Science Has Decided: Wine & Cheese are Meant to Be

Once again, science has proven something we already know: cheese makes wine taste better! We’ve been pushing wine and cheese pairings for basically forever, but now we’ve got some cold hard facts about how and why wine and cheese were meant to be. 


Thanks to the Journal of Food Science, we learned about a study where locals from the wine-loving town of Dijon, France snacked on cheese and wine over five days, then gave some feedback about what they experienced and tasted. The wine contenders: Pancherenc, Sancerre, Bourgogne, and Madiran. The cheeses: Epoisses, Comte, Roquefort, and Crottin de Chavignol. Each of the wines were tasted with and without cheese, and low and behold – no one disliked any of the wines paired with the cheeses. Actually, the participants reported that the wine tasted even BETTER when it was being munched on with some cheese.

The cheese increased the aroma of the wine for the better, and decreased the duration of the acidity of the red wines – basically, the wine smelled better and tasted less bitter. The cheese had no negative impact on the wines, which should make all of you cheeselovers happy. Science says pair your wine with any cheese you like, and who are we to argue? While we love perfecting wine and cheese pairings, you can’t go wrong with no matter what wine or cheese you pick.

Want more info on how to pair wine and cheese together? Take our Wine & Cheese 101 class! 

Chocolate & Cheese: The Perfect Pair for V-Day

Valentine’s Day is soon (read: two weeks!), so now’s as good a time as any to start thinking about your V-Day plans. Maybe you’ve got romantic plans out, or maybe you’re having a sweet night in, but we know there should be one thing involved: chocolate. Being cheesy experts ourselves, we think cheese goes with everything, and chocolate is no exception. While you might not think these sweet and savory delights go together, we’re here to prove you wrong. 

Roomano & Raaka Bourbon Cask Bar

Something about this decadent, aged Gouda just begs for something sweet. Its notes of caramel and sweet-salty butterscotch usually are paired with a nice glass of scotch and whiskey, but if you’re looking to add a little sweetness, the Raaka Bourbon Cask bar is the way to go. The dark virgin chocolate is enhanced with the flavors of aged bourbon, with bright notes of spicy rye, vanilla, and caramel. Since we know like goes with like, these two were just meant to be.

Persille de Rambouillet & Murray’s Munchies Milk Chocolate Grahams

Blue cheeses and chocolate always go together – they’re like a couple of high school sweethearts! But Persille de Rambouillet is like the head cheerleader – popular, smooth, and sweet. The Alpine goats milk that goes into this blue creates clean lactic notes, with hints of white pepper and sweet cream. It’s that sweet cream and gentle piquancy that makes the chocolatey crunch of Murray’s milk chocolate covered graham crackers all the more delightful. (Hint: you might even want to spread the cheese directly onto the chocolate chunks. It’ll blow your mind!)

Pleasant Ridge Reserve & Pralus Dark Chocolate Infernal Bar

Summer pasture fed cow’s milk, with hints of floral, fruity flavors, Pleasant Ridge Reserve has those bites of sweetness we love. Like the Alpine cheeses it is inspired by, it goes great with a dark chocolate. We love it with the dark chocolate Infernal bar from Pralus Chocolatier, where the chocolate is fruity and deep and filled with toasty hazelnuts. We’re talking a match made in heaven, if we’re being honest – and it sure is heavenly.

Up in Smoke & Mast Brothers Chocolate Stumptown Coffee Bar

Sultry smokiness paired with roasty coffee – honestly, what can be better? With a ball of fresh goat’s milk cheese wrapped in maple leaves and then smoked, there’s a deep, campfire-y richness and clean minerality that reminds us of smelling cooking bacon in the morning, but sweet. Add your cup of coffee or make it a mocha with the chocolate bar from Mast blended with freshly roasted coffee beans, and this is exactly what you’ve been looking for. Our taste buds have heart eyes.

Drafting Our Favorite Drafts

Folks have only been brewing beer and noshing on cheese for oh, several thousand years or so, and we’re not about to argue with millennia of delicious history. Sometimes flavors just work together, and bready, refreshing beer has always been delicious with cheese – after all, there are as many different beers in the world as there are cheeses. We’ve asked some of favorite beer-loving cheesemongers just what cheeses and beers are a match made in heaven.

