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Pairing Wine With Gjetost Cheese

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Gjetost, pronounced “yay-toast”, is a Norwegian cheese and also goes by the name “brunost”, meaning “brown cheese” in Norwegian. This semi-firm cheese is made from goat and cow’s milk. It is known for its caramel color and sweet, butterscotch and almond flavor, with a texture similar to fudge. It is best served thinly sliced atop toast with jam or sliced green apples.

The unique flavor of this cheese can make wine pairings tricky, and while there are not a lot of options for wine pairings, there are a few that are sure to highlight your Gjetost experience. 

Wine Characteristics to Pair with Gjetost Cheese

Characteristic Detail
Sweetness Sweet
Acidity Medium
Tannins Low
Body Medium – full
Tasting Notes Nutty, caramel, butterscotch, apple

A good rule of thumb when pairing wine with a food that is sweet, is to ensure the wine is sweeter than the food. If your wine is less sweet than the food you are pairing it with, the wine will taste tart and bitter.

Best Red Wine to Drink with Gjetost Cheese

Most red wines will not be a great choice with Gjetost. They don’t have the sweetness needed for this cheese pairing and the tannins will clash with the flavor of the cheese. The one exception to this is Tawny Port.

Tawny Port Tawny Port is a fortified wine that gets much of its flavor from the wood casks it’s aged in. With notes of dried fruit, caramel, and nuts, it makes a wonderful accompaniment to Gjetost cheese. A bottle aged 20 years will be the optimal choice, but even a young bottle will do the trick.

Best White Wine to Drink with Gjetost Cheese

Sweet white wines should be your choice when pairing with Gjetost. Wines that also have notes of caramel, nuts, or green fruit will elevate the cheese and bring out the inherent sweetness in the cheese without competing for attention.

Sauternes This sweet wine from Bordeaux is always a great choice with sweet foods. Its notes of butterscotch, caramel, marmalade, and honeyed apricot are sure to complement the sweetness of the Gjetost without overpowering the flavor of the cheese.

Sherry An Amontillado or Fino sherry would both complement Gjetost well. The Amontillado brings notes of caramel, almond, and dried fruit, while the Fino brings nutty and green fruit flavor along with a hint of minerality. Try either one to elevate your Gjetost.

Madeira Madeira is another fortified wine that is sure to bring out the best in your Gjetost. Its flavors of peach, orange peel and burnt caramel will complement the cheese, and its high acidity will cut through the rich, caramelly flavor.

Riesling A crisp Riesling brings some much-needed acidity to your Gjetost pairing. Its notes of pear, grapefruit, and apple complement the caramel, peanut butter flavor of the cheese and balances the sweetness.

Gjetost Cheese and Wine Pairing Tips

Gjetost is excellent on a grilled cheese sandwich, especially when sliced apple or jam is added. You can also serve it thinly sliced on a cheese platter and pair it with multigrain crackers, pecans, sliced pears, or a fruit compote for a delicious sweet snack. For breakfast, place slices of Gjetost on a waffle and top with jam. 

Best Wine to Drink with Gjetost Cheese

The key to a great wine pairing with Gjetost is to choose a wine that is sweeter than the cheese. The natural caramel and butterscotch flavors of the cheese make sweet dessert wines a perfect choice for wine pairings.  

  • Sherry
  • Tawny Port
  • Madeira
  • Sauternes
  • Riesling