A Novice's Guide to Pairing Wine With Cheese Like a Pro

We're no stranger to a , but when it comes to knowing how to pair wine with cheese, fruit, or cured meats, it can be an absolute minefield. Those with discerning palettes know that smooth and creamy ricotta pairs perfectly with a fruity champagne, and that a light and floral rosé is dreamy with prosciutto, but if you're not blessed with the nose of a sommelier, it's easy to feel a little lost. To boost your wine and cheese IQ, we dropped by  to chat with beverage director Tara Hammond and discover her foolproof formulas.

If you're new to the pairing game, Hammond has one top tip: Taste each element before mixing them. "Pairings can also be done on instinct, but you ruin that if you cover the cheese in condiments right off the bat," she says. "Taste each cheese or meat, and think about what it reminds you of and how it is balanced between fat, salt, and acid. [Then] you can probably make an educated guess about what it would go with." Not ready to go it alone? Follow these easy three-step combinations to create winning wine, cheese, and meat pairings that'll impress even the most discerning guest.