But what makes a perfect pairing? Actually, there’s some simple rules when it comes to figuring out what pairs with what. We at Murray’s follow three simple rules:

  1. Same pairs with same! Meaning that if it shares similar flavors, it pairs well together. You have a nutty cheese? It’s going to pair well with a nutty, toasty beer!
  2. Opposites attract! If you have something savory and creamy, why not put it with something bold and sweet? Sometimes flavors that are on the opposite side of the spectrum make the best combos.
  3. If it grows together, it goes together! This is the classic understanding of ‘terroir’, or taste of place. If two items are grown in similar areas, they’ll often share complementary flavors.

With these pairing types in mind, let’s check out some of our favorite beers with Murray’s best cheeses!

St. StephenReissdorf Kolsch

There’s something just right about a bright, creamy cheese and a light, dry beer. Take, for instance, the local buttery batch of St. Stephen. Delicate, buttery, with a hint of sun-dried wheat and sweet cream under a pillowy rind, it is a versatile cheese that works best with something bubbly. Normally, you’d be reaching to pop a bottle of Prosecco to go along with it, but we suggest instead Reissdorf Kolsch. This Kolsch is light (lighter even than a pilsner), with a minty, hoppy aroma that gives way to flavors of vanilla and gentle cedar notes. It’s a unique mix, but just as delicious as any wine and cheese pairing.

Murray’s Camembert – Logsdon Seizoen Bretta

What if we could recreate the best tastes of a sweet breakfast, but with cheese and beer? Well, with the creamy, toasty, and buttery Murray’s Camembert, we’re part of the way there. This Frenchie’s earthy notes are balanced with a frosty glass of Logsdon’s Seizoen Bretta. Unfiltered and sealed with beeswax, the beer is refermented, producing a fruity and spicy beer with a soft malt character. It is dry and crisp, like champagne, which makes it the ideal partner to a creamy, gooey Camembert.

AnneliesSchneider Weiss Aventinus

If you’re looking for traditional beers, Aventinus is the way to go. The world’s oldest wheat dopplebock, it was created in 1907. It is full-bodied, like any dopplebock should be, with malty notes that linger between raisins, plums, and marzipan. Often paired with roast beef or chocolate desserts, it made sense to break out a chunk of Annelies. This Swiss sweetie is full of flavors of roasted hazelnuts and vibrant alpine grasses. Beneath those, undertones of butterscotch and cocoa are brought out with each swig of the Aventinus.

Pleasant Ridge ReserveOrval

An award-winning cheese from the homeland of American cheese, Wisconsin, Pleasant Ridge Reserve takes on the flavors of the Alpine classics that it is inspired by. Its younger wheels are reminiscent of beef broth and caramelized onions, while the more aged version tends to embody more floral, crushed pineapple notes. While this is a new cheese born of ancient traditions, we paired it with a beer that dates all the way back to 1628. A Belgian monastery was brewing this style of trappist beer since the 17th century, though it was revived for public consumption in 1931. Light and foamy, it has the distinct aroma of aged leather and spice, and tastes a bit fruity with a bitterness that accents the oniony, beefy flavors of the cheese.

ValdeonSagra Bohio

Blue cheeses are often considered overpowering – this Spanish blue is admittedly quite bold and spicy. Valdeon is made with a seasonal blend of goat and cow’s milk, then wrapped in a protective layer of sycamore or oak leaves. Hearty, it requires a strong, distinct beer to pair alongside it. This is where Sagra Bohio comes in – birthed by brew master partnered with an acclaimed Spanish chef. We’ve always encouraged pairing dark chocolate with our piquant blue cheeses, so pairing Valdeon with Sagra Bohio is a natural choice. The lightly smoked ale is full of bitter chocolate notes and espresso aromas.

Tequila and Cheese: The Perfect Pair?

This is not your ordinary cheese pairing, we realize. You’re probably wondering, “What are they thinking?!” Tequila isn’t wine. There’s no grand history of pairing cheese and tequila together. But we would never steer you wrong – the notes of tequila, from floral to caramelly sweet, make a perfect pairing to some of Murray’s most beloved cheeses. We’ve had our expert cheesemongers choose artisanal cheeses to go along with the beautifully crafted tequilas from Casa Noble to create a pairing experience unlike any other.

CrystalMurray’s Camembert

When it comes to those clean, crisp agave flavors, Crystal is the ideal Blanco tequila. Lingering beneath, there are notes of honey, buttery-sweetness, and hints of limey citrus. This well-balanced tequila is perfect with Murray’s Camembert – toasty, buttery, and lactic, it will balance out the sweet honey notes and pair with the citrusy nip of the tequila.

ReposadoBianco Sardo

After aging in a French White Oak barrel for an entire year, Reposado emerges smooth and full-bodied. The oak imparts notes of smokiness, while hints of vanilla, lemongrass, and wildflowers lingers with each taste. This sweeter, tangier version of Parmigiano Reggiano is the ideal along with that – toasty sweetness and lanolin loves the vanilla and oakiness of the tequila.


