Brie is an extremely creamy and luscious cheese with a bloomy surface rind. This smooth textured French cheese is almost always made from cow’s milk, and its heavy buttery texture and high-fat content open up worlds of possibilities when it comes to pairing wine with brie!
But what wine goes with Brie? The three best pairings are Chardonnay, Riesling, and Sauvignon Blanc, but your choice of Brie brand and what you are serving along with it will play a part in your decision when pairing.
To help you out, we will take a deeper look into all three and break down why they pair so well!
Pairing Wine With Brie Cheese
It is no secret that wine and cheese are a pairing made in heaven, and brie cheese is arguably the best to pair with wine due to its fattiness and thick, creamy texture.
Brie’s high-fat content plays well texturally with a round and creamy oaked white, while on the flip side the very same fattiness can also shine when “cut through” by a lighter-bodied, more acidic wine.
Matching and contrasting are the two primary directions that can be taken when pairing wine and cheese. This applies to texture, sweetness, acidity, and just about every other characteristic of both items being paired.
Oaked Chardonnay works so well with brie due to its similarly high levels of creaminess and heavy buttery taste and makes for an extremely decadent combination.
Sauvignon Blanc and dry Rieslings, on the other hand, can provide a light crispness that works to tone down the richness of the brie, and refreshes the palate.
Top Brie and Wine Pairings
Oaked Chardonnay is one of the first bottles that many hosts reach for when serving brie, and with good reason.
When Chardonnay is aged in oak barrels, a process called malolactic fermentation occurs which converts the wine’s malic acid into lactic acid.
While this may sound technical, oak aging essentially makes the wine “softer,” and the resulting Chardonnay carries a round and buttery texture.
Matching texture characteristics is one of the basic principles of pairing wine with food, and oaked Chardonnay and brie cheese are often the “creamiest” options on both food and wine menus.
This iconic pairing has been highlighted in industry-leading publications such as Wine Enthusiast and Wine Folly, and it can especially sing when the cheese is served on a light and crispy cracker to provide a crunch, though too much salt can throw the bite out of balance.
Some of the best examples of this style of buttery and creamy Chardonnay can be found in California. The Napa region is well known for helping to popularize this style of heavily oaked Chardonnay and produces some of the most expensive bottles in the US.
While Napa Valley is best known for producing Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay is the second most widely planted grape in the region, and the most popular white wine across the entire state of California.
While it may sound like a contradiction, Sauvignon Blanc works when paired with brie for the exact opposite reasons that Chardonnay does.
The pairing of Sauvignon Blanc with brie cheese follows the principle of contrasting elements of food and wine to create a harmonious balance.
One of the most striking contrasts on the palate when mixing this wine and cheese is the level of acidity in the Sauvignon Blanc, a complete opposite of the round and creamy “fat bomb” supplied by the brie.
The wine delivers a bright and crisp burst to the palate, while the cheese works to soften the pairing. The taste of Sauvignon Blanc is often described as vegetal and can carry notes of bitter fruits like lemon, green apple, lime, and grapefruit.
For this reason, the pairing of Sauv Blanc and brie can especially shine when served alongside plant-based appetizers like vegetable and hummus platters, fruit preserves, and summer salads.
The Loire Valley in Central France is home to some of the world’s most iconic producers of Sauvignon Blanc.
Known for its distinct crispness and incredible length of finish on the palate, the Sancerre region sets the benchmark for Sauv Blanc production quality in the eyes of many sommeliers and wine enthusiasts.
Sauvignon Blanc from the region of Sancerre is known for its clean and concentrated flavors of stone fruit, green apple, and even white flowers.
This representation of the grape is the best candidate for pairing with super-rich varieties of brie including double-creamed versions.
The Marlborough region, located on the Northern tip of New Zealand’s South Island is another iconic producer of this powerhouse grape and produces a completely different style of wine when compared to Sancerre.
The Sauvignon Blanc produced in Marlborough carries a distinct and powerful aroma of grapefruit or white peach that jumps out of the wine glass as soon as it is poured.
This fruity and aromatic white wine is an incredible candidate for pairing with “earthier” versions of brie including blue brie and truffle-laden varieties.
The contrast of bright, sharp stone fruit works to add layers of complexity and depth to these umami-heavy cheeses that are incredibly pungent and benefit from a touch for brightness.
Riesling is one of the most diverse wine grapes in the world, and the sweetness levels in the wine it produces are generally either fairly high or fairly low – with very few in between.
The best representations of this grape are grown in Germany, as well as Alsace, France which sits on the German border. This large variance in sweetness ensures that there is a proper Riesling pairing for brie cheeses of all different varieties.
Double and triple cream brie contain significantly higher levels of butterfat, making them even thicker and heavier options that can overwhelm some palates if not balanced properly.
Riesling is a light-bodied wine that helps to balance out the brie’s thickness, and the racy acidity of a bone-dry Riesling helps to cut through the fat on the palate.
The result is a refreshing and well-balanced finish that mellows the cream without distracting from it.
Some of the most unique and memorable wine and cheese pairings can come from pairing blue and truffle brie varieties with sweeter Rieslings.
In fact, the International Riesling Association’s official website specifies that blue cheeses work well when paired with sweet Riesling
The higher residual sugar content in these wines can shine an unexpected light on funky, earthier cheeses by softening their effects on the front of the palate and allowing their more subtle notes to emerge with an extended length of finish.
What Wine Goes With Brie? Conclusion
Chardonnay, Riesling, and Sauvignon Blanc are three of the best wine pairings for brie cheese.
When choosing a wine to complement brie, be sure to take into account how the cheese will be served, and adjust the wine to match the entire plate – not just the cheese component.
There is also a multitude of different brie varieties, each with its own distinct characteristics that will pair differently when served with different types of wine.
Comment below with some of your personal favorites when it comes to pairing wine and brie cheese!
- Chardonnay follows the pairing principle of matching
- Sauvignon Blanc works in contrast with the cheese
- Different styles of Riesling pair with different types of cheese due to varying sweetness levels