Feta is a versatile cheese that is most often found in salads, but can also be enjoyed as part of a cheese board, often sprinkled with dried herbs. There are wines that will make great pairings either way you serve it. This is a mild and delicate cheese, thus will require wines that will not overpower it. There are red and white options that can be served with Feta.
Wine Characteristics To Pair With Feta Cheese
|Tannins||Low to Medium|
|Body||Light to Medium|
|Notes||Red Berry, Citrus, Orchard Fruits, Tropical Fruits, Herbs, Light Spice|
Best Red Wine To Pair With Feta
Pinot Noir This wine is incredibly food friendly with its structure of low to medium tannin, high acid, and delicate nuances of its aroma and flavor characteristics. This wine is made in both the old and new world, and whether it is more mineral or fruit forward, it is typically high acid that cleanses the palate from the dish. The lower tannin levels are low enough as to not overpower the Feta, and its red strawberry, cherry and cranberry notes contrast well with the saltiness of the cheese.
This is Austria’s most planted red grape variety, and it produces wine that is lighter in body, which pairs incredibly with Feta as it does not overwhelm its delicacy, and complements its mild nature. This red berried flavored wine has elements of black pepper when it is made well, and light oak spices that will bring out the different flavors that Feta cheese is normally associated with (such as oregano or other Greek spices). It’s higher acid levels makes it a great refreshing food friendly addition to the pairing, thus enhancing your dining experience.
This is an interesting wine to pair with Feta if the feta is served in something more robust, such as a Greek salad with black olives, or Spanakopita. This wine is more robust than what Pinot Noir typically is, but can serve very well with more hefty dishes that can handle its medium tannins and both red and black fruit notes. This wine’s high acidity pairs well with a more acidic cheese such as Feta, thus making it a suitable complement.
There is a wide range of Gamay wine that can be enjoyed with a dish or cheese tray containing Feta. It can range from the humble fruit forward Beaujolais AOC all the way to the more structured and serious Beaujolais crus, such as Morgon AOC or Fleurie AOC. If it is more of a mild dish (such as a mild Feta based dip) that you are serving, select a fresh and fruit Beaujolais AOC that is loved for its high acid, fruity simplicity. If you are serving a more hearty dish, such as a tomato based Feta sauce, it will pair well with more structured medium tannic oak aged Beaujolais cru that can match each other’s complexities.
Although this is not a red, it has the fruit characteristics of one. The light and fresh strawberry, cranberry and raspberry notes will highlight the savoriness of the Feta cheese, creating a delicious pairing in a way that does not overpower. The high acid adds a refreshing element and complements the acidity of the Feta. Both the wine and the Feta cheese match each other in their mild and delicate natures, thus making it a delicious combination.
Best White Wine To Pair With Feta
If one were to describe Feta, the first thing they would say is that it is very salty and on the sour side. When choosing a white wine, it is best to consider an option that is of high acidity to parallel the acid in the cheese. Acid also works synergistically with the salt content of the cheese to highlight the delicious tanginess of it. If you can find an option that has any briney or saline characteristics to it, even better! Here are some examples to create a delicious pairing:
This is a grape varietal that is found almost exclusively in Northern Spain and Portugal, and is famous for its fresh pato-friendly flavors.. These wines are often said to have a saline character as they are grown close to the ocean, and the ocean sprays can be detected. This aspect complements perhaps the most apparent characteristic of Feta – its saltiness. This wine is sometimes made in a way to be enjoyed in a fresh and fruity way, but also can undergo malolactic conversion to slightly reduce the acidity and to add dairy notes (by converting malic acid to lactic acid), which further mirrors the same notes in Feta.
Melon de Bourgogne
Or, also known as Muscadet. This high acid wine is most often found in the Atlantic side of the Loire Valley in France, and has fruit notes of lemon, lime, apple, and pear. It is loved for its simple version, but more lees aged ones can be found as well. Try a lees aged wine if the Feta you are enjoying is served in a salad with croutons, or in a dish that has a bread or carbohydrate component, such as Spanakopita. Lees aged wines have bread-like yeasty notes that will complement it well, and this ocean-side grape is also known to have saline characteristics which will pair nicely with the Feta.
Alsatian Pinot Gris
Pinot Gris is the same grape as Pinot Grigio in Italy, but it is made very differently in Alsace, France. If you are serving a more complex Feta dish with many flavors, such as a pasta with herbs and spices, try this wine. It has notes of peach, web stone, green pear that is still more neutral than the above two versions, but has a more viscous texture when found in this region that will stand up to more complex and bold flavors of a more flavourful Feta based dish.
This is one of the most famous white grape varieties in Greece. It produces wines of high acid, that both complement the delicious sourness of the Feta cheese, but also acts as a palate cleanser, making it a highly food friendly wine when it comes to Feta cheese. This wine boasts of grapefruit, lemon, lime, beeswax, salinity, and the slightest hint of crushed rock. This complex and intricate wine pairs well due to its high acid level and its fruity notes make a delicious contrast with the salty and sour flavors of the Feta. Also, an interesting fact is that local wines typically pair well with local dishes!
What Sauvignon Blanc lovers enjoy with this grape varietal is its fresh and fruity lime and gooseberry flavors, and its grassy herbaceous nuances. However, what is unique about Sancerre is that it is less overtly fruity and is more mineral-driven, which elevates the savory nature of the cheese. These notes create a delicious food pairing with Feta cheese as this cheese is also very high acid, which complements the wine nicely. The fruitiness of the wine highlights Feta’s contrasting savory creaminess.
Best Wine To Drink With Feta Cheese
- Pinot Noir
- Provence Rosé