Cabernet Sauvignon Cheese Pairing: 11 Matches to Try

cabernet sauvignon cheese pairing guide pile of cheeses

Cabernet Sauvignon, a renowned grape varietal celebrated for its bold and robust flavors, marries beautifully with a spectrum of cheeses. Lucky us!

Considering the specific style of Cabernet Sauvignon you favor, the ideal cheese selection can accentuate the unique nuances of this distinguished wine.

Below you’ll find 11 Cabernet Sauvignon cheese pairings that work well with this famous red wine.

Understanding Cabernet Sauvignon

what does cabernet sauvignon wine taste like - cabernet sauvignon cheese pairing

Cabernet Sauvignon, characterized by its deep red hue and complex flavors, is a full-bodied wine with prominent notes of black currant, black cherry, and often hints of vanilla or cedar. It often boasts a medium to high tannin content, giving it a robust structure.

Discover More: Quick Cabernet Sauvignon Wine Guide

The fat, protein, and salt in cheese will help cut through the high tannin levels in Cabernet Sauvignon and make your wine seem fruitier and smoother.

All good things.

Additionally, Cabernet Sauvignon’s robust profile can stand up to strong cheeses, like garlic-infused, smoked, and aged cheeses.

If you like bold flavors, this is your wine.

Pairing Cabernet Sauvignon with Cheese

cabernet sauvignon cheese pairing - cheese counter

Pairing Cabernet Sauvignon with the right cheese can bring out the best in both. The wine’s bold flavors and tannic structure are complemented by cheeses that have richness, depth, and a hint of sharpness. Here are some outstanding pairings to elevate your Cabernet Sauvignon experience:

1. Cabernet Sauvignon & Aged Cheddar

Aged cheddar, with its sharp and nutty profile, pairs splendidly with Cabernet Sauvignon. The bold flavors and crumbly texture of the cheese stand up to the wine’s robust character.

2. Cabernet Sauvignon & Gouda

Gouda, a semi-hard cheese with a rich, caramel-like flavor, offers a delightful pairing with Cabernet Sauvignon. Its creamy and slightly sweet taste complements the wine’s complexity.

3. Cabernet Sauvignon & Blue Cheese

Blue cheese, with its pungent and tangy notes, creates a bold and exciting pairing with Cabernet Sauvignon. The intensity of both the wine and the cheese amplifies the tasting experience.

4. Cabernet Sauvignon & Aged Edam

Edam, known for its smooth, nutty flavor, flavor, is similar to Gouda and is a classic choice to accompany Cabernet Sauvignon. Its savory taste enhances the structure of the wine.

5. Cabernet Sauvignon & Havarti

Havarti, a Danish cheese with a buttery and slightly sweet taste, provides a milder option for Cabernet Sauvignon pairings. Its creamy texture complements the wine’s robust nature.

6. Cabernet Sauvignon & Gruyère

Gruyère, a nutty and slightly sweet Swiss cheese, pairs elegantly with Cabernet Sauvignon. The cheese’s complex flavors harmonize with the wine’s depth.

7. Cabernet Sauvignon & Swiss Cheese

Swiss cheese, with its mild and slightly nutty-tangy taste, forms a versatile pairing with Cabernet Sauvignon. Its smooth texture and subtle flavors allow the wine’s profile to shine. This is a perfect cheese to pair with an aged Cab Sav.

8. Cabernet Sauvignon & Monterey Jack

Monterey Jack, a mild and creamy cheese, offers a gentle pairing with Cabernet Sauvignon. Its mild flavors complement the wine without overpowering it. Another good cheese choice for aged Caberent.

9. Cabernet Sauvignon & Colby

Colby cheese, known for its mild and slightly sweet taste, provides a pleasant and approachable pairing with Cabernet Sauvignon. The cheese’s creaminess balances well with the wine.

10. Cabernet Sauvignon & Mozzarella

Fresh mozzarella, with its mild and milky taste, is a delightful choice for Cabernet Sauvignon pairings. Its soft texture and subtle flavors complement the wine without overwhelming it. While this is a softer, lighter cheese, it works well with cooler climate Cabernet Sauvignons, like a generic Bordeaux.

11. Cabernet Sauvignon & Red Leicester

Red Leicester, a British cheese with a mellow, nutty taste, is a wonderful match for Cabernet Sauvignon. Its slightly crumbly texture and savory notes complement the wine’s bold flavors.

Tips for Pairing Different Cabernet Sauvignon Wine Styles with Cheese

cheese and cabernet sauvignon pairing - white cheese on wood

Of course, Cabernet Sauvignon wines can come in different styles, from young and tanning, to aged and layered. Here are a few things to keep in mind if you have a cellar of different Cabernet wines to choose from:

  • Youthful, Tannic Cabernet Sauvignon: Young Cabernets have biting tannins. They’ll stand up to hard, aged cheeses – try a Manchego.
  • Aged Cabernet Sauvignon with Soft Tannins: If you have an aged Cab Sav, it needs to be the star of the show. Layered flavors will pair well with milder, softer cheeses that let the wine shine through. Try an aged white cheddar.
  • Full-bodied Bold Cabernets: I’m looking at you Napa Cabs! Stick with aged cheddar cheeses, smoked goudas, and cheeses with big, robust flavors to match.

Discover: Red Wine Pairing Guide (for all the other reds in your cellar).

What Cheeses Don’t Pair with Cabernet Sauvignon?

sliced cheese on brown wooden chopping board - cabernet sauvignon cheese pairing

Cabernet can overpower some cheese styles, or even contrast with their flavor profiles. Here are are few cheese and Cabernet pairings you’ll want to avoid:

  • Goat Cheese
  • Blue Cheese
  • Brie
  • Camembert
  • Parmesan

Discover: Goat Cheese and Wine Pairing Guide

Final Thoughts: Cabernet Sauvignon and Cheese Pairing Ideas


Initiate your exploration of Cabernet Sauvignon and cheese pairings by considering the particular style of this iconic wine—whether it’s rich and bold or slightly milder.

Opt for a diverse selection of cheeses to accompany your Cabernet Sauvignon, allowing you to discern the delightful interplay of flavors and textures.

Personal Note: My go-to cheese-paring for big red wines is an aged white cheddar. I keep this on hand all of the time for when guests come over last minute, or I don’t want to cook on a Friday night. Aged cheddar and Cabernet Sauvignon both marry beautifully together and you really can’t go wrong.

Remember, the joy of pairing lies in experimentation, so be sure to try various combinations to discover your favorite Cabernet Sauvignon and cheese pairings.

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Thirsty for More?

Check out this post for more cheese and Merlot pairing recommendations, specifically.

Here’s a list of big red wines, that will work with big, bold cheeses.

Check out this list of cold appetizers for red wines for your next event.

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