• By Allen Dale "Ole" Olson   |   Tuesday, March 7, 2017 at 1:18 pm   |     |   Print   |   Permalink

Remember those? Wine and cheese parties? So popular back in the 60s and 70s. One of my favorite bosses used to throw one every Christmas season that was a highlight of his neighborhood.

All of us wine lovers entertained with wine and cheese events. It was just the thing to do. Easy. Not cheap; cheese is a bit pricey, but the simplicity made up for it. Plus we always learned a bit more about both cheese and wine.

Of course there is plenty of scientific evidence that cheese does not marry well with wine. It mutes aromas, cancels oak, fruit, and tannins. But try telling that to an Englishman who embellishes his Stilton with a glass of vintage port. Try suggesting to a vintner in Colmar that his Gewurztraminer might be compromised by a Munster or a Burgundian that l’Epoisse will tarnish his favorite estate red wine. Diners throughout France are accustomed to a selection of cheeses helping them finish the last of the wine still in the bottle at the end of dinner, sometimes as a dessert, more often as a prelude to dessert.

Science or not, cheese and wine have much in common. Both are about chemical changes and aging, natural products doing natural things. I have long been an advocate of eating what you like with a wine that you like. With hundreds and hundreds of both cheeses and wines to experience, surely we can always find agreeable choices.

Shall we now address the matter of Champagne, chocolate, and strawberries? There are some things that science will never explain satisfactorily.


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