Wine and Cheese Pairing Article

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I came across a good article on pairing wine with cheese.  It has (mostly) very good, practical advice, as this isn’t as easy as it sounds. Although, for wine and cheese lovers, it is hard to make a really bad match.

The one issue I have with any of the tips is the one about red wine. While it is true that many cheeses do take away some of the fruitiness of wine, tannins and fat, a substance that is abundant in cheese, are one of the more perfect matches on earth. Red wine is a more natural match for cheese than white wine for that reason, although I enjoy pairings with both.

From the article:

This is a particularly good tip:

Blue cheese is especially difficult to pair with red wine. Instead match a good blue cheese with a dessert wine.

While I find that to be true, I also know many folks who like it with both reds and whites. Personally, I prefer champagne to dessert wines with blue cheese.

Raw milk cheese is cheese made with unpasteurized milk. They are legal in the US, but only if they have been aged for 60 days or more. This includes imported cheese.

Damn shame, that.

  • A.Alaalas

    By “natural matches” do you mean compatible flavoroids (esters, alkenols, etc.) in paired foods or do you mean just your opinion? Your opinion could be backed up and substantiated if you referenced molecular gastronomy findings that consistently show pairing compatibility. See http://khymos.org/pairings and check the examples for yourself: pineapple w/ blue cheese, caviar w/ white chocolate, etc. Even some wine pairings.

  • A.Alaalas

    By “natural matches” do you mean compatible flavoroids (esters, alkenols, etc.) in paired foods or do you mean just your opinion? Your opinion could be backed up and substantiated if you referenced molecular gastronomy findings that consistently show pairing compatibility. See http://khymos.org/pairings and check the examples for yourself: pineapple w/ blue cheese, caviar w/ white chocolate, etc. Even some wine pairings.

  • http://www.anotherwineblog.com/ Joe Power

    I could not check out the link that you provided as it seems to be broken, nor do I know offhand the exact molecular reasons for why tannins and fats are a perfect pair. However, from both my personal experience and my studies, I believe this to be true. Fats soften harsh tannins, making them less astringent, allowing the fruit to shine. Conversely, the aforementioned atsringency cuts the fat, which allows for a better mouthfeel, revealing more of the food’s flavor. This is why we drink big tannic Cabernets with fatty cuts of steak. In addition, for me, it is hard to top a funky Rhone wine with some strong cheese. The flavors and aromas just go well together, and yes, that is an opinion.

    White wine’s acidity can do much the same thing with fat, but it works best with lighter fare. Cream sauces, fish such as salmon, and lighter cheeses (I love goat with white wine) are spectacular when paired with a Riesling or a Muscadet.

    In the end, it all comes down to personal preference. Neither my experiences, the wisdom contained in books, nor science can trump that. Esters and alkenols can only be indicators of how a food and wine might match up. We all have wildly varying number of tastebuds, which is a huge factor in determining preferences. Our diets can effect how we taste, as can our health. Factor in memories, associations, even weather and mood, etc. and it becomes impossible to say for certain why things taste good together to the majority of people, but we know that certain things do.

    Peanut butter and jelly may not appeal to everyone, but it is hard to think of one without the other. Some folks might adore a nice Stilton with a Pinot Noir, and that is fine, too. In general, however, I stand by my statements. Red wine is typically a better match for cheese than white wine.

  • http://www.anotherwineblog.com/ Joe Power

    I could not check out the link that you provided as it seems to be broken, nor do I know offhand the exact molecular reasons for why tannins and fats are a perfect pair. However, from both my personal experience and my studies, I believe this to be true. Fats soften harsh tannins, making them less astringent, allowing the fruit to shine. Conversely, the aforementioned atsringency cuts the fat, which allows for a better mouthfeel, revealing more of the food’s flavor. This is why we drink big tannic Cabernets with fatty cuts of steak. In addition, for me, it is hard to top a funky Rhone wine with some strong cheese. The flavors and aromas just go well together, and yes, that is an opinion.

    White wine’s acidity can do much the same thing with fat, but it works best with lighter fare. Cream sauces, fish such as salmon, and lighter cheeses (I love goat with white wine) are spectacular when paired with a Riesling or a Muscadet.

    In the end, it all comes down to personal preference. Neither my experiences, the wisdom contained in books, nor science can trump that. Esters and alkenols can only be indicators of how a food and wine might match up. We all have wildly varying number of tastebuds, which is a huge factor in determining preferences. Our diets can effect how we taste, as can our health. Factor in memories, associations, even weather and mood, etc. and it becomes impossible to say for certain why things taste good together to the majority of people, but we know that certain things do.

    Peanut butter and jelly may not appeal to everyone, but it is hard to think of one without the other. Some folks might adore a nice Stilton with a Pinot Noir, and that is fine, too. In general, however, I stand by my statements. Red wine is typically a better match for cheese than white wine.