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How to Make Your Wine and Cheese Tasting a Success

How to Make Your Wine and Cheese Tasting a Success - Visual

Wine and cheese complement each other perfectly. They are natural partners that give you the chance to discover their subtle and their sublime harmonies. A wine and cheese tasting is a wonderful setting for relaxing get-togethers with family or friends, as long as you follow a few guiding principles.

Generally, a wine and cheese tasting is composed of three or four services, but, just one service can do the trick for more informal occasions. Typically, it is recommended to have three varieties of cheese per service. The selected cheeses should have a pleasant contrast in flavours, textures, colours and forms.

No matter which cheese is selected, the wine you pair it with should be the best match possible. It is especially important to make the right wine choice, so do not hesitate to consult a cheesemonger or wine expert.

A simple service generally includes soft, semi-soft and firm cheeses, but you can also serve blue cheese. Of course, a wider variety of cheeses should be presented at a wine and cheese tasting with several services.

It is best to start with the more delicate flavours and then move on to more pronounced tastes, for both the selected cheeses and wines. Start by serving mild cheeses with a light wine. Then, move on to increasingly stronger flavours until finally serving cheeses with fully developed flavours along with full-bodied wines.

A few Suggestions

Here are some delicious cheese and wine pairings. Of course, there is nothing stopping you from being creative. Let your taste buds be your guide as you explore the possibilities!

First Service

Start by serving a dry white wine with mild cheeses such as La BELLE-MÈRE, the OKA l'ARTISAN, Le Délice des Appalaches, a Saint-Paulin From Here, a Brie From Here or a Camembert From Here, such as LE PIZY, Le Noble and le Camembert Madame Clément. These cheeses are often accompanied by fine foods like paté, terrine and fresh cold cuts.

Second Service

Continue with a light or medium red wine accompanied by paté or terrine and cheeses with more pronounced flavours, such as Le Douanier, Le Mamirolle, Pied-De-Vent, Le Migneron de Charlevoix, Le Mont-Jacob, LA SAUVAGINE or L'Empereur.

Third Service

Tempt the taste buds by serving a full-bodied red wine that goes perfectly with fine foods like paté or terrine and cheeses with sharper flavours such as Cru des Érables, Alfred LE FERMIER, Réserve La Pérade, Le Canotier de L'Isle or Le Curé Labelle.

Fourth Service

End your wine and cheese tasting with a liqueur-like white wine, Burgundy or Port accompanied by a 70% cocoa dark chocolate and strong cheeses. A blue, such as Bleu Bénédictin, Le Bleu d'élizabeth or Le Rassembleu, and an extra-strong Cheddar From Here will end your wine and cheese party on a high note.

How Much Cheese?

Here are some useful guidelines for holding a three- or four-service wine and cheese tasting.

Calculate 1/2 bottle of wine per person for the first three services and 1/4 bottle per person for the last service (liqueur-like white wine, Burgundy or Port).

Generally, each of the first three services includes three varieties of cheese, while the fourth service includes two. However, these numbers can vary according to the size of your event.

In addition to serving a good variety of quality breads, crackers, fruit and nuts, plan for 50 g (2 oz) of fine foods like paté, terrine or cold cuts and approximately 200 g to 225 g (7 oz to 8 oz) of cheese for each guest. Cheese quantities can be distributed as follows:

3 services and 3 varieties per servicefor a total of 9 types of cheese

3 services and 3 varieties per servicefor a total of 9 types of cheese

Helpful Tips

  • Prepare your cheese platters before your guests arrive. Ensure that the cheeses do not touch on the platters, so that the flavours do not mix. Select a variety of sizes, textures, colours and forms. Cover each platter with plastic wrap or a clean, wet cloth.
  • Take your platters out of the refrigerator approximately one hour before serving, so that the cheese can warm to room temperature. Place a knife on each platter.
  • Serve several varieties of crackers and bread with the cheese, including baguettes (1/2 baguette per person for three services) and nut bread.
  • Help your guests cleanse their palates between services with fresh fruit like apples, grapes, kiwis and strawberries.
  • It is important to serve each wine at the proper temperature in order to bring out the nuanced flavours.