Have you noticed something in the air has
changed? Tank tops are being traded for flannels, pumpkin lattes are popping up
on menus, and whispers of apple picking are rustling through the trees. That’s
right! Fall is on your doorstep, and that means it’s time to start planning your
autumnal cheese pairings.
Whether you love pairing cheese with wine, fruit, or
snacks, we’ve got a bounty of dynamic duos filled with flavor and classic fall favorites. (We
promise there’s more to fall than just pumpkins!) From creamy blues to crumbly
goudas, you’ll fall in love with our cheese pairings at first bite.
The basics of cheese pairing
Before diving into creating fall-inspired
cheese pairings, let’s lay out some fundamentals of pairing cheese with
Start by matching strengths
Whether you’re pairing cheese with
wine, beer, or anything in between, we always recommend you start
by asking if the strengths of flavors match. For instance, a pungent limburger necessitates an equally strong pairing so the cheese doesn’t overwhelm the other flavors.
A mild gouda, meanwhile, would be best suited to a light-bodied wine to
complement its more delicate flavor profile. By matching strengths, the flavors
of the wine and cheese dance in synchrony with each other rather than competing
for the spotlight.
Think about contrast
This is where the oft-repeated principle of opposites attract comes into play. This rings true for cheese pairings as much as it does for anything else. Salty and sweet are
especially popular flavor pairings that can really play off of each other well. For instance, the creamy, salty, and earthy notes
cheese pair exceptionally
well with a ripe, juicy fig or a sweet dessert wine like sherry. While the
individual elements of the pairing possess distinctly different
characteristics, the blending of their opposing flavor profiles creates a
complex and delicious contrast.
Find flavor bridges
When putting a pairing together, certain flavors may need
a little help to really shine. That’s where flavor bridges come in handy. As
the name suggests, flavor bridges are ingredients included in a pairing to form
links between cheese and your other foods or beverages.
For example, a simple but effective ingredient that
acts as an optimal flavor bridge is honey. While it may not be the first thing
that comes to mind when thinking about cheese, honey complements a variety of
cheeses. Try a bite of ricotta topped with honey and a small slice of salty
prosciutto. Paired with a sip of sauvignon blanc, it tastes just like a crisp
autumn day spent cuddled under a cozy blanket.
Our Top 5 Autumn Cheese Pairings
Marieke® Aged Gouda and Candied Pecans
A mild, yellow cheese with Dutch roots, Marieke® Aged Gouda is an autumn must-try cheese. Beginning with fresh raw milk from her family farm, Marieke handcrafts each wheel with Old World inspired cheesemaking techniques.
This includes aging their gouda to perfection on Dutch pine planks. As their gouda ages, the cheese develops caramel notes, nuttiness, and a little tang that makes it picture-perfect as fall fare. Try pairing Marieke® Aged Gouda with candied pecans for a sweet, salty, and crunchy pairing. It’s an unbeatable autumnal combination that will get you ready to pick pumpkins and enjoy the changing colors of the season like nothing else.
Thinking of taking a deeper look into the world of cheese pairing? We recommend starting with our beginner’s guide to cheese pairing. It's super fascinating.
Maple Leaf Cheese’s Apple
Harvest Cheddar and Fresh Apple
Originally hailing from England before
spreading around the globe, cheddar is a time-tested and widely beloved
cheese. When combined with apple and cinnamon, Maple
Leaf’s award-winning cheddar
evolves into Apple Harvest Cheddar Cheese—a sensational fall cheese perfect for the
Expect a perfectly balanced sweet and salty cheese, with spicy swirls
of cinnamon running throughout. Adding a fresh, crisp apple further elevates
this autumnal powerhouse cheese while adding textural variety. A sweet apple
like a Pink Lady or Honeycrisp are exquisite choices to pair with Maple Leaf’s
Apple Harvest Cheddar Cheese.
Buttermilk Blue and a Pumpkin Ale
Whether you’re still on
the fence about blue
cheese or a die-hard
cheese makes for a perfect
fall pairing. We love enjoying Roth’s flagship Buttermilk Blue year-round
for its tangy yet mellow flavor, especially in the autumn. Roth crafts this
creamy cheese with fresh, local milk and cellar ages it for over two months.
ale is the ideal pairing to match the intensity of Roth Buttermilk Blue.
Commonly infused with cinnamon and nutmeg, the sweet notes of pumpkin and spicy
seasonings balance this savory blue cheese. Consider any blues (not of the cheese type, of course) to be washed
away with this pairing.
Cello’s Rubbed Fontal-Pumpkin Spice Wedge and Sauvignon Blanc
Pumpkin Spice Latte season, anyone? Pumpkin spice is the quintessential flavor of the season, and this cheese is the best way to indulge. Cello’s Rubbed Fontal- Pumpkin Spice Wedge delivers a smooth, creamy texture and mild, slightly sweet flavor. What sets this fontal cheese apart? The rubbing and aging process. Combining cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and honey, this seasonal blend is hand rubbed onto the creamy fontal cheese.
To create Cello’s signature fontal cheese flavor and texture characteristics, cheesemakers add the rub during its 60-day aging process. The result is a sweet, spicy, and deeply aromatic cheese. A wine that matches the lower-intensity flavor profile of this fontal cheese is a sauvignon blanc. Crisp, light, and refreshing, this wine pairs perfectly with the delicate balance of flavors in Cello’s Rubbed Fontal-Pumpkin Spice Wedge.
Edelweiss Butterkäse Cheese
and an Oktoberfest Ale
Originating in Germany and Austria, butterkäse is a creamy, mild cheese perfect for the
fall season. butterkäse, which
translates to “buttery cheese,” received its name based off its soft and silky,
butter-like texture. Edelweiss Butterkäse cheese is mellow in
flavor with a lovely creamy texture. Edelweiss crafts this cheese with the
addition of butter cultures, resulting in an exceptionally rich mouthfeel.
cheese pairing, we love to “go where it grows”—picking out a beverage from the
same region where the cheese was first developed. That’s why we recommend
pairing Edelweiss Butterkäse cheese with an Oktoberfest beer like
Marzen. Rich in malt and balanced with a hoppy bitterness, Marzen’s crisp edge cuts
through the butterkäse’s decadent flavor profile for a complex and satisfying contrast.
If all this talk of cheese pairing has gotten you hungry
for a cheese tasting, you can get Wisconsin’s finest cheeses delivered right
to your door with our continuously updated list of cheesemakers and
retailers that allow you to order
Award-winning Wisconsin Cheese is just a click away.
Craving something else? Choose from our selection of over
400 recipes featuring Wisconsin Cheese. Don’t
forget to share your creative cheesy creations with us on Facebook and Instagram.