Video: Wine + Cheese > Who Wore It Best? Perfect Pairings

Wine and cheese: two of life’s greatest pleasures …

On CTV’s The Social, we search for the perfect pairing with a fun take on the fashion quiz: Who wore it best?

Which one of two wines paired best with a particular cheese?

Find out who got it right and who didn’t ;)



7 Unusually Great Wine & Cheese Pairings Guide


Cheese and wine The Social Sept 2015 B


Here are the wines we featured on the show … see links below for reviews and to find them in your local liquor store.




  • Hard cheeses like cheddar become not just stronger, but also more balanced in terms of their flavours, salt, and acidity
  • Their flavours often have notes of earth, nuts and coffee

Pair it with Shiraz

  • Full-bodied cheeses and wines are natural together: matching strength of flavour and weight
  • Both age to deeper flavours and both are the product of fermentation
  • Lighter wines like a pinot get overwhelmed by strong cheeses, just as they would with a big juicy steak


  • Double and triple-cream cheeses are tough to match with wine because their creamy texture can smother wine and make it taste thin

Pair with Sparkling Wine

  • Tannic reds, especially young ones such as new world cabernets, can taste bitter, more of wood than fruit, when paired with cheeses that have more butterfat
  • Cabernets with big tannins don’t work well because they clash like eggs and wine
  • Sparkling wine naturally cuts the fat of creamy cheeses with acidity
  • It makes a great pairing of contrasts. It’s also why bubbly works well with other mouth-coating foods like fried chicken and potato chips; it’s a palate cleanser
  • In fact, whine wines and bubblies pair well with cheeses versus reds. Forget those gallery opening cliches of red wine and cheese; when it doubt, default to white


  • It’s a fresh cheese and one of the easiest styles to pair because their flavours are mild
  • This type of cheese often has grassy, chalky notes

Pair it with Rose

  • Dry rose is great with mozzarella. The flavours of field berries and its good acidity pair well with something like a margarita pizza
  • Icewine, for example, is too mouth-coating and sweet for such a light cheese

Blue Cheese

  • One of the most difficult cheeses to pair with wine
  • Saltiness accentuates many aspects of food, including its flavour, and that’s usually a good thing, but it can also intensify both tannins and alcohol

Pair it with Port

  • Blue is dramatic visually and it needs an even stronger, sweeter wine than, for example, cheddar
  • This is why port is classic. The flavours and the salt is so strong in the cheese, it needs and equally hefty wine


Cheese and Wine The Social Sept 2015 630


Domaine Tournon Mathilda Chapoutier Shiraz
Victoria, Australia

Alcohol: 13.5%
Sweetness: Extra Dry
Size: 750 ml

Best Beef Wine

LCBO: 327395
Score: 93/100
Price: $16.25





Kim Crawford Pinot Noir
Marlborough, New Zealand

Alcohol: 13%
Sweetness: Extra Dry
Size: 750 ml

Voluptuous Veal Wine

LCBO: 626390
Score: 90/100
Price: $22.95




Cathedral Cellar Sparkling Brut  Cathedral Cellar Sparkling
Western Cape, South Africa

Alcohol: 12%
Sweetness: Extra Dry
Size: 750 ml

Scrumptious Seafood Wine

LCBO: 296426
Score: 89/100
Price: $16.95




Chateau Ste. Michelle Cabernet Sauvignon  Chateau Ste. Michelle
Columbia Valley, Washington State, United States

Alcohol: 13.5%
Sweetness: Extra Dry
Size: 750 ml

Harmonious Hard Cheese Wine

LCBO: 269357
Score: 92/100
Price: $21.95




Remy Pannier Rosé d’Anjou 2020
Loire Valley, France

Alcohol: 10.5%
Sweetness: Medium
Size: 750 ml

Scrumptious Seafood Wine

LCBO: 12641
Score: 87/100
Price: $15.50






Maculan Pinot Grigio
Veneto I.G.T., Italy

Alcohol: 12.5%
Sweetness: Extra Dry
Size: 750 ml

Charming Grilled Chicken Wine

LCBO: 734921
Score: 89/100
Price: $15.95





Reif Estate Winery Vidal Icewine  Reif Estate
Niagara River, Ontario V.Q.A. Canada

Alcohol: 10%
Sweetness: Sweet
Size: 200 ml

Divine Dessert Wine

LCBO: 544791
Score: 92/100
Price: $24.95





Posted with permission from CTV.



Video: Wine + Cheese > Who Wore It Best? Perfect Pairings

Traci: Welcome back! For many of us wine and cheese are two of life’s greatest pleasures so why not take the time to bring them together with the perfect pairing.

