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Your guide to wine & cheese pairing in Paso Robles

Your guide to wine & cheese pairing in Paso Robles

Diamonds are forever, but cheese is eternal. After all, we’ve been savoring cheese alongside wine for thousands of years. Foodie fads may come and go, but this age-old flavor combination only grows in status. Firm and sharp, creamy and mild or soft and buttery, the right cheese elevates California wine to new heights. Read on to learn more about wine and cheese pairing.

So how do you combine cheese and wine? What wine goes well with cheese?

You don’t need a degree in cheese studies (sorry, that was cheesy) to understand these worthy culinary queries. Simply pour up a glass of Paso Robles wine and get ready for a pungent one-two punch you won’t soon forget. If you seek yours crumbly, blue, aged or smoked, find your own wheel of fortune in Paso Robles Wine Country. Read on for everything you need to know about wine and cheese pairing in Paso Robles and beyond.

Cheese and wine pairing tips

Red or white?

Do you drink red or white wine with cheese?

Trick question—the answer is both! Both California reds and whites offer their own distinct benefits to your perfect match. Flavor, as well as acidity, tannin, texture, mouthfeel and aroma all come into play. So when it comes to pairing cheese with Paso Robles wine, you can’t go wrong. Paso’s premium, sun-ripened wines were born to be enjoyed with food. Looking for more cheese and wine pairing recommendations for beginners? Read on.

White wine and cheese pairings

What cheese goes with white wine?

In general, soft, fresh cheeses are suitable for California’s crisp white wines, dry roses and sparkling vintages. Try serving a bright, crumbly Greek feta and tart chevre with a vibrant Paso Robles sauvignon blanc, as the floral notes in your glass pair nicely with the cheese’s piquant charm. Buttery chardonnay on the brunch menu? Reach for the sumptuous double cream brie or camembert. Tip: Don’t overlook light-bodied reds with lower tannins (like grenache). These milder reds can slay a goat cheese crostini. 

Red wine and cheese pairings

What cheese goes with red wine?

Rich California reds like cabernet sauvignon, syrah, Bordeaux-style blends and port shine alongside a heftier cheese like aged parmesan or blue stilton. Semi-hard cheeses like gouda or gruyère pair nicely with medium-bodied red wines like Paso Robles merlot or pinot noir. Why does California red wine call out for a more robust cheese? Fat is the perfect playmate for these wines’ mouth-drying tannins and bold appeal.

Boiled down, cheese and wine pairing etiquette states that mild cheese goes with milder wine and bolder cheese goes with bolder wine. When in doubt, stick to classic wine and cheese pairings. 

Does cheese and wine pairing have to be fancy?

Short answer: wine and cheese pairing is fun and accessible to everyone. While it’s nice to skip over to the local cheesemonger for an array of imported cheeses, you can always use what’s handy in your fridge. If you’ve ever wondered what wine goes with cheddar cheese, here’s a pairing you must try. Serve a medium sharp cheddar cheese alongside a Paso Robles GSM (Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre) blend. You’ll find that this is one of the best cheese and wine combinations out there—and easy, too. For extra credit, throw in some dried cranberries and savory salami to match the wine’s fruit forward, peppery vibes.

Boiled down, cheese and wine pairing etiquette states that mild cheese goes with milder wine and bolder cheese goes with bolder wine. When in doubt, stick to classic wine and cheese pairings. 

What are the best cheese and wine pairings?

We’ll let the serious foodies fight this one out. Regional cheese and wine pairings abound in California and everyone has their own favorite. Find your best cheese and wine pairing in Paso Robles, where you can explore the possibilities amid perfect weather, rolling hills and hospitable tasting rooms. Just ask Paso’s innovative and passionate winemakers: curiosity is the mother of invention!

Are you still stumped on how to best pair California wine and cheese?

No worries. You can always and use our handy wine and cheese guide for perfect cheese and wine matches. Oh, and feel free to tell your dinner guests you came up with the cheese board all by yourself. We won’t tell!

