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Unreserved Wine Talk

237 EpisodesProduced by Natalie MacLeanWebsite

The Unreserved Wine Talk podcast features candid conversations with the most fascinating people in the wine world. Your host, award-winning journalist Natalie MacLean, dives into how it feels to compete in the nerve-wracking World's Best Sommelier Competition, the shadowy underground of wine forgery… read more


92: Pairing Wine and Cheese Pairings Like a Pro with Laura Werlin

What should you consider when pairing wine and cheese? Why is sparkling wine the perfect pairing for many cheeses? Are there red-flag flavours that signal a bad wine and cheese match? How can you develop your wine and cheese pairing palate? What can you do to make the most of your cheese and wine course when entertaining?

In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with James Beard award-winning author, Laura Werlin, one of the planet’s most authoritative writers on cheese and cheese and wine pairings.


  • What is the most surprising-but-delicious cheese and wine pairing you need to try?
  • Why do sparkling wine and goat brie work well together?
  • How can you identify a soft-ripened cheese?
  • What should look for when pairing wine and cheese?
  • What are the three types of cheese and wine pairings you can identify?
  • Are there red-flag flavours that signal a bad wine and cheese match?
  • Which wine and cheese pairings should you avoid?
  • Why should you make sure to have sparkling wine on hand for pairing?
  • What can you learn about cheese from Laura's books?
  • How can learning about the different families of cheese simply your life?
  • What should you pair with Limburger cheese?
  • Why are you better off pairing cheese with unoaked vs oaked Chardonnay?
  • What surprising coating will you find on Valencay cheese?
  • How can you develop your wine and cheese pairing palate?
  • What role does texture play in wine and cheese pairing?
  • What rind-related cheese etiquette rule should you always follow?
  • How can you take advantage of the best part of soft-ripened cheese?
  • What's the difference between wine scores and cheese ratings?
  • How is truffle cheese made?
  • How can you pair sweet wines with cheese?
  • What can you do to make the most of your cheese and wine course when entertaining?
  • Why did Laura decide to become a writer, with a focus on cheese?


About Laura Werlin Laura Werlin is one of the country’s foremost authorities on cheese. She is a James Beard award-winning author of six books on the subject, is a sought-after speaker and spokesperson for consumer and trade organizations, and is a frequent television and radio guest.   An expert in cheese and wine pairing and in particular American artisan cheese, Werlin received the prestigious James Beard award for her book The All American Cheese and Wine Book. Her book, Laura Werlin’s Cheese Essentials, received a James Beard Award nomination. Her most recent book, Mac & Cheese, Please! focuses on one of America’s favourite comfort foods, while two of her other books, Grilled Cheese, Please!, and Great Grilled Cheese focus on the other. Her groundbreaking first book, The New American Cheese, published in 2000, set the stage for what is the American artisan cheese movement today.   Laura has been featured on numerous television and radio segments across the country including Fox & Friends, CNN, QVC, the Martha Stewart Show, the CBS Early Show as well as numerous local television and radio shows. In addition, she has been the subject of instructive yet fun cheese-related videos on the popular website She also writes for national magazines including Food & Wine, Sunset, Everyday with Rachael Ray, Culture, Saveur and Cooking Light.   Werlin is known for her approachable yet authoritative teaching style and is frequently asked to conduct cheese and wine pairing, cheese education, and cooking classes across the country. She is also a regular instructor at The Cheese School of San Francisco. In addition, she serves as the President of the American Cheese Education Foundation and is a member of the American Cheese Society and Slow Food USA.   When she isn’t eating or teaching about cheese, she can be found jogging on the streets of San Francisco, where she lives, or hiking in the mountains, which she loves.  



To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit the

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