Does Wine or Beer Pair Better With Cheese?


The wine: Champagne (Champagne Bollinger Special Cuvee) The beer: Fruited Berliner Weisse (SingleCut Kim Hibiscus Sour) The winner: Wine (11-3) Our panel thought that the wine offered “complementary flavors” and “cut the richness [of the brie] beautifully.” One comment even touted that it was the “perfect combo,” making this a reliable wine and cheese pairing for any gathering. 


The wine: Pinot Grigio (Abbazia di Novacella Pinot Grigio) The beer: Saison (Goose Island Sofie) The winner: Beer (10 – 4) The majority of our tasters feeling as though the wine was too mild to stand up to the gruyere. “Cheese overpowers the wine,” wrote one, while another noted that the wine’s “flavor starts to go away” and it “starts to taste too light.” 


The wine: Sauvignon Blanc (Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc) The beer: Hefeweizen (Hofbrau Hefe Weizen) The winner: Beer (11-3) This was by far the most popular pairing of the tasting, receiving the most perfect 5/5 ratings. “No notes! Beautiful pairing,” raved one taster. “Honestly, incredible,” another wrote. “The beer equalizes the super strong cheese to the point where it finishes like bread and butter.

Sharp Cheddar

The wine: Viognier (Vanderbilt Reserve Viognier) The beer: Stout (Founders Breakfast Stout) The winner Wine (14-0) A unanimous decision here, as the stout was a bit too robust for the cheese. One taster said that the “strong flavor of beer kind of cancels out the cheese flavor,” and another went so far as to say that the pairing was “stodgy and dark…brunch gone wrong.”

Aged Gouda

The wine: Gamay (Louis Jadot Beaujolais-Villages) The beer: Doppelbock (Ayinger Celebrator) The verdict: Wine (14-0) This vote also unanimously went to wine, as our tasters called the pairing “perfect” and “really elegant.” Another taster wasn’t sure how the pairing would go but decided that, “somehow they work — don’t know where one ends and the other begins.”


The wine: Garnacha (Bodegas Vegamar Garnacha) The beer: Amber Ale (New Belgium Fat Tire) The winner: Beer (6-4 with four ties) This was one of our more hotly contested pairings. Beer ultimately was the victor, with one taster noting that the pairing was “hearty” and “tastes like pizza at the end of the night,” while another picked up on a “nutty flavor unlocked in this combo.”


The wine: Amarone della Valpolicella (Pasqua Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG) The beer: Pilsner (Weihenstephaner Pilsner) The winner: Beer (14-0) It may be true that, as one taster wrote, “Parmesan goes with anything,” but this pairing was another especially popular one. “Fantastic,” one taster declared. “Best beer pairing yet.” “Hello late nights. Hello carbo-load. Beer and pizza,” another wrote.

Blue Cheese

The wine: Moscato d’Asti (Paolo Pizzorni Oroluce 2021 Moscato d’Asti) The beer: IPA (Dogfish Head 90-Minute IPA) The winner: Beer (8-6) Even though beer won this pairing, it was one of the most even matches, probably because we chose three of the most polarizing items possible. Most people either love or hate blue cheese, and the same goes for IPAs and dessert wines. 

The Overall Winner: Beer (5-3)

The traditionalists out there may be shocked to see that beer beat out wine, but it’s not so crazy when you think about all the cheesy foods like pizza or nachos that we traditionally pair with beer. They may not be as sophisticated as what you’d typically find on a cheese board, but as this tasting proves, there’s no reason an elegant craft beer can’t complement the fancy stuff.

Our goal here is simple:  to help you live a more adventurous,  eventful and engaging life.