Food Expert Says: Pair Your Cheese With Tea, Not Wine

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By Cooking Panda

Oh what fools we’ve been!

When we decide we want to treat ourselves nicely, and get a little fancy just for fun, usually the first dinner idea we think of — because we’re basic, maybe, but also because we love ourselves — is the classic charcuterie board. That means cheese and wine, ya’ll. Can’t go wrong, right?

Wrong.

According to Rachel Safko, a food and drink expert, we’ve all been total bozos for pairing our cheese — delicious, fragrant, addictive cheese — with dumb old wine.

The true magic, Safko told Forbes per Metro, is the pairing of cheese with — wait for it:

Tea.

“Most people, in my experience, think of tea as a drink for rainy days, grandmas, or as a little sister to coffee,” Safko says, which sounds about right to us. Don’t get us wrong, we love (adore, even) a soothing cup of tea in the morning. Some days we actually favor green tea for its caffeine and health benefits over a cup of coffee to get our mornings off to a bright and energetic start. However, we don’t think of it as a huge treat or fancy, fun beverage.

“All of the above can be true,” Safko continues, “But there’s much more versatility to tea — it’s the chameleon of beverages.”

The chameleon, you say?

Basically, because teas have varying degrees of tannin, and because they are naturally astringent, Safko claims that the drink is actually super well-suited to being enjoyed with a cheesy snack.

Additionally, wine is usually served chilled or at room temperature. But Safko says that the heat from a hot cup of tea can actually coax out any flavors that are hiding, just waiting to be unleashed in a block of cheese, as it melts.

If you’re convinced and want to try it out, Safko recommends pairing white and green teas with fresh goat cheese, due to the drinks’ similarities to champagne and white wine.

Black teas go with goudas, as do earthy Puerhs; Lapsang Souchound goes with a strong blue cheese.

We’re just dying to try out this new combo. What do you think of the cheesy idea?

Source: Metro / Photo Credit: Cabot Creamy Co-Operative/Instagram

Tags: charcuterie, cheese, food pairings, Tea, wine
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According To Science, White Wine Is Better With Cheese

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By Cooking Panda

When we close our eyes and imagine ourselves tucking in with a loved one to a charcuterie board paired with wine, we immediately envision ourselves in a dimly lit room, popping lactic pills with — you guessed it — a glass of red on the table.

Red wine has earned itself a pretty strong reputation over the years for its health benefits and antioxidant properties. And let’s face it: it looks dang sexy in a glass.

However, some research has slowly but steadily been demonstrating that white wine itself has vindication — possibly even superior — qualities.

Per Munchies, the Centre for Taste and Feeding Behavior has released an article titled “Use of Multi-Intake Temporal Dominance of Sensations to Evaluate the Influence of Cheese on Wine Perception.”

Essentially, the researchers confirm that anybody who chooses a glass of white wine to sip on with their cheese is doing it right, because apparently, it appears to pair better with our favorite dairy product than does red wine.

Thirty-one participants took three sips each of Pacherenc, Sancerre, Bourgogne and Madiran wines. Next, they were instructed to imbibe those same wines, only to intersperse their sipping with bites of Epoisses, Comte, Roquefort and Crottin de Chavignol in between.

Ugh. What we wouldn’t give to have been participants in a study such as this one…

The scientists then used a method called multi-intake temporal dominance of sensations (TDS), which prompted participants to first associate the taste in their mouth with a word projected on a screen, and then redraft their associations as the taste evolved. Next, participants subjectively rated the wine, by itself and then paired with the cheeses.

The results? White wines were perceived as more refreshing, pleasant, and less astringent than reds were when consumed with cheese. The cheeses also apparently tasted better when paired with the white wines than they did all on their own (although we would never turn down cheese… ever…)

“This protocol could be a first approach toward developing an interesting tool for the food sector which would help to better understand perception of the impact of one food product on another, leading eventually to a better description of a whole meal,” states the article, according to Munchies.

Sources: Munchies, KQED Food / Photo Credit: Artisanal Cheese

Tags: charcuterie, cheese, pairing, red wine, Taste Test, white wine
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