The Thing About Wine & Cheese
Is wine and cheese a thing and why so?Yeah, wine and cheese is a thing and not just because old rich European folk with too much time on their hands in some foggy century made it up. Wine and cheese is a bonafide tradition which does find its roots in Europe but became and remains and international phenomenon with a solid culinary science to boot. You can’t miss the coincidence that all noble grapes and classic cheeses were founded and made in France, Italy and Spain with a few exceptions. Both are essentially agricultural products and were a staple at the farmer’s family table and was given a sophisticated make over in urban settings. The compelling reason though was the science – wine and cheese contrast each other in taste and texture, thereby lifting and enhancing each other’s flavours. Wine teems with intense flavours while cheese has a good amount of fat content. The interplay between wine’s flavours and cheese’s texture is where the secret of this culinary pleasure resides. The wine’s sharp astringency can cut through the cheese’s fatty texture and cleanses the palate while cheese can draw out and elevate the wine’s key flavours and makes wines taste better.
How about that. It’s scientifically legit that cheese enhances the palate’s ability to discern the wine’s copious flavour and appreciate acidity while tempering sharp tannins and astringent tones in red wines. There’s more to it though that’ll take volumes to explain but cutting to the chase, the answer and some pairing clues lie in the similarity wine and cheese share. Both are natural products which are incredibly influenced by the soil and climate of the specific region in which they are produced and share the commonality of the ageing process which most times make them even better. Nearly all of the world’s significant wine grapes originated in France, Italy and Spain and coincidentally so did the cheeses. In fact one of the popular pairing tips dictates matching wine and cheese from the same region. Another notable tip entails pairing stinky cheeses with sweet wines – Indian wines drinkers will surely dig that one. Maybe the wine and cheese pairing tips could fill another blog. There’s no doubting the sober truth that These two European originals make each other better, confirmed by science and much loved by enthusiasts of the lot of two.