Cheese and wine is one of the most well-known food pairings. What is the reason for this and why is it so popular? In this article, we take a look as to the reason why we pair cheese and wine together, and what makes this combination so good.
Why do We Pair Cheese and Wine Together?
Historically, for hundreds of years, cheese and wine from the same locations were paired together. This is because they were produced on the same farm or the local village, and exporting/ importing products was not common practice. Therefore, people ate and matched products that were available to them.
Cheese and wine from the same areas were subject to the same ingredients, for example, minerals in the soil or the amount of rainfall produced.
As a result, this has led to the saying “What grows together, goes together”. A useful phrase for when cheesemongers or sommeliers are pairing cheese and wine.
Why do Cheese and Wine Pair Well Together?
Mouthfeel is an important factor to consider when pairing any foods and drinks together. Mouthfeel is how the textures compare in the mouth. In the case of cheese and wine, they are opposite ends of the food spectrum. Cheese is a fatty and heavy product, whereas wine is clean and acidic.
The fatty cheese coats the mouth, and sweet or acidic wine will help to break through that barrier so the flavours can come together.
How to Taste Cheese and Wine Pairings:
It is important to understand how the cheese and wine taste on their own and how their flavours change when they are paired together. This is because they are contrasting flavours and therefore brings out the best in each of the products. In addition, if the flavours complement one another, this enhances flavours that were not detected before.
How to Taste:
- First, try the wine- take note of the flavours
- Cleanse the palette with water
- Try the cheese, again taking note of the flavours
- Cleanse the palette with water again
- Put the cheese and wine together, however, this time tasting the cheese first to coat the mouth, and then sip the wine. Notice if there are any changes to the flavour profiles.
Although there are certain things to take into consideration, as well as things to avoid when pairing cheese and wine, it is always important to be guided by your tastebuds, and what flavours you enjoy eating and drinking.
What if You don’t Drink Wine?
Everyone enjoys cheese and wine, and no doubt that it is a classic pairing. However, there are some great alternative pairings for those non-wine drinkers. Others you can try include:
- Beer and cheese
- Whisky and cheese
- Gin and cheese
- Cider and cheese