If you have ever been to a wine party (that is - a proper wine party) you perhaps noticed that whenever the wine makes an appearance, the cheese is not lagging too far behind. Wine and cheese have a very long history together; the days of yore between these two stretch back so far, that you can even see them written together in Homer's Odyssey. Natural products that diversify into myriad variants, both usually go well together. Nowadays, however, pairing one with the other has become something of an art in of itself; the increasing amount of options for both wine and cheese variants make the pairing decisions plentiful to say the least and, since protocol has its way of creeping into most human affairs, we also have a bundle of proper ways to pair the two.
Since we doubt you want to acquire a PhD just to become master of wine and cheese pairings, we thought that it would be best to give you a few well crafted pointers to, at least, produce some easy yet exquisite combinations. Now bear in mind that these pairings are not things set in stone: while they are designed to appeal to the majority of palates, the truth is that they are merely estimates based on some proven foundations. Make sure you experiment with these recommendations in order to find the one that really makes your mouth water.
Bonus Tip: If you are in a hurry and don't have this fabulous reference with you, remember that pairing wines and cheeses that come from the same region usually produces very good results. For instance, you can open an Italian Chianti (no doubt a favourite of the wife) and have a glass with some strong Parmesan on the side. As another aide memoire, remember that the harder types of cheese (like Parmesan or Cheddar) are good for handling the more tannic wines. The more creamy cheeses (something like Brie), on the other hand, are much better to combine with wines that have more acidity, like a good old Chardonnay. Finally, make sure to combine flavours to add texture to the experience; if you have a salty cheese, for instance, combine it with a sweet wine bottle. If you have a cheesecake... well, just get yourself a nice cup of coffee.