqueforti. This mold gives blue cheese its distinctive blue or green veins, as well as its sharp and tangy flavor. Blue cheese can range in intensity from mild to strong, depending on the type and the aging process. Some of the most popular types of blue cheese include Roquefort, Gorgonzola, and Stilton.

Pairing with Blue Cheese

When pairing wine with blue cheese, the key is to find a wine that can stand up to the cheese’s strong flavor without overpowering it. One of the best wines to pair with blue cheese is a sweet and fruity white wine like Sauternes or a Late Harvest Riesling. These wines have a natural sweetness that balances out the sharpness of the blue cheese, and their fruity flavors complement the cheese’s tangy notes. Another great pairing is sparkling wine like Champagne or Prosecco. The bubbles help to cut through the richness of the cheese and refresh the palate.

Yet another good option for pairing with blue cheese is a full-bodied red wine like a Cabernet Sauvignon or a Shiraz. These wines have bold and complex flavors that can stand up to the cheese’s strong flavor. They also have high tannins that help to cut through the creaminess of the cheese, making for a well-balanced pairing.

Below are my top 10 recommended wines to pair with blue cheese, with examples of each that you should seek out:

Sauternes

This sweet and fruity white wine from the Bordeaux region of France is a classic pairing for blue cheese. Its natural sweetness balances out the sharpness of the cheese, and its rich and complex flavors complement the cheese’s tangy notes.

2014 Chateau Suduiraut

Producer tasting notes: “Château Suduiraut 2014 has a deep golden yellow colour and is still restrained in its expression. The first nose reveals oaked notes of toasted hazelnut, followed by white flowers, spices such as ginger and white pepper, and finally very ripe yellow fruit. The wine is full in the attack and continues in rich and fresh form on the palate. Aromas of yellow peach, roasted pineapple, ginger and preserved lemons mingle in a long, unctuous whole. The finish is absolutely delicious, lingering for a long time with honey and spiced notes.” – Chateau Suduiraut

2017 Chateau Rieussec

Producer tasting notes: “Beautiful pale gold colour. The initial nose offers remarkable depth. Aeration reveals the complexity of truly great years. All the characteristics are present: freshness, precision, and purity. On the palate, the wine presents an impressive combination of power and finesse. The finish is tremendously long and harmonious. As is often the case in exceptional vintages, the sweetness is masked by the wine’s balance. A magnificent Rieussec that is already sublime and will still be so in ten and many more years’ time.” – Chateau Rieussec

2019 Chateau Coutet

A less expensive Sauternes than the others but no less a wine for it.  

Expert tasting note: “A rich, golden, sweet wine with ripe stone fruit and Smokey, sulphurous notes on the nose. On the palate concentrated, ripe apricot fruit is lovely & juicy. The wine is full-bodied & has a superb rich texture. Alcohol is in balance & despite the fresh acidity the wine finishes sweet.” – 6/20 DCAMW

Late Harvest Riesling

Another sweet and fruity white wine, Late Harvest Riesling, is a great pairing for blue cheese. Its natural sweetness and high acidity make it a perfect match for the tangy and creamy flavors of blue cheese.

Paul Cluver Noble Late Harvest Weisser Riesling

Critic tasting note: (2013 vintage) “(2014) Another South African wine, this time from the Elgin Valley. Botrytised grapes are selected, then 10% only is fermented and matured in third and fourth-fill barrels. It is fully sweet with 163.0g/l, and 10.0% abv. Fabulous Botrytis nose, loaded with honey and barley sugar, figs and sweet, fat confit lemon and lime. The palate has terrific sweetness, totally ripe and succulent, so much sweetness that floods across the palate yet never losing its decisive acid core and shimmering clarity. A fine Beerenauslese style. 37.5cl.” – 92/100Tom Cannavan

