Wine & Cheese
    July 14th, 2009

By: John St. Mark

Wine and cheese. The combination is ubiquitous, so they must go together … right?

Wine and cheese do have a great deal in common. Both are fermented, complex, and very ancient foods. Just as wine can be made from different grape varieties, cheese can be made from the milk of different animals. Where the grapes are grown and how they are cultivated will affect the wine and similarly, where the animals live and what they eat will affect the cheese. In both cases, the methods and materials used by the producer will determine many features of the finished product.

When tasted together, each can influence our perceptions of the other significantly; for that reason, professionals in both industries normally do not like to see wine and cheese together in an analytic tasting. Their goal is to evaluate the wine or the cheese based on its own merits.

Tasting for enjoyment is another matter. If we have wine and cheese together, we want the interactions between them to be interesting and pleasant, so let’s consider some of the factors that influence those interactions. For now, let’s look at the following six attributes of wine:

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