How to Pair Italian Wine & Cheese

Italy creates some of the finest wines and cheeses in the world, and one of the best ways to enjoy them is together. Read on to get a primer on pairings.

Italian Cheese and Wine

When it comes to pairing Italian wines and cheeses, there are so many incredible combinations to try. Wondering where to start? According Roberto Martella, Italian food ambassador and owner of Grano restaurant in Toronto, there’s a rule of thumb that makes pairing easy: “Harder cheeses [with] “harder” wines such as Amarone and “softer” wines for softer, fresher cheeses such as Pecorino.” When in doubt, pairing wines and cheeses from the same region is also good guide.

Wine & Cheese Pairing 101

Texture Cheese Wine Pairing
Soft-fresh Mascarpone, Ricotta, Mozzarella Dry, floral whites and light-bodied reds (Lambrusco, Moscato d’Asti, Prosecco)
Semi-soft Fontina Val D’Aosta, Taleggio Light-bodied wines with demure aromatics (Barbaresco, Pinot Nero dell’Oltrepò Pavese)
Semi-Hard, medium-aged Provolone, Piave, Ubriaco al Prosecco Medium-bodied whites and fruity reds (Chianti, Barolo, Montepulciano, Conegliano Valdobbiadene)
Hard, aged Grana Padano, Pecorino Romano, Parmigiano Reggiano, Asiago Full bodied whites and tannic reds (Chianti, Barbaresco, Barolo, Vernaccia di San Gimignano, Amarone)
Blue-Veined Gorgonzola (dolce) Sweet and rich wines (Sangiovese di Romagna, Prosecco, Marsala)

How to Enjoy
In Italy, wine and cheese are enjoyed before or after a meal. To enhance the experience, Martella recommends adding subtle textures and flavours, such as truffle honey, nuts, toasted bread or crackers. And, of course, Martella adds, the truly Italian way to enjoy wine and cheese is “con passione” – with passion.

Buon appetito!


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