Where to find fine cheeses in Paso

Vivant Fine Cheese

Need someone to translate those fancy European cheese names? Swing by Vivant Fine Cheese in Paso Robles, where a friendly cheesemonger is on-hand to take you through a world of funky flavor. For the past decade, this celebrated shop has searched the globe for the finest fromage, earning them shoutouts in Sunset Magazine, among others. No passport needed on this worldly cheese journey: sample dozens of far-flung cheeses at this lovely downtown Paso Robles tasting room, including a multi-faceted Chef’s Choice cheese plate paired with Marcona almonds, dried fruit and freshly-baked bread. What cheeses might you find? Discover Midnight Moon goat gouda, BellaVitano Black Pepper Parmesan, White Stilton Mango-Ginger and house made Vivant Creamery Honey Chevre (oh-so spreadable). You can even sign up for an educational workshop to learn more about cheeses from around the world. 

Standout cheese: While you’ll invariably find wine-infused cheese in Paso Robles, beer-infused offerings are far more rare. Enter: Cahill’s Irish Porter, a staff favorite. Marbled with rich porter beer, this Irish artisan cheese is tangy, with a kick!

Vivant Fine Cheese
821 Pine St suite b, Paso Robles, CA 93446

Di Raimondos Italian Market

A slice of Old World charm in modern Paso Robles, Di Raimondos Italian Market has everything you need to turn your wine and cheese party ideas into delicious reality. With a focus on domestic cheeses and accouterments, you’ll also find select imported cheeses and charcuterie sure to impress your fellow dining companions. Since 2002, this small-yet-mighty market has brought only the best wheels and crumbles to Paso Robles Wine Country. In a rush? Grab one of the market’s pre-made charcuterie boxes crafted for on-the-go wine tasting or a casual concert in the park. Although a trip to Paso is always preferred, Di Raimondos’ Cheese Club ships directly to your door! I mean, if you haven’t tried Pesto Lavender Gouda, are you even truly living?

Standout cheese: Whether spread on sourdough or enjoyed with apple slices, soft-ripened California-made Humbolt Fog is a creamy goat milk dream with floral and herbaceous notes to match. 

Di Raimondos Italian Market
822 13th St Paso Robles, California 93446

The Vreamery

There is a misconception that cheese must only be made from dairy milk. Thankfully, plant-based cheese enthusiasts like The Vreamery are on the front lines with delicious vegan options to drool over.

Nestled within the bustling Paso Market Walk—a collection of boutique businesses and eateries—you’ll find an array of vegan cheeses, pre-made sandwiches, salads and picnic boxes ready to grab and go. Yes, you can now find a plethora of vegan cheeses in Paso Robles Wine Country! Leave those preconceived notions at the door and sample the Vreamery’s incredible vegan offerings hand-picked from around the world. Bet you didn’t know mozzarella, pecorino, double cream brie, smokey gouda and creative twists like truffle chevre and heirloom tomato cheddar could all come direct from nature’s bounty. Made with passion, ingenuity (and plenty of soy, nuts and vegetable proteins), these funky faux-cheeses are astoundingly realistic. That said, the best vegan cheeses somehow transcend what they were crafted to emulate, becoming a whole new savory experience. These vegan cheeses must be sampled to be believed!

Standout cheese: You’ve got to try the Vreamery’s flavor-packed Climax Foods Blue Cheese, 2023 winner of Best Vegan Product Award from VegNews. Need we say more?

The Vreamery
1815 Spring St, Paso Robles, CA 93446

More cheese purveyors in Paso Robles Wine Country

LouLou Cheese Girl

Your girl knows cheese: Order an array of fine cheeses online or create your own grazing table perfect for events and parties. This Paso Robles cheesemonger is the real deal. After living in Italy and studying at The Cheese School of San Francisco, LouLou decided to bring her love of cheese to Paso Robles Wine Country (a fitting destination, we think).

SLO Food Co-op

Farmer’s delight: Carrying wholesome, organic produce and a cornucopia of unique local food purveyors, SLO Food Co-op in San Luis Obispo is a quick grab-and-go locale for all things wine country picnic! If you’re seeking small batch artisan cheeses sourced from local and regional cheese producers or prefer to go with a vegan cheese or spread, the Co-op is one groovy place to fuel up.

Cured and Cultivated

Click for cheese: If you’re looking for top tier cheese and charcuterie with all the fixings (including some killer caviar), Paso’s Cured and Cultivated is your online one-stop shop. Fine dining cheese and wine pairings need not take up hours of your time. Hey, sometimes you just need the cheese board to come to you—ASAP. Yes, you’re just a click away from refined yum.

