[pull_quote_center]I like my men the way I like my wine, better with age.[/pull_quote_center]
Just kidding, with all jokes aside though, wine really does taste better with age. But it tastes even better when paired with the appropriate foods. For a beginner, there’s the obvious red with reds, and whites with whites (we’re talking about wine and meat here), but there’s a whole lot more to be explored and learned about wine pairing.
Drink what you enjoy.
First and foremost, it’s important to pick a wine that you enjoy. There’s no point pairing wines with foods that you don’t enjoy. Cuz let’s face it, we know you’re not going to drink/eat it and then you’ll just look like a pretentious wannabe for putting out all that stuff for no reason.
So once you’ve picked out a wine that you enjoy, let’s move on to where it’s from. Pairing your wine and cheese from the same region is the safest bet to start off with. So if you’ve picked a type of wine from Italy, maybe try to pick a cheese from Italy as well.
Red wines are jam-packed with tannins, especially the younger ones. Tannins have that pucker power that leaves behind the dry taste in your mouth after you take a sip of your wine. As wines have the chance to sit and age, the tannins get the time to soften up, reducing that puckering effect. Which is why the saying goes “wine tastes better with age“.
Tannic wines (ones with lots of tannins) pair well with harder cheeses (ie. cheddar and parmesan). Harder cheeses have had more time to age and lose a lot of their water content through a process called affinage, where only protein and fats are left behind. Tannins bind well to these proteins and fats, thus cleansing your palette leaving it ready for the next bite. If you insist on eating a softer cheese with more moisture, make sure to opt for a red wine with less tannins in it.
Pairing a tannic wine with a soft cheese will takeover all of the proteins and fats, leaving behind a chalky feeling and a metallic taste. This is the complete opposite of what you want to experience.
The oaky body of a white wine is best paired with younger, fresh and soft cheeses. Opposite to red wines, the lack of tannins in a white wine allow it to pair seamlessly with the rich creamy texture of a younger cheese.
White wines also come in a variety of sweet flavors as well. In the same way that sweet and salty foods go well together to neutralize flavors, the same goes for wines and cheeses. Next time try to pair your sweet white with a saltier cheese like feta. Feta doesn’t just have to go on top of a salad – who knew!
Last but not lease, sparkling wines also pair well with creamy and soft cheeses. The bubbly will remove all traces of protein and fat off of your tongue leaving you begging for another bite. This leaves your paletted cleansed and perfect for trying other pairings. A typical and classical pairing to never forget is Camembert and Champagne.
[quote_center]What are your favorite wine and cheese pairings?[/quote_center]
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