Whether you need the perfect appetizer to serve at your get together, or you just LOVE wine and cheese (who doesn't?!) you shouldn't just put any wines with any cheeses. Certain cheeses enhance the flavor of certain wines and vice versa and it's important to know what to put with what. Here are some tips:
Keep the intensity of the wine and cheese on the same level
Don't put a delicate cheese, such as Gruyère with an intense wine like Cabernet Sauvignon. The bold taste of the wine will overpower the cheese. A good rule to follow to know what wines are what intensity is anything over 14.5% ABV (alcohol by volume) are more intense and anything under 12% ABV are less intense.
Aged cheese goes well with bold, red wines
Cheese becomes richer in flavor as it ages due to the increased fat content it develops as it looses water content. For this reason, aged cheese counteracts the high tannins found in bold, red wines which creates a delicious combination. Cheeses that have been aged at least one year, such as Manchego, Gouda, or Provolone pair well with bold, red wines like Merlot or Cabernet Franc.
Sweet wines and stinky cheeses are perfect together
Cheeses like Limburger, Livarot Munster, or Robiola Lombardia pair perfectly with sweet wines such as Moscato, Port, or Dessert wines because the sweetness in the wine makes the cheese taste creamy by balancing the funky taste.
Cheese and wine from the same region should be kept together
Sauvignon Blanc and Goat Cheese, both from Loire Valley, France; Chardonnay and Époisses de Bourgogne, both from Burgundy, France; and Garnacha and Manchego, both from Spain, are all great examples of wine and cheese that pair well together. Sometimes it's wise to just trust the local traditions.
A firm, nutty cheese is a good go-to when you're just not sure
With the right amount of fat to counterbalance tannin in red wine, and still the right amount of delicacy to compliment delicate whites, firm, nutty cheeses are a popular choice to pair with almost all wines. These cheeses include Swiss, Comté Extra, and Gouda.