Wine and Cheese Marriage
When you think of a piece of cheese, it is hard to imagine it without of glass of wine in your hand―so much so that the dynamics between food and wine can be described as “marriage based on love”.
This magical pairing of cheese and wine is in fact not a coincidence – there is a science behind this match, as is in the case of many culinary pairings. Both cheese and wine come from natural products, namely milk and grapes, and both can acquire different taste and texture qualities when aged. The marriage of cheese and wine is based on resemblance of the two, rather than the “opposites attract” concept. According to many sommeliers, a wine has to match a dish according to contrast in order to find the right balance. For example, a dish which is rich in fat pairs well with a tannic wine as the fat smooths the tannins making them less obvious, while the tannins in return help cut through the fat making it easier to eat. However, when it comes to cheese, it is a little bit different. An aged cheese pairs well with a full-bodied and refined wine, while a young cheese instead goes well with a crisp, drinkable young wine.
To explain why cheese and wine are paired due to similarities rather than contrasts, let’s look at the properties of both. Cheese contains casein which is a milk protein that produces small amounts of ammonia. This helps to soften the sip of a sharp wine, making it softer and rounder. Cheese helps our taste buds round off any astringent qualities of wine, balancing softness with sharpness. Therefore a strong flavored cheese with its own distinct softness and taste, is the perfect match for a full-bodied wine that if drunk alone, would not fully take advantage of our palate.
Try Koshu Wine with Cheese
Our recommendation is Rubaiyat Koshu, which is made from 100% Koshu, a Japanese grape variety grown in Yamanashi Prefecture. It has a brilliant yellow color, a perfect balance of rich acidity and fruitiness. It is a dry wine with a clean, refreshing and straightforward taste. Balanced and charming, this is a very food-friendly wine.
For a dry white wine from Japanese Koshu variety, we recommended pairing it Mimolette cheese, which has a beautiful dark orange color like a mango. A rich and crisp Koshu dry wine will give you a clean aftertaste, even with the crusty taste of well aged mimolette.