Central Coast Creamery

Coast de la creme: With a presence in both Paso Robles and San Luis Obispo, this local favorite is a game-changer for any wine country lunch, brunch or dinner. If you go for the popular Holy Cow swiss or earthy Goat Cheddar, you’ll savor local dairy artistry.

General Store Paso Robles

It’s all here: Can one boutique offer everything you need for perfect wine country snackage? If General Store Paso Robles is an indication, the answer is an enthusiastic “yes!” Located in downtown Paso, this charming shop will keep you stocked on everything you’d want to enjoy with local cheese, including extra virgin olive oil, jams and handcrafted sweets. Don’t forget the pretty cloth napkins!

Stepladder Ranch and Creamery

While Stepladder Ranch creamery goat cheese is a revelation in its own right, a visit to this idyllic Cambria goat farm puts us over the edge. Book a tour of the ranch or stay for the night: You’ll find herds of goats grazing among ripe avocados and buzzing honeybees. You can pinch yourself all you want.

Cheese and wine pairings in Paso Robles Tasting Rooms

It’s no secret: Paso Robles is full of top notch food and wine experiences. But did you know that you can enjoy cheese and wine pairings at Paso Robles tasting rooms?

We recommend heading over to the website of the tasting room you’re planning to visit for more info, or check out our short list of Paso wineries that serve cheese plates below. You might be surprised to find that many Paso Robles wineries offer cheeses pairings, charcuterie or even on-site restaurant-style dining.

Cass Winery

One such culinary playground you won’t want to pass up? Cass Winery, known for blending Paso Robles personality with French DNA. Located in Paso’s rural Geneseo District sub-AVA, the winery’s long lineup of Bordeaux and Rhone varietals bolster premium cheese pairings like no other.

Simply order up a Cass Winery charcuterie plate and allow the wine to come to your table (or kick back on the gorgeous outdoor patio among the vines). While Cass WInery’s onsite restaurant churns out epic burgers and crab cakes, the charcuterie plate is a worthy choice, indeed. Expect a stunning selection of gourmet cheeses, fine meats, olives, nuts and dried fruit. The only question now: to share or not to share?

Oso Libre

Soil to glass wine pairing is exactly what you’ll get at Oso Libre, famous for its distinctive vines, wines and Angus beef program. Nestled on a working cattle ranch in Paso Robles’ scenic westside, sample estate-grown Italian, Rhone and Bordeaux varietals as well as exciting blends and estate grass-fed beef. With an emphasis on sustainable wine production, Oso Libre offers both agricultural and culinary wonders to explore (plus, leashed dogs are welcomed on the sun dappled patio).

Ready for a powerful Paso snack? Savor an elevated tasting with limited production Oso Libre wines, charcuterie from Alle-Pia Cured Meats, and awesome cheese pairings from Central Coast Creamery you must try. Your reservation also includes in-depth discussion on each pour, so bring your best wine growing and ranching questions to the table. In Paso Robles, winemakers do love to chew the fat.

Bella Luna

As if you needed one more reason to savor a wine and cheese pairing in Paso Robles, Bella Luna serves cheese plates laden with gourmet snacks. Located in nearby Templeton, the ten acre premium estate vineyard benefits from the famed Templeton Gap microclimate, especially those cooling ocean breezes. Find rare dry-farmed, head-trained sangiovese alongside Bella Luna’s robust cabernet sauvignon, merlot and dolcetto. Book a barrel tasting with the winemaker and enjoy a Bella Luna cheese plate sourced from Vivant Fine Cheese (see their section above) in Paso Robles all paired with flavorful salami from Alle Pia Fine Cured Meats in Atascadero.

Sextant Wines

Adorned by a limestone arch, crafted from stones sourced right on the property, and enveloped by the ancient oaks that lend the city its name, the Sextant estate tasting room offers a handpicked selection of their finest wines, accompanied by breathtaking views.

Adding to the enchanting experience, guests can relish in the artfully prepared cheese and charcuterie plates, a testament to the winery’s commitment to excellence. These delectable plates are lovingly assembled by their in-house chef, showcasing a chef’s choice assortment of nuts, olives, and dried fruits.

Guests can opt for the Large Charcuterie plate, thoughtfully crafted to serve 3-4 people, featuring a combination of one meat and two cheeses. Alternatively, the Small Charcuterie plate caters to the intimate gathering of 1-2 guests, also boasting a tantalizing combination of one meat and two cheeses.

Photo by Kelsey Chance on Unsplash

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