Spicy: The one that tingles your tongue

Spicy: The one that tingles your tongue

What this is: How to turn up the heat on your cheese board.

Who it’s for: This flavor profile is for the unabashed fans of flames.

The Spicy Flavor Profile 

This Flavor Profile is not for the faint of heart, or for those afraid of the hot stuff, but if you struggle with spice, don’t write it off just yet. Spiciness can easily be tamed by mixing it with other Flavor Profiles, and dairy is known to have a cooling effect on spice, so it makes even more sense to venture into spice on a cheese plate.

For pairings in this flavor profile, think of unusual spicy foods, like candied jalapeños, or have fun with it and add some Flaming Hot Cheetos or Spicy Takis. Whether you dress it up, dress it down or mix it up, this Flavor Profile will bring the zing.

This Category includes

  • Pepper Jelly
  • Spiced Nuts
  • Hot salami
  • Spicy pickles
  • Mustard
  • Hot honey
  • Chili chocolate

Cheeses types it pairs with

Wines it pairs with

  • Sparkling
  • Sweet White 
  • Dry White
  • Rosé
  • Bold Red

Favorite Mixed Flavor Profile pairings

  • Spicy + Sweet → Hot Honey
  • Spicy + Sweet + Nutty → Sweet and spicy peanuts
  • Spicy + Umami → Nduja spread

Unexpected spicy pairing combos


  • Candied jalapeños and a young cheddar

  • Ricotta and Spicy Piccalilli relish on crostini

  • Spicy honey on toasted focaccia squares with Parmigiano shavings

    On a cheese board

    Hot honey is a magical beast. We’ve seen it drizzled over chèvre and make goat cheese hater fall in love. Try a spicy chocolate with an especially creamy blue cheese. If you’re up for laying out individual slices of the blue cheese on the board, you can even grate the chocolate onto the wedges! If you’re nervous about heat, definitely look to a sweet spicy combo like pecans but don’t be afraid to throw some wasabi peas on your board for some flavorful fun!


    Head for the heat with unique combinations and levels of spiciness. You don’t need a lot of heat to turn up the volume. Have fun with this flavor and look for new pairings to try!



    Time for a Riesling! On your next trip to the wine store pick up a sweet Riesling to try with your favorite cheese and a spicy pairing. Make note of how the sweet Riesling tastes by itself, with the cheese, and with the cheese + spicy pairing. How does it change the pairing match up, how does it change the cheese and how does the spiciness change the Riesling?


    Click the icons to download a pdf of this lesson and our two handy guides: How Cheese is Made and Cheese and Pairing Types.

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