Cheese and wine seem to have been created to compliment each other, else would there be so many experts who dedicate their life to finding the perfect pairing? Whole lives have been centered around the discovery of new tastes that a piece of cheese and a glass of well chosen wine can create.
So there are a couple of ways to pair cheese in fact. You could take the scientific approach and follow what the experts are saying about tannin which is a natural compound found in the fruit, leaves, and vines of many species of plants including grapes. These tannins are also added by wine makers to wines that are intended to age for a long time as it plays an important part in the process, but they can give a wine a bitter taste, especially if it’s young.
And what, I hear you ask, would one use to combat this unbecoming bitterness in the wine? Well thats where the cheese comes in, and scientific study has reputedly found that high fat and protein foods actually balance the taste of tannin. So when you next (delete as appropriate) partake of, peck at, nibble, munch, polish off, pig out on… a piece of cheese, it is actually preparing your mouth for the wine to follow and if selected well, great new tastes can be enjoyed.
The other way would be to follow these gentle rules and allow yourself to explore and enjoy your own personal tastes. Try to find wines that compliment the qualities of your cheese: A strong and robust cheese like our sheep milk Paški Sir would certainly need a strong full wine to match it’s complexity, while our milder cow milk Kolan might call for something a little more fresh.
On the other hand, you could do what we did and ask the experts to do it for you. We approached Ivan Vrban, the dedicated author of the ever popular eNOgAStrObRUtaL blog and wine explorer extraordinaire, to see what he would pair with Sirana Gligora’s cheeses. Ivan rose majestically to the challenge and as we quickly found out he is not one to do things by half. After some consultation with some master sommeliers, he called together an expert panel who together had the enviable job of finding the perfect pairings.
So, it is with many thanks to Ivan and his savvy team that we have these pairing that leave me salivating as the possible tastes. Also a special thank you to Sanjin Kaštelan for documenting the event with the excellent photos above. You can read Ivan’s full report in Croatian here, and click on our cheese links below to descover the perfect pairings. Try them, experiment yourself and let us know what your favorite combinations, but above all, enjoy, and relax.
- Top 10 – Cheesy Holiday Ideas (essentialtravel.co.uk)
- Wine and food Pairing: A Primer (redenvelope.com)