Cloudy Bay Late Harvest Riesling

Critic tasting note: (2009 vintage) “(2015) What a terrfic wine this is, the nose so utterly Riesling with paraffin and beeswax notes, loads of lime and a fine suggestion of ripe and exotic fruit too. There’s some honeycomb and orange on the palate, the sweetness is delightful and mouthfilling, and again 10% alcohol and a rapier zip of lime acidity means it finishes as clean as a whistle. Terrific. Price is for a half bottle.” – 92/100Tom Cannavan

Hermann J. Wiemer Late Harvest Riesling

Critic tasting note: (2019 vintage) “Pristine aromas of candied citrus peels, ripe apple and peach echo on the luscious palate, where gobs of honey drizzle the fruit flavors. Laser-like acidity lends immense lift to it all, while a gentle creaminess resounds throughout. It shows wonderful purity and detail, and will hold up well in the cellar. Drink through 2030. Alexander Peartree” – 92/100Wine Enthusiast

Champagne

The Champagne bubbles help cut through the cheese’s richness and refresh the palate, making it a great pairing for blue cheese. The acidity of Champagne also helps balance out the cheese’s flavors.

Krug Clos du Mesnil Blanc de Blancs Brut

The absolute pinnacle of Champagne but you will need deep pockets.

Vineyard notes: “Krug’s Clos du Mesnil plot, with its south-eastern orientation was initially intended to ensure a regular supply of Chardonnay wines to enrich the blend of Krug Grande Cuvée but the savoir-faire of the House of Krug revealed more. Year after year, as the wines from the grapes of this tiny plot were followed and tasted, their character was consistently and uniquely beautiful. Perhaps due to the microclimate the walls created, to the protection of being right in the village, or to the men who built those walls back in 1698 knowing something we do not, the fact remained: The wines of Krug’s Clos du Mesnil stood out, time and again.”

2012 Bollinger La Grande Annee Brut

More attainable, this Bolly is also exceptional.

Award tasting note: “This goes from zero to 60 right out of the gate, with an intense spine of acidity driving tightly meshed flavors of crushed black currant, ground coffee, candied grapefruit peel and toasted almond. The profile expands on the palate, carried by the fine, raw silk–like mousse. Richly aromatic and expressive from start to lasting, spiced finish. Disgorged July 2019. Drink now through 2037. 850 cases imported. —AN” – Wine Spectator Top 100 #10Wine Spectator Top 100

Ruinart Brut Rose

This is my personal favorite. Delicate, fruity, and delightfully light on the palate.  An excellent yet affordable luxury. I love the Rose version, which I always recommend, but the Brut Blanc is also outstanding.

Award tasting note: “Youthful, quite fruity style with easy appeal and drinkability.” – BronzeInternational Wine Challenge

Prosecco

Similar to Champagne, Prosecco is a sparkling wine that can be paired with blue cheese. Its high acidity and lightness make it a great match for blue cheese’s tangy and creamy flavors.

Bottega ‘Gold’ Prosecco Brut

Critic tasting note: “Packaged in what looks like a solid gold bottle, this easy sparkler offers fresh acidity and clean fruit aromas. The gold packaging gives this particular bottle a sassy, luxurious competitive edge.” – 85/100Wine Enthusiast

Bisol Prosecco Valdobbiadene Superiore di Cartizze DOCG

Award tasting note: (2021 vintage) “Melon and pear drop foaming creation with a sweet edge and citrus balance.” – SilverInternational Wine Challenge

Masottina Prosecco di Treviso Brut

Prosecco isn’t generally expensive anyway but this one provides even more value. An absolute bargain given the quality of the wine on offer.

Award tasting note: “Clean, fresh, floral notes with lovely lime and citrus flavours on the palate. – Panel Chair: Clive Barlow MW , Co-Chair: Oz Clarke” – BronzeInternational Wine Challenge

Cabernet Sauvignon

A full-bodied red wine, Cabernet Sauvignon is a great pairing for blue cheese. Its bold and complex flavors can stand up to the cheese’s strong flavor, and its high tannins help cut through the cheese’s creaminess.

