Balderson Cheddar Cheese and Canadian Wine Pairing Contest

You can read the 85 comments from our interactive tasting on Facebook.


Savour your holidays with these terrific Balderson Cheddar Cheese and Canadian wine pairings.

Congratulations to the winners of the Balderson Cheddar Cheese and Wine Pairing contest! It was a fierce race for 10 days …


Lori Kilmartin 2016

Lori Kilmartin
Sommelier & Blogger





Lynn Vanderlinde


Lynn van der Linde
Certified Sommelier and Event Planner




Donna Hargrove

Donna Hargrove
Wine Blogger & Tasting Group Leader









This poll closed on December 18. The three people with the most votes each won a Balderson gift basket valued at $70.

Balderson Gift Basket



Sylvain Segard

Sylvain Segard
Accredited Sommelier

Which came first, wine or cheese? One thing for certain is that a great one calls for another.  The sharp nose and dry buttery texture of the Balderson Vintners Extra-Old Cheddar tawse-chardonnayagree wonderfully with the pear and melon aromas and the ripe orchard fruit flavours of the Tawse Robyn’s Block Chardonnay 2011, from the Twenty Mile Bench VQA region of Niagara.

Tawse Winery Inc. Robyn’s Block Chardonnay 2011
Beamsville Bench, Canada

The hint of honey flavour in the wine brings out the aged cream in the cheese and the Chardonnay’s racy acidity helps cleans the palate, leaving you ready for another bite.



Fireside companions: cheese, nuts and port-style wine are a great snack following a stargazing evening at the country house.  But, the pairing of the N.V. Union Forté 2012 — a Merlot, Cabernets, and Shiraz blend from Niagara Peninsula — with the Double Smoked Balderson Cheddar is like having your very own edible fireplace on a serving union-forte-generations-2012tray.

Union Forté Generations 2012

Niagara Peninsula, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada

The gentle heat from the fortified wine warms your chest while the ‘fumé’ smell of the cheese evokes tidings of fireside chats with loved ones.  The Forté’s stewed fruits flavours and toffee aromas blend beautifully with the sharpness of the one-year aged Canadian cheddar.

And, the smokiness of the Balderson cheese enhances the toasted and nutty character of the home-grown port-style wine.  Please Sir! May I have some more?  – Sylvain Segard




Monique Sousa 2

Monique Sosa
Wine Columnist, Ottawa Family Living Magazine

A rich and elegant wine meets a smoky and scrumptious cheese.

Wine and cheese pairing is perhaps the most fundamental pairing on the planet.  It’s easy, it’s natural, it’s crowd pleasing.  So, imagine my delight, as a certified sommelier, when I was presented with the challenged of finding an iconic pairing of Balderson Cheese with a Canadian wine.

The Balderson Vintner’s Cheddar is a moderate tangy creamy and light bodied cheddar.  The Balderson Smoked Cheddar oozes creamy rich smoke, bacon, and roasted hazelnut notes.

I quickly developed a fondness for the smoked cheddar and my first instinct pointed to matching weight with weight.

So, here is my take on it.  I thoroughly enjoyed pairing both the Vintner’s Cheddar and Smoked Cheddar with the exquisite rich full-bodied Thirty Bench 2012 Chardonnay. This buttery lightly toasted mouth-watering Small Lot Niagara Chardonnay showcases intense notes of apple, pear,  citrus blossom, vanilla and freshly baked biscuit.

Thirty Bench is a Niagara gem nestled on the Beamsville Bench sub-appellation.  They hand pick and hand-sort their Chardonnay grapes year after year from their own estate vineyard.

They vinify a style of Chardonnay that often emulates that of Burgundy incorporating barrel fermentation, malolactic conversion,  sur lie and barrel aging.

Together with the cheeses (especially the smoked cheddar), this wine shone brilliantly!





Matt Steeves

Matt Steeves
Wine Expert, CTV Morning Live

I love this value-priced oaky Chardonnay with the Double Smoked Balderson Cheddar.  Such a great pairing, In fact it’s a #perfectpairing for me.

A delicious value-priced, full-bodied, Niagara-on-the-Lake Chardonnay that shows just how rich and textured a ‘cool-climate’ Chardonnay can be.