Kate: That’s a match made in heaven, Traci, and here to help us is sommelier and wine writer Natalie MacLean.

Melissa: Welcome back!

Natalie: My cheesy friends better than winos.

Traci: Better than winos.

Melissa: Better than winos, for sure. Okay, what is it about wine and cheese that make them pair so well together?

Natalie: They both start off as natural liquids, so milk and grape juice both go under fermentation and they both end up with a wide range of flavours and complexity and they both can age. I like to say that cheese is milk’s reach for immortality just as wine does for grape juice. They can last a long time so they’re natural partners.

Melissa: Wow. I love that.

Cynthia: I love it, Natalie. Okay, we’re dying to start this tasting. Let’s just put it that way. We each have one type of cheese and two types of varietals in front of us. You’re going to start by telling us about the cheese and then we’ll both try the wines and the cheese together and we’re going to decide who wore it best.

Natalie: Right.

Melissa: The best pairings.

Natalie: Getting a little cheesy, yes.

Cynthia: The best pairings … well I’m going to start.

Natalie: Sorry.

Cynthia: Okay, so I love full-bodied big reds …

Natalie: Right.

Cynthia: I really like big bold cheeses, as well, so, I’m not sure those two things go together or counteract but we’re going to try this out. Let’s start with the cheese, what is this cheddar?

Natalie: You have a nice solid cheddar. As cheddar ages it gets more mature, deeper flavours . Try the cheddars.

Cynthia: Okay.

Natalie: Try the cheese and then go over and try your first wine.

Cynthia: Okay, this one here?

Natalie: Yes.

Cynthia: Right.

Natalie: It’s a full-bodied Shiraz. Think about the flavours you’re getting from the cheese and the wine, dark fruit and nuttiness coffees smoked …

Cynthia: I love it. Its perfect. Are you going to shame me if I get this wrong?

Natalie: No, I know you’re a cheese wiz anyway.

Cynthia: Okay, Should I take another bite of this?

Natalie: Yes, you get to take another bite of the cheese.

Cynthia: Okay. Let’s try this one.

Natalie: And now let’s try a lighter red. This is a Pinot Noir so it’s lighter cherry-berry fruit, a little bit more acidity. What we’re dealing with here is a strongly flavoured cheese. You have a full-bodied red and a lighter one so Cynthia who wore it best?

Cynthia: I prefer the Shiraz.

Natalie: Yes!

Cynthia: Yes!

Melissa: Really?

Natalie: Very good, yes.

Melissa: Okay.

Natalie: There’s no right or wrong answer, it’s very subjective. We’re talking about taste but those two marry well because they need each other on flavour, weight and heft. What’s happening in your mouth is a really happy experience.

Cynthia: It’s a happy dance.

Natalie: Yes.

Melissa: Okay.

Traci: Okay Natalie, I’m not much of a red wine drinker but I do like a glass of bubbly, I do. I was so curious to see which wine tastes better with the cheese…

Natalie: Alright.

Traci: So tell me about the Brie because I can recognize Brie when I see a Brie.

Natalie: Absolutely, another very popular cheese. This is a triple cream cheese.

Traci: Okay.

Natalie: As we’re going along here.

Traci: Don’t mind if I do.

Natalie: It’s mouth coating. so it fills your mouth; every little crevice. Let’s try the red first.

Traci: Okay.

Natalie: Cabernet. You have a dark full-bodied, black fruit, smoke and oak. You also have tannins, that sensation you get from furry mouth if you’re eating walnuts.

Traci: Okay.

Melissa: Okay.

Natalie: So think about the cheese. What’s happening with the wine? Now try a little bit more cheese because I know you are thorough.

Traci: Okay, I am.

Natalie: Excellent.

Traci: I want to get to the bottom of the story.

Natalie: Scientific mind. Now try the Sparkling wine.

Traci: Okay, there’s going to be a party in my mouth right now.

Natalie: There is.

Traci: Alright.

Natalie: So bring it on … yes exactly …  Sparkling wine or Champagne whichever. Now what’s happening?

Traci: Well this is it…

Natalie: Yes.

Traci: We’re here…

Natalie: Absolutely.

Melissa: Very good.

Natalie: The Champagne or Sparkling wine is cutting, like a silver knife, with its acidity. You have this mouth coating that’s going on with the cheese. So just as Champagne or Sparkling wine goes with fried foods and potato chips, it’s a natural for creamy cheese.

Traci: Oh love it, this is perfect!

Melissa: Good to know.

Natalie: Yes.

Traci: It compliments each other … didn’t fight with each other.

