Our 8 Favorite Gouda Cheese Wine Pairings
From the contoured brush strokes of a revered Van Gogh to the carefully controlled shadows in a classic Rembrandt, the Dutch are known across the globe for their constant innovation.
In the culinary world, their greatest invention might just be the sweet, nutty flavors you’ll find in a top notch gouda. This delightful cheese is named after the town of Gouda in the southern Netherlands. It comes in young varieties ranging from smooth and creamy to aged varieties with a firm and salty taste and texture.
While gouda is often paired with a crisp pint of beer, a well-aged hunk of this famous cheese also makes a terrific pair for many of your favorite varietals of vino.
Let’s learn all about this nutty, naturally delicious Dutch cheese and explore 8 top-notch varietals perfectly suited to elevate your gouda to the next level.
What Does Gouda Cheese Taste Like?
Gouda is one of the most popular cheeses in the world and is known for its compact, dense texture. The flavor profile of gouda is especially nutty and sweet, with an unmistakable creaminess as it melts on the palate.
If you’re seeking the most authentic gouda experience, look for rinds made in the Dutch countryside. The name is not protected, so the goudas you find in the grocery store may not be made in the Netherlands.
By the way, if you were wondering how to pronounce “gouda,” you can use the American pronunciation of GOO-duh or the Dutch pronunciation of HOW-duh.
The Different Types Of Gouda
While the most popular forms of gouda are made from pasteurized cow’s milk, you can also find varieties made from goat’s or sheep’s milk with a sweeter, gamier flavor.
In total, there are about 7 main types of gouda. Here’s a list of the different goudas you’ll find, ranging from young and firm to aged and soft.
- Jong Belegen
- Extra Belegen
As the cheese ages, so does the rind. You can identify a young gouda by its firm texture and yellow, orange, or scarlet wax rind. Meanwhile, a mature gouda might have a dark brown or even a black wax rind.
American Gouda vs Dutch Gouda
American forms of gouda are generally smoother and subtler in flavor than bold Dutch gouda. This is because cheesemakers in the Netherland often opt to include raw milk in their gouda recipe.
In fact, some go so far as to add nuts, herbs, and various seasonings to give the cheese an even more vivid flavor and robust texture.
While younger forms of this Dutch cheese are often served alongside a tall glass of beer, even slightly aged gouda tastes divine alongside a crisp white or light-bodied red wine.
Now that we’ve learned about gouda’s origins, classifications, and flavors, let’s dive into some of our favorite wine pairings for this classic Dutch cheese.
8 Varietals of Wine To Go With Gouda Cheese
Often referred to as the “king of red wine,” Cabernet Sauvignon’s high-tannin content and complex flavors make it one of the best wines with gouda cheese.
This voluminous red might overpower the more subtle flavors in a younger gouda, so look for an older, intense gouda instead.
The fatty, nutty flavors of the cheese are perfect for the punchy blueberry, blackberry, and tobacco notes you’ll find in a Cabernet.
Cabernet Franc is an excellent choice if you’d like a powerful alternative to Cabernet Sauvignon. While this varietal normally features in a Bordeaux blend along with Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon, it certainly deserves to be sipped on its own.
Cabernet Franc is a popular choice for rich, savory dishes like umami-rich mushroom sauces or seared lamb. Its complex, layered aromas are exactly what you’ll need to match the intense flavors of an aged gouda.
Full-bodied red wines are far from the only option when it comes to pairing with gouda. A light-bodied, soft red like Grenache can work wonders in accentuating the more nuanced flavors within a lighter type of gouda.
For these firmer, subtler forms of the Dutch cheese, look towards wines with moderate tannins and pleasant acidity. Powerful wines like Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon can overwhelm the cheese and shove it to the background.
On the other hand, a great Grenache matches beautifully with the texture and sweetness of a young or slightly aged gouda.
Sparkling whites are often the first varietals you’ll find on any cheese pairing list, with crisp whites running a close second.
As one of the premier white varietals, Pinot Grigio is incredibly light and airy on the palate. This makes it a prime partner for lighter gouda fare.
Seek out a Pinot Grigio aged for a few months in American oak for toasty undertones of smoke and honey to add a new dimension to your gouda experience.
The most widely grown white wine grape comes in all different sweetness and oak levels. Luckily, you’ll find a wide spectrum of Chardonnay that can bring out the best in gouda.
If you’re serving a younger form of gouda, reach for a light, crisp Chardonnay with bold fruit flavors. In these dryer vintages, you’ll discover notes of vibrant tropical and citrus fruit, perfect
An aged gouda might stand up better against an oaked, buttery Chardonnay due to its more complex and bold flavor profile.
If you’re chowing down on a rind of smoked gouda, you should look towards a more delicate red like Pinot Noir.
The salty, nutty layers in gouda will open up brilliantly against the vibrant dark fruit of a top Pinot. Moderate acidity and silky tannins in Pinot Noir provide an altogether smooth cheese and wine culinary experience.
On the lighter end of the spectrum when it comes to red wine, we have Beaujolais. This classic French varietal is known for its powerful notes of strawberry and cranberry.
As with the other lighter reds on this list, the fine tannic structure and brimming fruit within each sip can amplify the nutty flavors within extra flavorful gouda. Some bottles of Beaujolais come with their own smoky undertones, which can add a hint of much-desired complexity to the Dutch cheese.
With powerful peach and citrus notes, Riesling is a delightfully semi-sweet wine that pairs perfectly with gouda. The light body of this German varietal tastes effervescent alongside a young or medium-aged hunk of this Dutch cheese.
Remember that a Riesling from Austria might taste radically different from Australia. Get to know you're Riesling better, and you just might discover your favorite gouda pairing.
Bring Home The Gouda With Wine Insiders
Fortunately, you don’t have to travel to Amsterdam to enjoy the delightful taste of gouda.
This uniquely nutty Dutch cheese is one of the most widely known across the globe due to its subtle sweetness and firm yet decadent texture. It’s not only the perfect solo snacker but also a dynamite duo for a crisp white or light-bodied red wine.
While waiting for your order to arrive, browse our blog to learn more about wine and cheese pairing and the difference between some of your favorite white varietals.
For an extra boost, use our discount code WINE30 for an extra 30% off at checkout!