G. Marquis didn’t hold back when they produced this bold and flavourful barrel-aged Chardonnay that shows crisp, yellow apple, baked pears and  biscuits, with sweet toasty oak

G. Marquis Vineyards The Silver Line Chardonnay 2011
Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario VQA, Canada

Creamy and balanced, this single vineyard Niagara Chardonnay would complement rich mushroom risotto dishes, roasted poultry with butternut squash, and is absolute dynamite with double smoked Balderson cheddar, a personal favourite of mine. Drink 2016-2018.







Jennifer Macdonald

Jennifer MacDonald Havers
Wine Columnist, Ottawa Citizen

How about a glass of Chardonnay to enjoy with your cheese? Balderson’s Vintners Cheddar for white wines is ideally balanced for this beautiful Canadian Chardonnay from Rosewood Estates on the Beamsville Bench in Ontario.

Aged 20 months, this cheddar is tangy and creamy, with a clean finish. This Chardonnay has nice crisp acidity, and bright citrus flavours, along with soft notes of honey that complement the tangy and salty flavours in the cheese.

The creamy and honey notes in the wine come from 14 months aging in a mix of small old and new oak barrels. This really makes the cheddar come alive. If you really want to make this pairing pop, drizzle a bit of honey on the cheese!

HyperFocal: 0

Rosewood Estates Winery & Meadery Chardonnay 2015
VQA, Niagara, Ontario, Canada

Balderson’s Double Smoked Cheddar is aged for 12 months and cold smoked twice using a mixture of hardwoods. Why not try a beautiful Canadian blend with this cheese?


Henry of Pelham’s Family Tree red blend is primarily Syrah and Merlot, along with Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Baco Noir. The Syrah and Merlot bring smooth, bright fruit flavours to this wine that highlight the smoky flavours of the cheese.

That hint of rich Baco Noir has a smoky note in the wine that bring out the intensity of the smoke in both the wine and cheese.

Enjoy next to a warm cozy fire.


Henry of Pelham Winery Family Tree Red 2014
Niagara Peninsula, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada

Sara Mantle

Some people tend to shy away from pairing cheeses with red wines, but the pairing of Balderson’s Championship White Cheddar with Moon Curser’s Border Vines is as wonderful a pairing as rum and eggnog!








Cora Beaulieu
Wine & Travel Blogger

A great many of the world’s most cherished food combinations (like peanut butter and jelly) pair an astringent food, which causes the mouth to pucker up, with a fatty food, the-foreign-affair-bottle-shotwhich causes the mouth to feel slippery.

So what exactly am I saying? This wine and cheese pairing is a match made in heaven.

The Foreign Affair Winery The Conspiracy Cabernet Sauvignon
Niagara Peninsula, Ontario VQA, Canada
“The Foreign Affair, The Conspiracy Wine” complements “Balderson’s Vintners Extra-Old” Cheddar cheese.

It’s a great pairing – the Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot/Cabernet Franc blend with its intense flavorful aromas and well-developed tannins, and extra-old cheddar with its smooth texture and rich, full-body.

This is the right combination of wine and cheese and they will add a touch of elegance to any gathering. I’ll drink (and eat) to that.





jon new

Jon Steeves
Accredited Sommelier & Bloggerarterra-pinot-noir-2015

Enjoyed the Balderson double smoked cheddar-topped chicken
tortilla soup paired with Niagara’s  Arterra Pinot Noir.

The melted smoked aged cheddar and smoked spices pair well with the juicy mouth-watering red fruit and light minerality notes from the Pinot Noir.

Arterra Pinot Noir 2015
Niagara Peninsula, Ontario VQA, Canada






Lynn Vanderlinde

Lynn van der Linde
Certified Sommelier and Event Planner

Flirty fun around a crackling fire…

For a fun and festive pairing this holiday season, serve your guests Balderson’s Double Smoked Cheddar with Colio Estate Lily Sparklingcolio-sparkling wine. With flavours of green apple, nectarine and a touch of toasted pear, this flirty wine brings out the sultry smoke from a mixture of hard woods in the cheese.

Colio Estate Wines Lily

Harrow, Ontario VQA, Canada

A study in contrasts, the delicate acidity of the wine truly showcases the hardiness and complexity of this cheese, and the persistent fizz helps lengthen the overall finish… reminiscent of roasted nuts on an open fire.

This is what happens when flirty fun meets sultry sophistication.





