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Our Favorite Chardonnay and Cheese Pairings


Our Favorite Chardonnay and Cheese Pairings

If you’ve ever experienced a tasting here at our Oakville winery, then you know we love putting together Napa Valley wine and cheese pairings.

Although experimenting with new wine and cheese combinations is half the fun, lately, we can't resist creating this gorgeous cheese board from our Far Niente Winery Kitchen. Over and over and over again. It’s super easy to assemble, and it features a series of local California cheeses all intended to complement – or offer a beautiful contrast to – our Far Niente Estate Bottled Chardonnay.

From a creamy-yet-tangy tomato the sweet butter and caramel flavors of Bellwether Farms’ Carmody, this cheese trio offers something for every palate. Additional, non-cheese accouterments include salty, paper-thin prosciutto and plump golden raisins on a crusty baguette, and a house-made green and black olive tapenade that doubles as a sandwich spread (we've shared the recipe, below).

A note that if you live outside of California and can’t find the suggested cheeses, a hard, salty Manchego, a soft, downy Triple Cream or a mild Wensleydale are all fun, Chardonnay-friendly alternatives. A great cheese shop will let you sample and taste until you find the perfect selections for your wine and cheese pairings, which, if you ask us, is our favorite part!

When we serve this cheeseboard, we love to pour our current Napa Valley Chardonnay release alongside one or two library vintages from our Cave Collection. It’s so much fun to taste and compare how each cheese teases out different flavors and notes in younger and older Chardonnays, and how the wines also bring out unique qualities in each cheese. Buon Appetito!

Or, as we like to say when we raise a glass of wine, Il Dolce Far Niente!

Our Go-To Chardonnay Wine and Cheese Board

Wine Pairing: Far Niente Estate Bottled Chardonnay, Napa Valley

Serves 4-6 people

To Assemble the Cheeseboard:

¼ pound wedge Bellwether Farms Carmody

1 wheel Cowgirl Creamery Mt. Tam

¼ pound Point Reyes Toma

1/3 pound thin sliced Prosciutto

Fresh Baguette

½ cup Tapenade; recipe to follow

½ cup Plumped Golden Raisins

To Make the Tapenade:

1 cup pitted green olives (our favorite is Castelveltrano)

¼ cup dry-cured black olives, rinsed

1 tablespoon caper berries, rinsed

1 tablespoon pickled pepperoncini

1 tablespoon preserved lemon, (or ½ teaspoon lemon zest).

2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley

¼ teaspoons fresh ground pepper

¼ cup olive oil


Check olives for pits and remove, then add to a food processor. Add the capers, pepperoncini, and preserved lemon. Pulse until it forms small pieces, scraping down the sides with a rubber spatula as you go. Add fresh ground pepper, chopped parsley, and olive oil. Pulse again. Place a half cup in a dish on your cheeseboard. Reserve the rest for a gourmet sandwich.

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