Aged for two full years in French White Oak barrels, Anejo develops into a complex balance of dried fruits and piquant spices. Toasted oak, butterscotch, and vanilla are the key flavors that linger on the tongue, making it a perfect pairing for our Murray’s Cavemaster Annelies. The cheese also shares flavors of butterscotch and toastiness, with the addition of a unique cocoa flavor that stands out against the aged tequila.

Single Barrel Extra AnejoGreensward & Stichelton

Aged in a slightly charred French white oak barrel that has been used for 7 generations to create tequila, the most prominent notes are vanilla, hazelnut, and chocolate. Impossibly smooth, with strong cocoa notes, we love it with the fruity bite of Stichelton. When the stronger notes of woodiness come through, that’s when we break out the Greensward – those bacony, funky notes are strong enough to match it.


A mix of young silver tequila balanced with extra aged tequila, Joven combines the sweet floral and tropical fruit notes of the young with the smooth vanilla finish of the old. Murray’s own Cavemaster Reserve Cornelia makes an interesting pair – buttery and rich with a hint of roasted peanut, it adds a savory, bold element to act with the sweetness of the Joven.

Want to learn more about tequila pairings or cheese pairings in general? Check out our upcoming classes

Pairings We’re Thankful For this Holiday Season

Thanksgiving is here! There is plenty to be thankful for in a world where amazing cheeses and meats are around every corner. While we’re planning out our Thanksgiving cheese plates to share with family and friends, we wanted to share with you the cheese pairings that we are most thankful for this holiday season! Maybe it’ll give you some inspiration for your own cheesy Thanksgiving dishes.

holiday cheese

Ossau Iraty with Murray’s Apple Butter and Walnuts

murrays apple butter

There’s a lot to love with Ossau Iraty – and it’s been around for a while! Ossau is considered by some to be one of the oldest cheeses ever produced, so there’s been plenty of time to come up with the perfect pairings for this toasty, nutty cheese. To embody the flavors of crisp fall air and warm nights by the fire, we love to smear a little bit of Murray’s Apple Butter onto a rustic baguette, with a handful of walnuts on the side.

Annelies with Big Picture Farm Goat Milk Caramel and Hazelnuts

annelies alpine cheese

We’re thankful this year for our new relationship with Walter Rass of Challerhocker fame – he’s been sending us exclusive wheels of his raw cow’s milk cheese to age in The Murray’s Caves. We manage, after at least 9 months of aging, to coax out flavors of butterscotch and cocoa from the Alpine we’ve dubbed Annelies. Goat Milk Caramels are perfect with this nutty sweet cheese, as are a bowl full of crunchy toasted hazelnuts. A little bit of toasty sweetness to round out your holiday.

Stichelton with Hedene Miel du Jura Honey and Anarchy in a Jar Strawberry Balsamic Preserves


Stichelton is basically Stilton’s milder, crowd-pleasing brother. As we gather friends and family, we know not everyone loves blue cheese, so we’re thankful for this rich, creamy blue that can win just about anyone over. A drizzle of Jura honey from Hedene brings out the deep, woodsy flavors, while a jar of Anarchy in a Jar Strawberry Balsamic Preserves balances that sweet and savory combo that any good blue cheese should have.

Rush Creek Reserve with La Quercia Speck Americano and Potter’s Applewood Smoked Crackers

rush creek reserve cheese

With winter fast approaching, we get to appreciate a new batch of the highly seasonal raw cow’s milk, Rush Creek. Inspired by the French Vacherin Mont d’Or and only available in the winter time, Rush Creek gets wrapped in spruce bark and becomes an unctuous, bacony delight. You could just cut off the top and spoon out the woodsy paste – but we love to dollop it on a Potter’s Applewood Smoked Cracker with a ribbon of velvety Speck Americano.

Slack Ma Girdle with Hayden Flour Mills Red Fife Crackers and Jambon de Bayonne

slack ma girdle english cheese

 Okay, its name might be a little bit ridiculous, but trust us when we say that this nettle-crusted raw cow’s milk is something to be thankful for. Wrapped in bark and as creamy and spoonable as the Rush Creek Reserve, Slack Ma Girdle is herbaceous and funky all in one – an adventure in cheese form. Spoon onto a rustic, nutty cracker like the Hayden Flour Mills Red Fife Cracker, and feast upon this English beauty with a few thin slices of salty, briny Jambon de Bayonne.