Rachelle 3

Rachelle O’Connor
Wine Blogger & Judge

The Award winning Benjamin Bridge 2014 Borealis is a shining example of a Nova Scotian Icewine produced amidst a perfect Maritime Climate.

The wine is a deep golden yellow with aromas of caramelized apples, peaches, apricot and citrus.

Benjamin Bridge Borealis Vidal Icewine 2014 bb-icewine
Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia, Canada

There is an abundance of texture on the palate – yet so well balanced.  The grapes are hand picked from the vines and gently pressed to extract their juice.  After four years of careful aging this wine is ready to bottle.

Pairing this wine with the Extra Old Cheddar is truly a match made in heaven.  Balderson Vintners Extra Old Cheddar is a true Canadian representation of quality and elegance.

Aged 20 months, this particular cheese has a creamy texture, some underlying sharpness and a rich buttery flavor.  The sweet apple flavors in the wine cleanse the palate with each bite of the sharp cheddar.

Cozy up to the fireplace, wrap yourself in a warm blanket and enjoy the delectable pairing of these two!



Jane Staples 1

Jane Staples
Wine Columnist, Ottawa Wedding Magazine


Neige Recolte D’hiver 2012
Monterigie, Quebec, Canada

Alcohol: 9%
Price: $19.95
Drink: 2012-2015
Bottle size: 375 ml

Neige is a luscious dessert wine from Monterigie, Quebec. Lovely fragrant nose of sweet red apple, floral notes and spice. Rich apple pie and cinnamon on the palate.

This works equally well with savoury or sweet dishes.  Here, I paired it with Balderson Vintners White Cheddar.  It would also be delicious with gingerbread or warm apple pie and vanilla ice cream.  It’s a perfect gift wine for the holidays, too.



David Skinner
Wine & Travel Columnist, Outdoor Magazine


Thirty Bench Wine Makers Triangle Riesling 2007
Beamsville Bench, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada

Portobello mushrooms with basil, tomato and Balderson Double Smoked Cheddar. This paired fantastically with a 2007 Thirty Bench “Triangle Vineyard” Riesling.

The umami of the mushroom, acidity of the tomatoes and smokey highlights of the cheese fit like a glove with the wine’s crispness , boldness and apple flavours.

The Riesling never was overpowered by the food’s texture and the food added depth to the wine. Great match!




Lori Kilmartin 2016

Lori Kilmartin
Sommelier & Blogger

Balderson Double Smoked Cheddar & Casa Dea Oriana

There is a saying “Apple pie without cheese is like a kiss without a squeeze.” I’ve also heard it said that cheese and dessert pairings are “almost” better than cheese and wine.

That being said – why not have all three! If you really want to up your game next time company is over, use Balderson Double Smoked Cheddar on your freshly baked pie and pair it with Prince Edward County Casa Dea’s Oriana.

This fortified Pinot Gris aged in 6 months of French oak compliments the smoky aromas and flavour that permeates this twice cold smoked cheddar. The cheddar brings out the flavour of the fresh baked apples and both are a perfect match with this lush sweet wine. I’ve coming up with my own saying: “Apple pie with cheese and wine – are the ONLY way to dine.”





Gwen Barton

Gwen Barton
Certified Sommelier

Keep it simple over the holidays!  Nothing says “Welcome, so glad you’re here” to your Holiday guests than some flavourful cheese and a well matched Canadian wine.  And Balderson’s makes it easy.

I have paired Balderson’s Vintners Cheddar for White Wine with Kacaba’s 2015 Unoaked Chardonnay.

Kacaba Vineyards Unoaked Chardonnay 2015kacaba-vineyards-unoaked-chardonnay-2015
Niagara Escarpment, Canada

Located on the Niagara Escarpment in Vineland, Ontario, Kacaba’s has produced this wonderfully clear, crisp and aromatic Chardonnay.  Without the oak influence, the notes of peach, apple and minerality shine.

Balderson’s rich, creamy cheddar yields to the wine’s generous acidity, enhances the sweetness and makes for a perfect pairing.

Hope you enjoy it  as much as I did- Happy Holidays!




On a cool December night, a comfy couch, an afghan throw and a book in hand….. who wouldn’t enjoy a glass of Canadian red and some naturally smoke-cured cheese – more specifically, Balderson Double Smoked Cheddar.

