By Laura Burgess
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Beer and pizza. Peanut butter and jelly. Strawberries and chocolate. Some combinations just go together, and while trial and error can be a fun method of discovery, when it comes to cheese and wine, experimenting can get a bit costly-and at times disgusting (like that time your friend served feta and merlot at a party).

To save your taste buds, you want a pairing that compliments (such as a medium-bodied red with a medium-firm cheese) or contrasts (for example, a light, fruity white with a creamy, buttery cheese). You can always follow the sommelier and beverage expert advice that "if it grows together, it goes together" and buy regional matches. Or just use this chart to pick out what to serve at your cheese and wine party. Whatever you decide to try, make the most of the cheeses by removing them from the refrigerator at least 45 minutes prior to serving to help release flavor and aroma.

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