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Gouda Wine Pairing: 60 Extraordinary Choices Across the World!

A Gouda wine pairing begins with understanding one of Europe’s oldest surviving cheeses.  Gouda was first made in the 12th century, and now it makes up about 60% of the world’s cheese consumption.

In medieval times, cheese makers, who were often farmers, came to the Dutch city of Gouda to trade. Farmer’s wives made the cheese in the countryside, but the city gained market rights to the cheese. Thus, the name – Gouda cheese. 

Nowadays, the outdoor cheese market in Gouda is a weekly occurrence during the summer and a tourist hotspot. Vendors come from miles away to set up their booths in this beautiful marketplace.

Gouda Wine Pairing
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What is special about Gouda cheese?

Gouda is the cheese of global proportions. You can enjoy it anytime you want, anywhere in the world for a taste of its deliciousness! Gouda cheese also goes well with wine because it’s creamy and has a mild taste. It’s perfect for parties, too!

Gouda cheese has an orange color due to its aging process, and this gives it a sweet flavor that pairs well with red wines such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot. For those who prefer white wines, Gouda pairs well with Chardonnay or Riesling. 

In this article, you will discover popular goudas paired with a perfect wine.  Many wines actually taste great with gouda cheese!

gouda wine pairing
You can visit Gouda to see the world’s most famous cheese that has been made for centuries, enjoy a sweet taste of syrup waffles from one of their many cafés and take home some Dutch souvenirs! Image by w4media from Pixabay

Does Gouda cheese taste like cheddar?

Like cheddar, gouda cheese is made from cow’s milk. As with any cheese, the flavors intensify with age and its soft texture becomes dense and crumbly.

But the similarities to cheddar end there. Gouda’s sweet, creamy notes have hints of caramel and butterscotch. With age, it tastes nuttier with a slight sharpness. 

Gouda can be both smoked or unsmoked and aged for five months to two years after production. Gouda has a taste that’s noticeably different from cheddar in that it’s more buttery and creamy, as opposed to sharp and salty.

It’s a better melting cheese than cheddar because Gouda’s oil doesn’t separate.

Gouda Wine Pairing Guide

Much of the Gouda cheese consumed in the USA is the younger, creamier semi-soft cheese.

Pinot Grigio and Riesling are two of the best white wines for Gouda cheese. They share similar qualities that make them perfect for a Gouda wine pairing.

With both being dry with lower alcohol content than reds or richer whites like Chardonnay there is less of a chance of drowning out some of those nuanced flavors in a mild Gouda.

Best White Wines to Pair with Gouda Cheese 

Pinot Grigio Recommendations

Think of Pinot Grigio as the lemonade of white wines. A Pinot Gris is light and refreshing with zesty notes of citrus and often described as having notes of apple or grapefruit. It’s the 2nd most popular wine in the USA. 

Pinot Grigio became popular in the United States because it’s a wine that goes well with various foods and is also good enough to drink on its own.

The grape originated in France and is known as Pinot Gris, but across the border it’s called Pinot Grigio. The Italians have brought fame to this variety by cultivating it extensively on their own soil.

Now Pinot Grigio is grown around the world in places like Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, and the United States.

Our Top 7 Pinot Grigio Picks for a Gouda Wine Pairing takes you around the world:

Riesling Recommendations

Rieslings have a very sweet, fruity smell and taste with flavors of pear, apples, peaches, tropical fruits (such as pineapple), flowers such as roses or violets and even tea leaves- so Riesling is perfect for gouda cheese!

It’s often described in wine tasting notes as having “minerality,” which makes it just another ingredient that blends well into Gouda.

The assumption that all Rieslings are sweet comes from the various styles produced in Germany, where the grape was made famous. That assumption is based on ancient history.

Most Riesling wines across Europe (including Germany) and North America have a dry or off-dry taste with only limited producers focusing on making sweeter varieties of this wine.

If you’re new to Riesling, then by all means start with an original from Germany and then branch out to the other areas known for producing some of the best in the world.

You can get started with our Guide to Top Rieslings listed by regions below.

Sparkling Wines to Pair with Gouda Cheese

Sparkling wine is a type of drink with carbon dioxide bubbles that make it fizzy. The bubbles result from natural fermentation which can occur in either the bottle or large tank, and happens when sugar is added to the mixture and yeast starts acting on this sugar for energy.

Champagne is a sparkling wine that comes from the region of France known as Champagne. Outside of this area, it has to be called sparkling wines and can’t be referred to as champagne!

For a Gouda wine pairing, you can pick from some of the most popular sparkling wines in the world!

Smoked Gouda Wine Pairing

A classic Gouda will have a mild flavor that is milky, buttery, and slightly salty. But did you know that it can also be smoked for slightly intensified flavors? People who enjoy young cheeses are sure to love this too! 