Substance ‘Cs’ Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

From the winery itself, “Classic Cabernet Sauvignon. Currant, blackberry, cigar box with touches of chocolate, cedar, and pencil lead. Full flavored & just so damn good. I should raise the price!”

Château Lynch-BagesPauillac (Grand Cru Classé) 2016

It exhibits a deep red color with notes of dark fruit, cassis, blackcurrants, and a distinctive hint of mint. On the palate, it is full in body with ripe tannins and cassis throughout. The finish is long.

Flat Top Hills Cabernet Sauvignon

This is a rich, full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon. It is distinctly dark fruit on the palate with cocoa and vanilla notes. It has gentle spices like nutmeg and cassis. The finish is smooth, long, and velvety.

Shiraz

Another full-bodied red wine, Shiraz, is a great pairing for blue cheese. Its bold and spicy flavors complement the tangy and sharp flavors of the cheese, and its high tannins help to balance out the richness of the cheese.

Calcareous Reserve Syrah 2020, Paso Robles

From the winery. “Aged in 40% deeply toasted French barrels for 18 months, our Estate Syrah is made to showcase the depth and power of the varietal from our soil. Full of juicy blackberry, dark cocoa, and tar mingling with rich fully ripe tannin, this massive wine is built for marbled rib eye and slow-smoked pork shoulder. It should age exquisitely for 12+ years.”    

Lewis Cellars Alec’s Blend 2018

A great wine to pair with. Flavors of black and red fruits with black pepper. Notes of vanilla, chocolate with a good acidity. Blended 57% Syrah, 28% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Sauvignon with the rest Cabernet Franc.

Seppeltsfield 2018 Shiraz (Barossa Valley)

You can’t have a list of great Shiraz without a Barossa Valley and this is a cracker. It is a bold red with a fruity bouquet of dark cherry and blackberry with hints of oak, vanilla, and coffee. Acidity is good with medium tannins.  Highly recommended.

Port

A fortified wine, Port is a great pairing for blue cheese. Its sweetness and rich fruit flavors complement the tangy and sharp flavors of the cheese, and its high alcohol content helps to cut through the creaminess of the cheese.

Taylor Fladgate Vintage Port

Expert tasting note: (1985 vintage) “The wine is starting to lose its deep red color & become quite brickish. The aromas are at a mid-point between plumy & pruney red fruits & dried fig & date. There is an overlaying of spirit & chocolatey notes. There is good sweetness, but its richness & freshness help to balance this. The wine has fresh plummy fruit & a rounder, more developed, figginess. The alcohol is warming & rounds out the finish. There is a lovely long complex finish.” – 06/20 DCAMW

Fonseca Vintage Port

Critic tasting note: (2017 vintage) “(2020) A youthful solidity to this, pure, vinous plum and cherry black fruits, gorgeous silkiness and the sheer concentration of the components – fruit, tannin and acid – are going to give this terrific longevity surely. Price quoted is per bottle, but most retailers are offering in-bond, and by the six-bottle case at time of review.” – 95/100Tom Cannavan

W & J Graham’s Single Harvest Tawny Port

Critic tasting note: (1994 vintage) “Bottled in 2018 after nearly 25 years in wood, this wine is sumptuous with its rich toffee and spice flavors. They contrast with the hints of fresh acidity from the wood aging, giving a dry core to the mature sweet fruits. The wine is completely ready to drink. Roger Voss” – 95/100Wine Enthusiast

Zinfandel

A full-bodied red wine, Zinfandel is a great pairing for blue cheese. Its bold and spicy flavors complement the tangy and sharp flavors of the cheese, and its high tannins help to balance out the richness of the cheese.

Journeyman Wines, San Lorenzo ‘The Pearl’ Old Vine Red (Alexander Valley)

A floral bouquet with notes of tobacco and anise. This is a bold, full-bodied red. It has rich flavors of chocolate, with dark fruits and pepper. Velvet smooth mouthfeel and a tannic finish. Let it breathe before serving.

