We love to drink pink any time of year—but we tend to reach for rosé wine in spring and summer. And if you’re looking to get some hands-on experience tasting wine and cheese, check out our virtual pairing classes!
Fruity and refreshing, rosé is the perfect wine to pair with many cheeses, especially fresh, bloomy, and less intense aged varieties. However, some cheeses can clash with rosé’s signature bright, citrusy flavors and mineral notes. Follow these rosé wine and cheese pairing tips to ensure your next cheese and wine sesh is perfectly balanced.
Let Color Be Your Guide
A foundational principle of pairing cheese and beverages is to match intensities. That means pairing lighter-bodied, delicately flavored drinks with milder, less intense cheeses and vice versa.
Rosé wine also gives us a visual clue. This style of wine gets its color thanks to anywhere from a few hours to a few days of skin contact during production, which allows the color from red grape skins to infuse the clear grape juice with its signature pink hue. (Red wine gets its deep red color from a much longer period of skin contact, typically weeks.)
Lighter-colored rosé wines tend to have a lighter flavor, more like a crisp white wine, while those with a deeper pink hue will have more body and a fruitier flavor. Color isn’t indicative of sugar content, so don’t worry that a darker-colored rosé will be sugary sweet.
If color is all you have to go on, stick to pairing pale pink wines with fresh cheeses, like chevre, fromage blanc, and fresh mozzarella. They’re also a good match for mild bloomy rind cheeses like Petite Camembert from Marin French Cheese and Merry Goat Round from Firefly Farms.
Darker rosés, meanwhile, can stand up to these cheeses as well as salty feta or halloumi and semi-soft to semi-firm aged cheeses like earthy Prairie Tomme, an earthy sheep’s milk wheel from Green Dirt Farm, and Pecora Nocciola from Landmark Creamery.
Stay Away From Sweet Rosé
When seeking rosé wines to pair with cheese, a good rule of thumb is to look for crisp, tart, dry varieties, often made with grapes like Grenache, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah. These characteristics and their citrusy, mineral, or herbaceous notes best complement the savory richness of cheese.
Note that sweetness alone isn’t a dealbreaker. Some dry or off-dry wines with very little sugar may still taste “sweet,” but that sweetness is actually the flavor of the fruit coming through. Pair dry rosé wines with creamy, soft-ripened goat cheeses like Firefly Farms Spruce Reserve, aged goat wheels like Goat Rodeo’s Wild Rosemary, or aged sheep cheeses like Verano from Vermont Shepherd.
However, if you do enjoy rosé wines that tend to be sweet, like Pink Moscato or White Zinfandel, try pairing them with subtle aged cheeses and mild, creamy blues like Tulip Tree’s double-cream Chicory.
Pair Sparkling Rosé With Lush, Creamy Cheese
What could make drinking rosé more fun? Bubbles! A festive sparkling rosé is the perfect wine to serve with creamy, lush soft cheeses as well as dense, rich aged cheeses. The wine’s acidity and effervescence combine to cleanse the palate, refreshing you for the next delicious bite.
Sparkling rosé wine pairs well with any soft, creamy cheese, especially luscious triple creams like Trillium from Tulip Tree Creamery or Nettle Meadow’s Kunik. You can also serve them with sweet, long-aged Gouda styles and Alpine styles like Rupert Reserve from Consider Bardwell or Gisele, a nutty, cider-washed wheel from Boston Post Dairy.
How to Serve Rosé Wine With Cheese
It’s important to serve both wine and cheese at the proper temperature. Rosé should be chilled when served, ideally between 50°F and 60°F. Between 55°F and 60°F, the floral, fruity notes of the wine will smell and taste more prominent.
Cheese, meanwhile, should be served at room temperature, just below 70°F. If you don’t store your cheese in a Cheese Grotto at 70°F or below, you’ll want to remove your cheese from the fridge at least one hour before you plan to serve it. This allows the cheese’s aromas, flavors, and textures to open up, which means a more delicious pairing experience for you and your guests.
What are your favorite cheeses to enjoy with rosé wine? Tag us @cheesegrotto on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and let us know!