Angels Gate Winery Angels Gate Winery Merlot 2012angels-gate-merlot
Niagara Peninsula, Canada

The cold smoking technique used by Balderson gently saturates the cheese with a perfect hint of smokiness and an enchanting caramel colour on the exterior of the block.

This paired extremely well with Angels Gate Merlot – a medium bodied, fruity wine with notes of dark chocolate, leather and tobacco.  Can’t you just taste it? Incredible.





Doug McMillan Photo

Doug McMillan
Accredited Sommelier & Blogger

This cheese is great on its own, so I thought going “like for like” would be a nice approach. I wanted to try and find a good red wine pairing for this, and after trying a few potential wines, the Henry of Pelham 2012 Pinot Noir jumped out as a great match.

The smokiness and light tanginess of the cheese blended into the smokiness of the wine, with its added bright fruit characters, just adding the right amount of sparkle without taking anything away.

Henry of Pelham Winery Pinot Noir 2012henry-of-pelham-estate-pinot-noir-2012
Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, V.Q.A., Canada

I tried some bigger wines and was surprised that the best pairing was a Pinot. I think in this case, the body, flavour, and tannins are all at just the right level for this cheese, enhancing it without overpowering.

Once again, Henry of Pelham doesn’t disappoint. If you’re a red wine fan, this is the pairing for you.






Milena and John

Milena Parent & John Kowal
Authors, Love Decanted

The cheeses were great by themselves and paired nicely with garlic and Parmesan crackers. They tasted even better when paired with the Cuvée Rosé.

13th Street Winery Cuvée Sparkling Brut Rosé Méthode Traditionnelle Rosé 13th-st-roseWines 
V.Q.A., Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada

Though the sparkling wine, made by French master winemaker, Jean-Pierre Colas, is a rosé, it paired very well with the cheeses, at least according to Scottish Santa (and us). In particular, it brought out the smokiness of the Double Smoked Cheddar Cheese.

Santa asked us to save some cheese for his upcoming visit at the end of the month, too!


Mary Anne van Gaal

Mary Anne Van Gaal
Wine Tasting Club Leader

So you are not a baker, and someone unexpectedly drops in over the holidays, no worries if you have a package of Balderson Double Smoked Cheddar and a bottle of Karlo Estates Van Alstine Fortified White chilling in the fridge.

Karlo Estates Van Alstine White 2013 karlo-estates-van-alstine-white-2013
Prince Edward County, Ontario VQA, Canada

This pairing will ensure no one misses dessert. The sharpness and wood smoked flavour of the cheese complements the balanced sweetness of the wine. This unique fortified wine is a blend of Frontenac Blanc and Traminette.

Floral and apricot aromas, followed by sweet citrus flavours, create a heavenly match. Throw in some salted, smoked almonds and you have perfection. Cheers!




sara-mantleSara Mantle
Wine Blogger & Sommelier


Border Vines is a red blend dominated by Malbec, Cabernet Franc & Merlot, offering soft tannins, a lush mouth-feel and notes of cassis, violet and a long, smoky finish.moon-curser-border-vines-2009

What makes it work? The Championship Cheddar has a smooth, buttery texture that matches the weight of the wine. The tangy saltiness brightens Border Vines’ fruit & floral flavours, and the smoky hints in both marry well without overpowering the other delicate flavours.

Add some smoked charcuterie and kalamata olives to round out your holiday appetizer plate!

Moon Curser Border Vines 2009
British Columbia, Canada





Colin McKone

Colin McKone
Algonquin Sommelier Graduate

Balderston Double Smoked Cheddar and Foreign Affair: The Conspiracy 2013

Balderson Double Smoked Cheddar Cheese and Foreign Affair: The Conspiracy 2013 is a perfect match for a simple midnight pleasure.  The flavours of the Balderson are strong but not over the-foreign-affair-bottle-shotpowering and match perfectly up with The Conspiracy with its enhanced flavours brought out from the appasimento wine making process.  The smokiness in the wine and cheese compliment each other while the creaminess of the cheese and the fruit flavours of the wine shine through and delight the palate.


The Foreign Affair Winery The Conspiracy Cabernet Sauvignon
Niagara Peninsula, Ontario VQA, Canada



SONY DSCPam Chiles

Pam Chiles
Wine & Food Blogger


 (To the Tune of Jingle Bells)

Driving through the snow
To get our bottle of wine
Over to the L-C-B-O
With a mission in mind

Pair with an awesome cheese
Bal-der-son indeed!
So many choices there
How’s a somm to fare?!