At room temperature, Gouda nearly melts in your mouth and the soft, creamy texture creates an oh-so-smooth blending of flavors.

Smoking is often applied to young gouda cheeses, which means the wines we listed above will work well. However, the slight increase in flavor intensity suggests that we move up to a light or medium-bodied red wine like Pinot Noir or Shiraz.

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Pinot Noir Recommendations

Pinot Noir is one of the world’s most popular red wines and the 10th most cultivated grape variety. It originated as a commercial grape for wines in Burgundy, France.

Pinot Noir is a versatile wine because it can be made in so many different styles. Some Pinot Noirs are gentle, with just hints of earth and spice, while others are more hearty and fruity, with notes of cherry or raspberry. 

For the world’s best Pinot Noir wines, start with France, Germany, and California. From there, branch out to Oregon and a few of the newer Pinot Noir regions: Chile, Argentina, and New Zealand.

Our Top Pinot Noir Selections for a smoke Gouda wine pairing:

Aged Gouda Wine Pairing

Aging cheese can result in a more intense flavor and firmer texture. Gouda cheeses develop deep caramel notes as well, becoming crumbly with age.

For an aged gouda wine pairing, match the intensity of the cheese with the wine. Full-bodied red wines with lots of tannins will stand up well to an aged gouda. 

The most popular choice for an aged gouda wine pairing is a Cabernet Sauvignon, but you can branch out to try other red wines using our recommendations below. 

Cabernet Sauvignon

It is said that Cabernet Sauvignon grapes are some of the oldest grape varieties in existence. They originated on the slopes and hillsides of France’s Bordeaux region, where they have been grown for centuries. 

Their sheer popularity has led to their worldwide distribution across a variety of climates perfect for wine production.

Cabernet Sauvignons might just be one of the world’s most popular wines! It all started in a blind taste test by 2 judges from Paris. 

The Judgment of Paris was a watershed moment for the wine world. Prior to this event, France had been considered the premier producer and creator of excellent red wines, but in 1976 in Paris that all changed when California Cabernet beat out the French Bordeaux. 

Today, many California producers produce 100% pure Cabernet Sauvignons (contrasting to regions like Bordeaux who are well-known for blends).

Try one or more of these Cabernet Sauvignons for a perfect aged Gouda wine pairing.

Washington State (USA) 
Sonoma Valley (California)
Napa Valley (California)


We take you through the “Why” and “How” of decanting all types of wines AND offer top wine recommendations so that you can try your hand at the decanting methods.

Goat Gouda Wine Pairing

If you’re a fan of goat cheese, then this is the Gouda for you. Firm and dense in texture with hints of butterscotch and caramel notes from its rich goat milk composition. It’s milder than regular gouda cheese and carries a touch of tanginess that we expect with goat cheese. 

Despite its mildness, it can still hold up to a classic red wine like Cabernet Franc or Syrah. Find some great choices for both in our list below.

Related: Goat Cheese Wine Pairing: Top Picks for a Taste Sensation

Cabernet Franc

Cabernet Franc is a type of grape that produces dark red wines. Cabernet Franc finds its origins in France, but this grape can be found in many places around the world including Italy, Argentina, and the USA. 

The best way to learn about Cabernet Franc is by tasting different varieties grown all over various regions worldwide because there are nuances between each one depending on what region they’re produced in – so experiment!

Our Top Regional Picks for Cabernet Franc will help get you started on a tasting journey!


Syrah is a dark red to purple wine grape that originated in France. The wines it produces are big and full-bodied, with concentrated flavors of fruit like black cherry or plum; as well as pepper spice notes from the peppery bark on Syrah vines. In cooler regions (like Northern Rhone), these rich tannins can provide more structure for aging than anywhere else.

Syrah grapes have been grown in California for over a century, but it was not until the 1990s that they became popular. Growers planted them to replace their phylloxera-ravaged vines from the 1890s, and by planting new vineyards across San Luis Obispo County and other regions of central California, Syrah has become one of our most renowned grape varietals today.

Shiraz is a type of Syrah wine that has been produced in warmer climates, such as South Africa.

Enjoy one of these regional varietals of Syrah:

Final Thoughts on Gouda Wine Pairing

Wine pairings are an interesting topic because while there may only be some minor differences between each type of white or red wine, these differences make an impact on the way Gouda tastes.

We hope you enjoyed this article on Gouda cheese and how it pairs with wine. If you are looking for a way to spice up your next party, try out some of these unique pairings! Happy eating and drinking!

If you’re getting the travel bug, transport yourself into the heart of Gouda’s history with this video on the Gouda Cheese Market.

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