Calling all aspiring sommeliers and cheese connoisseurs! Ready to perfect your pairings? We asked Joe Brock and Matt Kemberling, also known as the NC Wine Guys, and Despina Demetriades and
Calling all aspiring sommeliers and cheese connoisseurs! Ready to perfect your pairings? We asked Joe Brock and Matt Kemberling, also known as the NC Wine Guys, and Despina Demetriades and Su Peterson, co-owners of Zeto Wines & Specialties in Greensboro, to share some of their favorite North Carolina wines and cheese pairings. Their picks elevate two delicious things into one extraordinary combination.
Pair with Campo from Boxcarr Handmade Cheese in Cedar Grove
Notes from the Wine Guys: A smoked cheese meets a smoky wine for a wonderful match.
Pair with Buffalo Mozzarella from Fading D Farm in Salisbury
Notes from the Wine Guys: The smooth and silky cheese is a perfect match for a smooth and silky red wine.
Pair with Pure Chèvre from Celebrity Dairy in Siler City
Notes from Zeto Wines & Specialties: This wine is smooth with flavors of dashes of spice on red berries and cherries. Serve it with a light chill in hot weather.
Pair with Garlic Spread from English Farmstead Cheese in Marion
Notes from the Wine Guys: Spread over crackers and enjoy with plenty of sunshine and views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. They usually have this cheese available at the winery.
Pair with Tomato & Basil from Ashe County Cheese in West Jefferson
Notes from the Wine Guys: A cow’s milk cheese with basil and sun-dried tomatoes pairs nicely with this red blend.
Pair with Bear Wallow from Looking Glass Creamery in Columbus
Notes from the Wine Guys: The bold, nutty flavors of this Alpine-style raw cow’s milk cheese pair nicely with the fruit profile of this wine.
Pair with Fig & Honey Chèvre Log from Goat Lady Dairy in Climax
Notes from the Wine Guys: Top the cheese with fig jam for a truly wonderful treat. Pairs well with the clean finish of this dry muscadine wine.
Pair with Snow Camp from Goat Lady Dairy in Climax
Notes from Zeto Wines & Specialties: Nice flavors of pineapple, apple, and passion fruit with citrus accents brighten and lighten this elegantly fuller-style white wine. The mixed cow’s and goat’s milk, bloomy-rind cheese won a silver medal in the Critics Challenge International Wine & Spirits Competition.
Notes from Zeto Wines & Specialties: Pair with your favorite Feta (sheep’s milk or a combination of sheep’s and goat’s milk).
Editor’s note: We like the Goat Feta from Three Graces Dairy in Marshall, a full-flavored, traditional Feta.
Pair with Mountain Cheddar 7-Year-Old Super Sharp from Ashe County Cheese in West Jefferson
Notes from the Wine Guys: The nutty sharpness of this Cheddar pairs nicely with an oaky, buttery Chardonnay.
Pair with Sandy Creek from Goat Lady Dairy in Climax
Notes from Zeto Wines & Specialties: This nicely structured Viognier has spice-noted white fruit flavors, a honeysuckle note, and a clean taste. The ash- and mold-ripened goat’s milk cheese has a thin layer of ash through the center, which encourages the growth of a unique mold rind with bright and grassy flavors.
Pair with Chèvre from Round Mountain Creamery in Black Mountain
Notes from Zeto Wines & Specialties: Plēb makes wine with local grapes and minimal intervention — no added sugar, colors, etc. — which results more balanced wine. This blend has green apple, citrus, and aromatic notes, along with a gentle creaminess.
Pair with Carolina Moon from Chapel Hill Creamery
Notes from the Wine Guys: A Camembert-style cheese with a delicious buttery texture pairs nicely with an acidic, fruit-forward Riesling.
Pair with Lindale from Goat Lady Dairy in Climax
Notes from Zeto Wines & Specialties: The wine’s lovely, refreshing citrus accents broaden into layers with quince, apricot notes, and apples, which pairs well with this raw cow’s milk Gouda with a creamy texture and buttery flavor.
Pair with Drunk N Collard from Paradox Farm Creamery in Carthage
Notes from the Wine Guys: An aged goat cheese wrapped with collards and washed with a local muscadine wine makes for a great companion to this bubbly cider.
Notes from the Wine Guys: A slightly funky ash-rind goat cheese makes for a perfect contrast to a floral mead.
For Zeto Wines & Specialties’ North Carolina wine pairings featuring cheeses from around the world, click here.
Pairings from the NC Wine Guys and Zeto Wines & Specialties were compiled by Suzannah Guthmann, and have been lightly edited for clarity.