Vintners Cheese
Oh yes please
We want some today
With a wine
That’s oh so fine
Like Kin Vin Char-don-nay!!!

Smooth and creamy Vintners cheese juxtaposes beautifully with crisp, sharp and nutty Chard from Kin Vineyards – how’s that for local??kin-vineyards-chardonnay-2015

Happy Holidays!!

Kin Vineyards Chardonnay 2015
Lincoln Lakeshore, Niagara, Ontario VQA, Canada





Melanie Aubert

Melanie Aubert
Sommelier & Blogger

Henry of Pelham Cuvée Catharine Rosé Brut + Double-Smoked Cheddar

As you can tell by the amount of wine left in the bottle, this was a very popular wine in our household! This lovely rosé bubbly from Niagara is a blend of chardonnay and pinot noir.

Made using the traditional method of Champagne, this wine is aged on its lees for over two years, contributing a delicious biscuity aroma in addition to that of strawberries and roses. The fine bubbles positively dance on the tongue! They are the secret to this fabulous pairing.

The effervescence of this wine is what helps it stand up to the cheese, cutting through its smokiness and creamy texture, while the fruity characteristics of the wine complement the flavours. A festive and fun pairing!217505-hop



Henry of Pelham Winery Cuvee Catharine Rose Brut
Niagara Escarpment, Ontario VQA, Canada



Harwood Merlot + Vintner’s Cheddar

Just because the label on the cheese shows a glass of white wine doesn’t mean you can’t think outside the box! So how about a juicy merlot to go with your cheddar?

Harwood Estate is an entirely solar-powered winery in Prince Edward County. Its ruby-red merlot shows glorious black fruit on the nose, and on the palate reveals black cherry, raspberry, plum, leather, and smoke.

The tannins are nicely integrated in this delicious medium-bodied red, whose fruit-forward flavours, good acidity and texture is a great match for the creamy Vintner’s Cheddar. This wine gets bonus points from me because of the sailboat on the label.

Harwood Estate Vineyard Merlot 2014
Hillier, Prince Edward County, Ontario VQA, Canada







Mymi Myriam
Sommelier & Musician


Double Smoked Cheddar with Henry of Pelham Baco Noir 2015

This 2015 Henry of Pelham Baco Noir is bursting with deep dark berries and juicy ripe black plums melting in perfectly with the creaminess of the cheese. The earthiness of the wine is softened by the velvety cheese texture and boosts the mouth-feel into heavenly sumptuousness.

The natural smokiness of the Baco enhances that of the cheese creating a sinful and delectable bite.hop-baco-noir



Henry of Pelham Winery Baco Noir 2015
Niagara, Ontario VQA, Canada



Extra Old Vintners Cheddar with Red Stone Cabernet Franc Icewine 2010

This Red Stone Cabernet Franc Icewine is the prettiest pink color!

Exuberant on the nose with intense aromas of strawberry, peaches, cotton candy and a hint of Kirsch. Its unctuousness is the perfect complement to the saltiness, tartness and crumbly texture of the cheese.



Redstone Winery Cabernet Franc Icewine
Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada







Vote for your favourite pairings at the top of this post!


BaldersonVintnersLBJune2013Get tips on pairing Canadian wine and cheddar cheese.

Here’s how to store and serve Canadian cheddar cheese.


2015 cheddar

Try these delicious Canadian cheese cheese recipes:

Barbecue Bruschetta Cheddar Recipe

Balderson Cheese and Olive Nuggets Recipe

Summer Smoked Cheese Platter Recipe Paired with Shiraz, Merlot

Monday Night Mac and Cheese Recipe Paired with Niagara Pinot Noir

Squash Herbs Soup Recipe Paired with Riesling

Thai-style Shrimp and Cheddar Spring Rolls Recipe with Pinot Grigio and Rose

Delicious Curry Rice with Cheddar Recipe

Three Cheese Caribbean Rice Recipe Paired with Sparkling Wine

Chicken and Canadian Cheddar Sliders Recipe with Chardonnay and Riesling Pairings

Warm Cheddar Pretzels Recipe Paired with Merlot

Cheddar Stuffed Meatballs Recipe, Cabernet Franc Wine Pairing

Poutine Recipe Paired with Australian Shiraz

2015 Cheese Match logo small



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