Wine and Cheese

Wine and cheese is the perfect combination! In the Willamette Valley, Pinot Noir is king. So, once you’ve got your bottle of Oregon Pinot Noir opened, it’s time to enjoy some snacks with it. Pinot Noir is incredibly diverse and easy to drink, but there are some cheeses that stand out when it comes to cheese pairings for Pinot Noir.

Gruyère

Gruyère is a popular cheese that is great for fondue, grilled cheese, or anything that requires the cheese to be melted. It comes from the border between France and Switzerland. If you see a cheese called “Comté” at your cheese shop, know that it will be very similar to Gruyère, but will come exclusively from Switzerland and will be aged longer. Gruyère is a firm, nutty cheese that can be enjoyed as part of a larger cheese plate or incorporated into a meal. We suggest making a Gruyère grilled cheese with caramelized onions to enjoy with your wine.

Blue Cheese

Blue cheese is a crowd favorite for pairing with Pinot Noir. The sharpness of the blue cheese is a wonderful pairing for any Oregon Pinot Noir. If you can find a blue cheese that’s been smoked, even better. Enhance the flavor of your Pinot Noir by serving it alongside chunks of blue cheese. Add in some hazelnuts, fruit and baguette and you’ll feel like your back in the Willamette Valley.

Gouda

Gouda is readily available at any supermarket, but we recommend finding an aged gouda to pair with Pinot Noir. Ask your cheese shop for a gouda that has cheese crystals is in. These are crunchy pieces of salt that result in gouda being aged for a long time. They add a delicious flavor to the gouda, plus gives you an enjoyable “crunch” when you chew the cheese. Enjoy this cheese as part of a cheese plate with some artisanal crackers, cornichons and honey for a perfectly balanced flavor combination.

Cheddar

Last but not least, cheddar cheese is an excellent cheese to pair with Pinot Noir. The great thing about cheddar is that it’s extremely versatile. Look for farmhouse cheddars that have been aged for at least six months. If you’re in the mood for comfort food, make a homemade cheddar roux and create a delicious macaroni and cheese dish to enjoy with your Pinot Noir.