A round wooden board with various types of artisanal cheese wedges stacked.

Perfectly paired by Savour Ontario for the T.O. Food & Drink Festival

Meet the Makers: Ontario Cheese & Wine Pairing Guide

Local artisan cheese and wine have come of age and there’s much to discover and celebrate! Whether you’re planning a foodie road trip or want to expand your hosting repertoire, Ontario cheese and wine pairings are a wonderful way to explore the art, craft, and terroir of the province.

Iron Horse Clothbound Cheddar label from Glengarry Fine Cheese

1. Ontario Dunlop-style cheese + Cabernet Merlot

Iron Horse Clothbound Cheddar
Glengarry Fine Cheese | Lancaster, ON

The Iron Horse Cheese is a Scottish Dunlop-style cheese aged a minimum of 12 months. A sharp firm cheese with savoury and sweet notes, this cheese is bandaged and cave-aged to achieve maximum sharpness in flavour. 

2018 Cabernet Merlot
180 Estate Winery | Jordan Station, ON

An elegant blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot aged in a combination of French and American oak barrels for 24 months. Full bodied and dry with a velvety texture with smooth tannins and elegant notes of black currant, plum, vanilla, and oak spice.

Stonetown grand trunk cheese on a board.

2. Ontario Gruyère + Pinot Grigio

Grand Trunk
Farmstead Gruyère
Stonetown Artisan Cheese | St. Marys, ON

The crumbly interior is actually rich and creamy on the palate with a nice balance of salt. The aromatic rind gives this cheese a contrasting texture to the interior and typical aromas associated with washed rind cheeses. Grand Trunk tastes excellent in sandwiches or on a cheese platter with fruits, dried meat and rustic bread. It is a great cheese for fondue or grilled cheese sandwiches. 

2020 Betrayed Pinot Grieving
Greenlane Estate Winery | Vineland, ON

Greenlane’s second vintage of their popular Betrayed Pinot Grieving series has them once again back in the vineyard, grieving a small crop of our popular Grigio grapes with their film noir inspired line.  Crisp notes of apple, pear and a touch of honeysuckle surround a backbone of acidity.  Your body may betray you. Your lover may betray you. This wine will not.

Notable Achievements - Grand Trunk

First place winner at the 2017 & 2016 Royal Agricultural Winter Fair.
First place winner at the 2018 British Empire Cheese Competition

Moutainoak Farmstead GOLD cheese on a board.

3. Ontario Aged Gouda + Cabernet Franc

Farmstead G.O.L.D.
Mountainoak Cheese | New Hamburg, ON

Mountainoak Cheese was founded on the love for fine cheese and continues the tradition of crafting great-tasting, high-quality Gouda cheeses with fresh milk from their own herd of dairy cows. Aged 18 months, their award-winning Farmstead G.O.L.D (Good Old Local Dairy) exudes hints of butterscotch and caramel for a richly sophisticated, full and completely unforgettable flavour.

Emily Pearce Coterie 72 Wines presents
2019 Cabernet Franc Dolomite
Cave Spring Vineyard | Beamsville, ON

The name ‘Dolomite’ refers to the type of limestone that form the crest of the Niagara Escarpment. Through the forces of erosion, this ancient rock has come to enrich the soils of the hillsides below. Grown along these gentle slopes in Cave Spring’s Beamsville Bench vineyard, this Cabernet Franc bears the mark of its origins. The calcareous clays of their site contribute to the mint-berry character and lush feel that are the wine’s hallmark.

Notable Achievements - Farmstead GOLD

2021 - 1st Place - Class 01 - British Empire Cheese Competition
2020 - 3rd Place - Class 10 - The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair
2020 - 5th place – Gouda, Extra Aged - World Championship Cheese Madison Wisconsin
2017 - 1st Place – Class 4 - The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair
2017 - Best Canadian Cheese - International Cheese Awards

Upper Canada Cheese's Niagara Gold Cheese wedge and two slices on a black plate.

4. Niagara Gold + Dry Riesling

Niagara Gold
Upper Canada Cheese | Jordan Station, ON

This award-winning semi-soft, washed rind cheese is born of time-honoured Trappist monk cheese-making techniques. Twice every week for five months, each cheese is washed in brine, turned, and returned to its place in the aging room. Niagara Gold is crafted from pure A2 Guernsey milk, making it rich, creamy, and easier on the tummy than regular cow’s milk. Cloaked in its golden, edible rind, this cheese is nutty and earthy, with a slight tang and creamy sweetness. As it ages, watch for it to develop a slight piquancy. Its open, lacy interior melts beautifully; if the best mozzarella and the finest gouda, met, fell in love, and made a baby, it would be Niagara Gold.

