Bordeaux Wine and Cheese Pairings Guaranteed to Please!

William S. Shepard, Wine Editor | Tuesday, Jan 3rd 2023
wine and cheese pairings

What are the best Bordeaux wine and cheese pairings?  This is a question often asked, and we wanted to offer you an easy guide to help you when hosting a dinner party or luncheon.

Easy wine & cheese combinations:

  • Brie with red St. Emilion wine 
  • Soft ripened Saint Albray cheese with red Bordeaux  
  • Blue Cheese with Sauternes 
  • Chèvre (goat cheeses) with Entre- Deux-Mers white Bordeaux 

Have you planned a dinner party around the wine and cheese Here are suggestions for Bordeaux wine and cheeses that are easy to replicate.

Pairings for a simple but impressive buffet:

This could be thematic, such as Bordeaux Wine and Cheese. Let your guests choose their own cheeses from an assortment. Add fresh baguettes, fruit and nuts. And to make things really easy for your guests, put the wine that goes best with each cheese.

  • Here are some selections:
    • First try Brie and Camembert with red St. Emilion wine Grand Corbin d’Espagne 2005
    • Then offer a soft-ripened Saint Albray cheese with red Bordeaux  Château Haut La Perrière, Côtes de Castillon
    • Next add a Roquefort and Bleu d’Auvergne (blue cheese) with Sauternes Château Filhot 2009
    • Finally, remember a Valençay or Chèvre (goat cheeses) with Entre- Deux-Mers white Bordeaux Château Martinon 2012
    • Beginners could simplify things-offer Mouton Cadet red or white wines with their cheese. These quality Bordeaux red and white wine blends from Mouton Rothschild offer value and Bordeaux flavor.

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Wine pairings for a sit-down dinner party:

  • First Course:
    • Start with light white wine (perhaps an Entre-Deux-Mers).
  • Second or Main Course
    • Then a tasty red wine from St. Emilion, or white wine from the Graves region.
    • If fish is served as the main course, that would call for a more substantial white wine.
  • Third or Cheese Course:
  • In Bordeaux, it is customary to serve an assortment of three kinds of cheese for the cheese course.
    • ​For example, a mild cheese (brie or camembert), a hard cheese (farmhouse or cheddar), and a blue cheese (perhaps a Roquefort, or a festive, pyramid-shaped Valençay).
    • Often a glass of the same wine that accompanied the main course is offered, particularly if that was red wine.
    • A magnum of red wine opened at the meat course can be served with the cheese course. This will add a festive touch to your dinner. Guests know it is a special occasion when a magnum of fine wine is uncorked for their pleasure!
    • If you do wish to offer a separate wine with the cheese course, pick a wine that is deeper than the two already served. Perhaps you offer wine from your cellar from an earlier vintage.
  • Dessert Course:
    • Try a smooth Sauternes if the dessert is not overly sweet.
    • Château Coutet is a dry Sauternes, while Château Suduiraut is more opulent.

Tasty wine pairing variations:

When I visited Roquefort sur Soulzon and first tasted that famous cheese, I was surprised to hear the recommendation that it be served with a recent vintage of chilled Sauternes.

  • It was further suggested that the blue cheese be served as a soufflé!
  • Upon returning to Bordeaux with a wheel of Roquefort, we followed that wine recommendation and served a Roquefort soufflé as the first course at our next dinner. The combination was delicious and memorable. (The same wine is perfect with a smooth paté as a first course.)

Some flexibility allows the host or hostess to delight his or her guests with new wine and cheese pairings. This makes for a memorable occasion.

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