Michigan Made Wine, Beer and Cheese Pairings

At a delicious event put on by the United Dairy Industry of Michigan a few weeks ago, I was able to learn about some great wine/beer pairings with Michigan made cheeses. I instantly thought of my food-loving readers and just knew I had to share the knowledge I gained so you all can throw a fun “Michigan Made: Wine, Beer and Cheese” party this summer! {Because to me, this sounds like the perfect excuse for a party!}

I know I am so excited to really apply my knowledge once this baby comes. In the meantime, I did have a tiny sip of each for research purposes 😉

The event took place a Reserve, a foodie haven/restaurant located in downtown Grand Rapids, and featured wine selections by Linda Jones, executive director of the Michigan Grape & Wine Industry Council and beer and cheese pairings by Michigan “beervangelist” Fred Bueltmann {check out his sweet book, Beervangelist’s Guide to the Galaxy: A Philosophy of Food & Drink}.

It was so neat to hear how each complemented each other on a more scientific level, and then taste for ourselves. It really is astounding how the right pairing brings out the best in each item.

Here’s the rundown of what we ate/drank. Make sure to Pin this off for your next Michigan Made party!

Michigan Made  Wine, Beer and Cheese Pairings

Caciocavallo, Paleooza, Blanc de Blanc Pairing

Cheese: Caciocavallo from S Serra Cheese Company

Slight tanginess and fruitiness, like a robust cottage cheese packed into a semi-hard, crumbly bite.

Beer: Paleooza from New Holland Brewing

A classic American Pale Ale, with Michigan grown, cascade hops. Bright hoppiness and pleasant aromatics framed with balancing sweetness of pale malts.

Wine: Blanc de Blanc from L. Mawby

A sparkling wine made from chardonnay grapes with spiced apple aromas and a crisp, zesty finish.


Appenzeller, Monkey King Saison, Riesling Pairing

Cheese: Appenzeller from Tirell Farmstead Specialties

Funky, nutty character with dry finish and low sweetness.  Springy texture that releases as the cheese coats your palate.

Beer: Monkey King Saison from New Holland Brewing 

A soft, medium body saison with subtle pepper character and fruity undertones.

Wine: Riesling from St. Julian

Aromas of citrus, stone fruit, and honey are followed by flavors of apricot, tangerine, and cream, along with a slight mineral edge. Acidity and sweetness are nicely balanced on the palate,


Raclette, Solitude, Pinor Noir Pairing

{Personally, this was my absolute favorite pairing!}

Cheese: Raclette from Leelanau Cheese

Earthy tones, light creaminess and silky notes of creamy sweetness with pleasant funkiness.

BeerSolitude from Brewery Vivant

Deep mahogany in color, malt forward, with hints of caramel, pear & raisin.

Wine: Pinot Noir from 2 Lads

Ripe strawberry, soft cherry, violet and vanilla bean appear on the nose. Bright mid-palate cherry brings a light body to the wine with black pepper notes, and subtle cinnamon. Supple tannins make for a smooth finish with good balanced acidity.


Sharp White Cheddar, Crooked Tree IPA, Pinot Grigio

Cheese: Sharp White Cheddar from Farm Country Cheese

Mature, distinctive with a pleasing bite.

Beer: Crooked Tree IPA from Dark Horse Brewing

The Crooked Tree is heavily dry hopped to give it a big aroma of pine and citrus. The flavors are big, yet very balanced between fresh hops and malt.

Wine: Pinot Grigio from Blustone Vineyard

Cool fermentation builds fruit while minimally invasive techniques allow the natural acidity to shine through. Intense peach flavors create a clean finish.


Bridgewater, White Hatter, Kerner Pairing

Cheese: Bridgewater from Zingerman’s Creamery

Rich cheese with tanginess, mineral character and green peppercorn.

Beer: White Hatter  from New Holland Brewing 

Flavorfully blends the soft malt, fruity esters and delicate spicing of a Belgian White with hoppy citrus notes of an IPA. Pleasant hints of orange are framed with chamomile, coriander and grains of paradise.

Wine: Kerner from Left Foot Charley

A crispy dry wine with characteristics somewhere between a Riesling and a pinot blanc. Feint floral aromas with a citrus snap.

Learn more about Michigan cheese and dairy products on the Milk Means More website | Facebook | Twitter and Pinterest.

P.S. This is not sponsored in any way by Michigan Dairy, or anyone involved in the Michigan beer/wine industry. I just loved my experience and wanted to share!

What are your favorite local beer, wine and cheese pairings?



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    • Mrs. Weber says

      Both the L. Mawby Blanc de Blanc and St. Julian’s Riesling were excellent (I think both are at Nino’s too)! Definitely give them a try :) Gotta love drinking local!