You read that title correctly! Wine lovers can now rejoice and not feel guilty about one of their favorite indulgences: wine + cheese! A recent study done by Iowa State University found that moderate daily consumption of wine and cheese has led to some very positive long-term health effects. For those who aren’t accustomed to pairing their wine with cheese, here are some reasons why we recommend giving it a try!
Why It’s Tasty
Most wine lovers can already attest to why wine on its own is so delicious. But, it is the addition of cheese that can really take your taste buds to the next level. Cheese, by nature, is creamy and fatty. It also contains proteins that coat your tongue. When sipping wine after eating a bite of cheese it creates a beautiful sensation in your taste buds due to the counteracting flavors and mouthfeel of the two elements. This actually creates a balance that can intensify the taste in both the wine and the cheese. And with finding the balance, it is all about finding the right wine and cheeses that go along with each other. Bold red wines pair better with hard, aged cheese. Sweeter wines pair better with mild, slightly aged cheese.
Why It’s Satisfying
Our taste buds crave balance. On one hand, cheese is very oily and creamy. On the other hand, wine is very tannic and acidic. When combining these two opposite qualities it creates an effect known as “palate cleansing.” Astringent tastes such as wine paired with creamier tastes such as cheese create a pleasant taste combination. This combination also intensifies the mouthfeel when combining the creaminess of cheese with the acidity of wine. All in all, this type of pairing method is what the mouth typically craves most.
Why It’s Healthy
There have been several studies correlating moderate wine consumption, especially with red wine, to positive health benefits such as the reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease. Only recently, however, have we discovered that cheese provides long-term health benefits as well! The moderate consumption of cheese has proven to protect against age-related cognitive problems. That being said, when combining both wine and cheese you are actually being protective of your long-term cognitive stability! The key to all of this is moderation – nothing can be healthy in excessive use. However, next time your friends try to say you enjoy your wine and cheese too much, just remind them you are working on your long-term health.
Our Favorite Pairings
- Sparkling wine + a small wedge of Brillat-Savarin, Saint Andre, or Pierre-Robert
- Chardonnay + a small wedge of Fontina, Epoisses, Reblochon, Taleggio or Munster
- Pinot Noir + a small wedge of Boursin, Mozzarella, Burrata, or Chèvre (goat)
- Cabernet Sauvignon + a small wedge of Manchego, Aged Cheddar, Pecorino or Aged Asiago
- Late Harvest Gewürztraminer + a small wedge of Camembert, Munster, Blue Cheese or Aged Gouda