If you have been to a winery, happy hour, or party lately you have probably seen wine and cheese side by side. But did you know they have been paired together for hundreds, if not thousands of years?
The answer to why wine is paired with cheese combines history, geography, and science. Read more to learn about this dynamic duo and its fascinating evolution.
Brief History of Wine and Cheese
Although there is no time stamp or documentation for the first wine and cheese ever consumed together, evidence suggests it could have been thousands of years ago. Archeological evidence proves that our primitive ancestors were able to digest alcohol and starch, leading experts to believe that wine and cheese has been eaten for thousands of years.
Historical cookbooks and journals have been found listing the menus and order of events for gatherings dating back to the 1600s. These resources describe cheeses being served as an after dinner course alongside a sweet red wine.
By the 1800s, wine and cheese were affordable and accessible to many folks and commonly served in taverns and pubs.
Certain wines taste better with certain cheeses due to the historical regional accessibility to grapes and dairy in small towns and villages. It is likely that a farmer who would produce cheese would be very close to the person who provided wine. A farmer might even produce both products for a village!
Wines and cheeses from the same area evolved over time to reach the perfect taste when paired together. This is seen especially with brie cheeses and French wines. Soft and sweet brie cheese pairs great (and has for generations) with a velvety Beaujolais.
The Science Behind Pairing Wine and Cheese
Recent studies have revealed why wine and cheese are so delicious together.
A 2012 study conducted by the National Institute of Health indicated how people interpret food pairings. The scientists believe foods that sit on opposite ends of the spectrum of taste create a pleasant taste sensation, triggering a good match in the mind. The study results also point to the science behind astringent foods, like wine, when alternated with creamier foods, like cheese, can often create a pleasant taste combination.
Another study in 2016 for the Journal of Food Science indicated that consuming cheese while drinking wine can actually improve the experience you get from the wine itself.
JJ’s Wine Bar Pairings
If you are new to wine and cheese pairings ask the experts at JJ’s Wine Bar in Franklin. With a wide selection of wines and a variety decadent of cheese boards, meat selections, and charcuterie boards you are bound to find a pairing you like at JJ’s Wine Bar.
Visit JJ’s Wine Bar at 206 E Main St in downtown Franklin. Come by or call us at 615-942-5033. JJ’s is open 4 pm – 10 pm Tuesday through Thursday and 4 pm – 11 pm on Friday and Saturday, closed Sunday.