An Overview of Wine and Cheese Pairings

wine and cheese

People have been pairing wine and cheese for hundreds of years. To many people, finding the perfect match can be very daunting because there are several factors to consider, such as tannins, fat, and texture.

Before running to your local wine and cheese stores in Wisconsin for your next wine and cheese party, let’s take a closer look at the fascinating origin of this ideal pairing.

The History of Wine and Cheese Pairings

Records indicate that wine and cheese have a long history. Nowadays, this practice is still evident in classic wine and cheese pairings. One good example is the pairing of French Brie and Beaujolais.

While the classic method of pairing wine and cheese has been popular for centuries, modern people look for scientific ways to prove how this popular pairing works. A 2012 study says that mouthfeel plays a crucial role in how people pair food. The study says that combinations on the opposite ends of the spectrum best complement one another. This applies not only to wine and cheese but also to other food and drinks. It establishes how the popular pairing of wine and cheese is more than just art.

Many people choose full-bodied red wine to go with any cheese. But is it the best pairing? To arm yourself with the right information for your next party, let’s take a look at some classic pairings and why they work.

Bold Red Wine with Aged or Hard Cheese

red wine

Young red wine has high concentrations of tannic acids, which generally fade as the wine ages. Thus, bold red wine is often served with meat and rare steak instead of cheese. The sharpness in aged cheeses complements this bold taste. The fierce tannins in the young wine attach to the fat and protein in the aged cheese, rinsing the palate after each bite.

Sparkling Wine with Soft, Creamy Cheese

Nearly a third of all sparkling wine sold each year happen during November and December. Many people, however, opt to pour these bubblies with canapes and crispy snacks instead of cheese.

A good sommelier will tell you that pairing sparkling wine with creamy cheese is one of life’s pleasures. Sparkling wine is produced from different grape varieties that undergo a secondary fermentation in the bottle. This gives sparklers more structure and savoriness than tank-method wine, making them the best pair for cheese with delicate flavors and creamy textures.

Sweet Wine with Blue Cheese

Blue cheese is a generic term used to describe cheese ripened with mold. Nowadays, blue cheese is characterized by veins or spots of mold. The veins in the cheese have a touch of bitterness, which is deliciously offset by any kind of sweet wine.

With all that said, wine and cheese have worked together for hundreds of years. Many people still find pairing cheese and wine together successfully a bit more challenging. This simple guide will help you master the complicated culinary art of creating enjoyable pairings. If you feel that you need more information, consult a culinary professional.