2019 Riesling, Hanck Vineyard
Fogolar Wines | Niagara Peninsula, ON

The wines of Fogolar endeavour to showcase and celebrate the hard work and skill of their grape growers and the extraordinary potential of wines in Ontario. This brand offers a portfolio of ultra small-batch VQA wines that are true to vineyard, varietal, and vintage. This single vineyard Riesling showcases the unique terroir of the Hanck Vineyard, nestled in the Niagara Escarpment in the Twenty Mile Bench subappellation. Dry and mineral driven, this Riesling has notes stonefruit and papaya on the nose and palate backed by mellow acidity and a textured palate.

Notable Achievement - Niagara Gold

First Place at the 2020 Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in the Semi-Soft cheese category

A small wedge of Thornloe Cheese's Casey Blue Cheese on a serving board.

5. Ontario Blue Cheese + Port

Casey Blue
Thornloe Cheese | Thornloe, ON

An artisan cheese made in small batches, Thornloe's Casey Blue is a unique Canadian cheese. The Casey Blue is a creamy cheese, marbled with rich blue veins and has a slightly sharp taste but not as strong as some traditional Blue Cheeses. This cheese is not pressed, which allows it to be crumbly and flakey, making it ideal for salads, soups, sauces, pastas and pizza. It is an essential item on a gourmet cheese tray.

Amanda’s Vineyards | Prince Edward, ON

Portofino wine is made from Frontenac noir grapes, which they left hanging on the vines so the sugar would go higher and the acidity would decrease. Rich with persistent notes of black cherries, they recommend enjoying it with cheese, nuts and/or dark chocolate.

Gunn's Hill Artisan Cheese's Brigid's Brie on a white surface.

6. Ontario Brie + Gamay/Merlot

Brigid’s Brie
Gunn’s Hill Artisan Cheese | Woodstock, ON 

A soft, surface-ripened cheese made with cow's milk from Gunn’s Hill’s family farm. This Brie is free of stabilizers and preservatives with a delicate and inimitable flavour. Each batch is aged six weeks and is delicately handled to preserve its creamy centre — much more flavourful than your typical grocery store Brie. 

Merlot Gamay Noir VQA
Good Natured Wines | Ontario

This delightful VQA red consists of Merlot and Gamay Noir grapes. Anticipate notes of cherry, plum, blackberry and spice. It's medium-bodied and fruity on the palate with silky tannins, leading you to a lengthy finish.

Gunn's Hill Artisan Cheese's 5 Brothers smoked cheese wedge and crumbled pieces on a plate.

7. 5 Brothers Smoked Artisan Cheese + Sauvignon Blanc

5 Brothers Smoked Cheese
Gunn’s Hill Artisan Cheese | Woodstock, ON

This hand-crafted cheese combines traits from Gouda and another Swiss variety called Appenzeller. After one year of aging, it is naturally smoked with maple and apple wood. It is creamy with sweeter overtones and has a rich smoky flavour throughout. All of the milk used comes from Gunn’s Hill’s family dairy farm.

Sauvignon Blanc
Honest Lot | Ontario

Dry and refreshing with flavours of citrus and green apple and notes of grapefruit and fresh herbs. This wine is naturally refreshing, clean and crisp with just one gram of sugar.

Wheels of Glengarry Fine Cheese's Lankaaster cheese.

8. The Lankaaster + Cabernet Sauvignon

The Lankaaster
Glengarry Fine Cheese | Lancaster, ON

Named the Global Supreme Champion of cheese at the Global Cheese Awards in 2013, The Lankaaster is a firm, Dutch-style cheese with a slightly open texture. The cheese is shaped as a loaf or a wheel to express the fact that it is meant to be sliced and eaten directly on bread as the Dutch farmers do. It has a unique profile that is given by the specific starter culture used by the cheesemaker, making it typical of cheeses made on Dutch farms earlier in the century.  

2019 Cabernet Sauvignon
Ferox by Fabian Reis | Niagara-On-The-Lake, ON

Attractive red cherries and red currant fruity notes on the nose, framed with riper red and black fruits on the palate that combine well with its firm ripe tannins. The palate is lifted by a bit of sweet spices coming from the maturation in French oak barriques. Hints of cedar, baking spices and graphite dominate the palate alongside with the fruit.

Savour Ontario Kitchen
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Savour Ontario Kitchen

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