Natalie: No, it didn’t fight; they could go on forever.

Kate:  So I love mozzarella.

Traci: I should put this down before, okay.

Kate: I love mozzarella cheese.

Natalie: Yes.

Kate: I eat a lot of pizza.

Natalie: Good.

Kate: I really like it…

Natalie: Excellent.

Kate: So tell me the tasting notes, here.

Natalie: Right, mozzarella is one of the mildest flavoured cheeses. Therefore it’s the easiest to pair with wine. Go ahead and try that mozzarella. It’s also the number one selling cheese all over the planet because it is on pizza.

Kate: I love it.

Natalie: Like it?

Kate: I love it.

Natalie: Okay, We have two wines.

Kate: Tell me about this one.

Natalie: That’s a dry French Rosé so give that a shot. You’re probably going to find there is fleeting aromas of field strawberries and raspberries, some juiciness, some acidity happening along the sides.

Kate: That is exactly what I was thinking, fleeting aromas of strawberry … that was on my mind.

Natalie: Brilliant, you’ve done so well. Okay good.

Kate: It tastes delicious.

Natalie: And now go back to the cheese.

Kate: Okay.

Natalie: Right, because we’re going to try the next wine which is a Niagara Ice wine. We’re talking sweet here.

Kate: Right.

Natalie: Mouth feeling, unctuous…

Melissa: I like that word.

Natalie: Unctuous…

Traci: Unctuous.

Natalie: Unctuous, yes.

Traci: Your unctuous is showing.

Natalie: Oh yes, absolutely.

Traci: I was going to know the definition.

Natalie: Did you get unctuous?

Kate: I got that, yes, I got that too.

Natalie: Good, so do you have a favourite? Which one is more?

Kate: I feel pressure we’re too in awe.

Natalie: Okay, yes.

Kate: I liked the Rosé.

Natalie: Yes!

Kate: Yes!

Natalie: The reason there is the ice wine is almost too flavourful and too sweet. It’s just a mild mozzarella cheese so you don’t want to clobber it.

Kate: It was over powering, that’s why.

Natalie: Exactly, brilliant.

Melissa: Yes.

Kate: Thank you.

Natalie: Alright.

Melissa: No pressure Melissa, okay. So this is not necessarily for everyone’s palate.

Natalie: Okay

Melissa: But I’ve got some good old stinky blue cheese.

Cynthia: I can attest to that. I can smell it from here.

Melissa: You can smell it. I’m sure they can smell it. Okay, so talk to us about this cheese.

Natalie: Blue is the strongest most pungent cheese. It has the most salt, the most acidity, the deepest flavours and that’s often why we do blue cheese at the end of the tasting. You don’t want to overwhelm the other cheeses. So now, we have two wines in front of us.

Melissa: Okay.

Natalie: Try that first one which is a light Pinot Grigio from Italy. Its crisp, it has lemon zest, it does not have any oak but it’s a very light white wine.

Melissa: Well, I have to go for a second.

Natalie: Okay good.

Cynthia: Again?

Melissa: Just making sure.

Natalie: You’re so dedicated.

Melissa: Okay.

Natalie: So now, go back to the cheese. Its pretty strong. We have a Port from Portugal which is a fortified dessert wines so it’s stronger in alcohol, stronger in sugar but naturally so. So now we’re bringing on a stronger flavoured wine and you have the strong flavoured cheese.

Melissa: Wow, okay, so there’s going to be one rule. It’s going to be either like attracts like or opposites attract.

Natalie: Exactly.

Melissa: But in this case I’m actually going to go for the Pinot Grigio.

Natalie: Like the acidity?

Melissa: I do.

Natalie: Yes, absolutely.

Melissa: But it’s the wrong answer. It’s the wrong answer.

Natalie: It’s alright. There is no wrong answer … everyone can be happy.

Traci: But it’s the wrong answer.

Melissa: Yes.

Natalie: Oh Mel!

Cynthia: This is good for Mel because Mel doesn’t like to be wrong, ever.

Melissa: I don’t like to be wrong.

Traci: So you’re going to have to come back real soon.

Natalie: Yes, exactly. We’ll re-do the blues I think.

Melissa: But I’m open to learning.

Natalie: Oh good.

Melissa: Is that mean I can drink some more?

Natalie: That mean you can be a cheese wiz in the end.

Melissa: Okay.

Natalie: Sorry.

Melissa: This was brilliant.

Cynthia: Natalie, this is brilliant. Thank you so much for shaming Mel in front of everyone and of course we’re going to have all of Natalie’s tips posted on our website after the show. Don’t go anywhere, we’ll be right back.



Posted with permission of CTV



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