Cheese usually comes to mind when we think of wine, and vice versa. Wine and cheese have been served together for thousands of years, which is not surprising given that they make a delectable coupling with a variety of flavors that linger on the palate long after the final sip.
There has been much discussion over why we enjoy pairing a particular sort of wine with a particular cuisine that contains dairy; some claim the answer is scientific, while others claim the answer is cultural. The scientific explanation, though, is really rather fascinating.
Paul Breslin, an experimental psychologist at Rutgers University, observed that astringent and fatty foods (wine and cheese) oppose each other to generate a balanced mouth-feel, which was reported in an article published in the journal Cell in October 2012.
Breslin asserts that astringents—chemical substances like the tannins in wine—cause the tongue to feel scratchy and dry. On the other end of the range, cheese lubricates the mouth, making it seem nearly slimy. Cheese has a fatty and slightly greasy feeling. Both of these reactions are unpleasant when consumed separately, but when combined, the astringents in the wine will lessen the cheese’s lubricant-like characteristics, reestablishing palate harmony.
Even if wine only has a slight astringency, regular contact with its tannins will improve its capacity to counteract the fattiness of the cheese. In essence, this means that foods heavy in fat and protein and low in tannins balance each other’s flavors, making wine and cheese a good match.
Numerous other academics have tested this notion since the paper was published roughly five years ago. Scientists from the Centre for Taste and Feeding Behaviour in Dijon, France compared four well-known French wines with four different kinds of cheese and came to a same conclusion. The cheeses improved the experience of the wine for the 31 wine tasters by reducing the dry mouth-feel, the researchers found.
Now that science is on our side, we can confidently state that wine and cheese are to die for!
Contact the staff at Winery Tour Yarra Valley right away if you want to taste the unique flavors of the Yarra Valley for yourself! Your palate will travel the globe on one of our picturesque winery tours while you take in the Yarra Valley’s natural beauty and tranquil ambience. Consider embarking on our Private Premium Tour, which might include a visit to the Yarra Valley Dairy, the source of hand-crafted Victorian cheeses, to sample some of the mouthwatering farmhouse cheeses the area has to offer.
Winery Tour Yarra Valley
Unit 201/98 River Esplanade
Docklands, VIC 3008
(03) 7042 3201