Wine and cheese are natural partners, and with hundreds of Italian options of both to pick from, we want to make the choice easier for you. Here are eight delizioso cheese and vino pairings worth trying any time!
Traditional Mozzarella is made from cow’s milk, but this world-famous cheese can also come from buffalo’s, sheep’s, or even goat’s milk. Its soft texture and freshness make elegant white wines an ideal match. Try it with a wine from the southern Campania region, where the cheese likely originated. We recommend a stone fruit- and honey-scented Fiano di Avellino.
Gorgonzola hails from Italy’s northern Lombardy region, dating back to the 9th century. Today, this blue- or green-veined cheese comes in two main styles. The softer, more mild is Dolce, and the more intense, crumbly, and tangier is Piccante. Sweeter white wines such as Sauternes or late-harvest Riesling complement the flavor without overpowering it.
The delicate and creamy cheese known as Ricotta is produced by adding milk to the whey that remains after making harder cheeses. This will benefit from crisp white or rosé wine pairings to balance out its fresh, mildly sweet character. Young Sauvignon Blanc from Loire or a newly released Provence rosé will work beautifully.
Hard, salty Pecorino Romano is produced from sheep’s milk, with younger versions making a fine appetizer. If you have a more mature one, grate it over pasta and meat dishes, especially those of Roman cuisine. Try drinking a powerful Barolo or Brunello di Montalcino with a little bottle age to match the boldness of this beloved Italian cheese.
Also from Lombardy, creamy, buttery, and sweeter Mascarpone has a slightly lemon-like quality, making it popular in cheesecake and tiramisu recipes. For these desserts, a light and sweet Moscato d’Asti will do the trick. While, for main dishes that include Mascarpone, try a lively sparkling wine like Prosecco.
Another creamy, mildly sweet cheese is Buratta, a cow’s milk and comes from Italy’s southeast Puglia region. This incredibly milky variety is a true delight! Enjoy it on its own with a delicate garnish of olive oil and seasoning or melted on top of a crispy, wood-fired pizza. A glass of fresh, easy drinking Pinot Grigio makes for an absolutely wonderful pairing.
Fontina is produced from cow’s milk in the far northwestern corner of Italy called Valle d’Aosta. It can range in style from soft and subtle to firm, intense, and nutty. Lighter-bodied red wines including fruitier Valpolicella or Beaujolais are reliable options to go with this semi-cooked cheese.
Close in style to Parmigiano-Reggiano and also originating from northern Italy, Grana Padano is an unpasteurized cow’s milk cheese. History states it was initially made by Cistercian monks. Its hard, aromatic, and buttery-flavored style calls for bolder red wines softened a bit from aging. Chianti Classico, particularly Riserva bottlings, or Super Tuscans produced from Bordeaux grape varieties will prove quite complementary.
Let us know what wine and cheese you’re pairing together by leaving a comment below. Saluti!