Hartford Family Winery Hartford Dina’s Vineyard Zinfandel

Hartford Russian River Valley Zinfandel presents aromas of ripe plum, blackberry and black cherry. White pepper and allspice add complexity to this wine’s fruity bouquet. A burst of blueberry, raspberry, nutmeg and chocolate flavors lead to a long-lasting finish.

Carlisle Papera Ranch Zinfandel 2020

Another excellent Zinfandel from Russian River, California. 

Ruby-red in color. On the nose, it is bright cherry with aromas of blackberry and raspberry with notes of vanilla and tobacco. It is medium-full-bodied and very smooth on the palate. 

Pinot Noir

A lighter-bodied red wine, Pinot Noir is a great pairing for blue cheese. Its complex and nuanced flavors complement the tangy and sharp flavors of the cheese, and its high acidity helps to balance out the richness of the cheese.

2016 Domaine Lecheneaut Les Pruliers

This is towards the more expensive end of the price range, but no doubt this is an exceptional wine. Les Pruliers has a strong color. The wine offers aromas of fresh red fruit, wild prunes, and licorice. As it ages, it adds depth and roundness. It has aromas of cocoa and smoked meat.

2019 Fanny Sabre Bourgogne Rouge

More affordable is the Fanny Sabre Bourgogne Rouge. This is a delicate, delicate, easy to drink, and naturally delicious organic pinot noir. It has a fresh, crunchy, summer pudding fruit flavor with crisp acidity and just lip-smacking moreishness. And because it’s low in sulfur, it’s great for summer or winter drinking.

2018 Corazza Pinot Nero

At the lower end of the price range is the Pinot Nero. This is a unique wine from Friuli, a region in northeastern Italy. It’s made from the pinot noir grape and is unlike other pinot noirs you might be used to. It’s light, bright, and easy to drink.

Sauvignon Blanc

A crisp and refreshing white wine, Sauvignon Blanc is a great pairing for milder blue cheeses. Its high acidity and refreshing flavors help to balance out the tangy and creamy flavors of the cheese, and its grassy flavors complement the cheese.

Bread & Butter North Coast Sauvignon Blanc

This Sauvignon Blanc has bright aromas of lemon zest, hints of tropical fruit, lively flavors with citrus notes, and a rich texture and clean finish.

2021 Decoy California Sauvignon Blanc

Aromas of pineapple, lemon, and green apple lead the way for this crisp Sauvignon Blanc. Underneath those fresh scents is a layer of lime zest that adds another exciting dimension to your taste, which lingers in your mouth long after each sip.

Lieu Dit Sauvignon Blanc 2017

This Sauvignon Blanc has aromas of ripe kiwi, lemon, and lime accented by hints of green apples. The palate is full and creamy with a rich mouthfeel that is balanced by crisp acidity.

When pairing wine with blue cheese, it’s important to remember that the cheese’s strength will vary depending on its age and type, and as such, you may need to adjust the wine pairing accordingly. For example, a younger and milder blue cheese will pair well with a lighter-bodied wine like a Sauvignon Blanc, while an older and stronger blue cheese will pair better with a full-bodied red wine.

In conclusion, blue cheese and wine are a classic pairing that can bring out the best in both. The key to a successful pairing is choosing a wine that can stand up to the cheese’s strong flavor without overpowering it. A sweet and fruity white wine like Sauternes or Late Harvest Riesling, a sparkling wine like Champagne or Prosecco, and a full-bodied red wine like a Cabernet Sauvignon or a Shiraz are all great options for pairing with blue cheese. With a little experimentation, you’ll find the perfect pairing for your favorite blue cheese.

Recommended Recipe

Try this remarkable blue cheese salad dressing recipe from Allrecipes.com with a glass of any of the above-recommended wines, and you will have a ready-made pairing that works very well.

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