Munching a chunk of cheese with that cheeky glass of Sancerre could actually enhance its flavor. A recent French study has found that wine actually tastes better when enjoyed with a piece of cheese.
France's center for taste, food and nutrition sciences (Centre des Sciences du Goût et de l'Alimentation, CSGA) in Dijon asked 31 cheese lovers to sample two white wines and two red wines of the Pacherenc, Sancerre, Burgundy and Madiran varieties. In the first round of this comparative study, the "guinea pigs" were simply asked to sample each glass of wine and evaluate their levels of enjoyment with each sip.
In the next round, the wines were served with accompanying cheeses. Four types of cheese were used: Crottin de Chavignol goat's cheese, Roquefort blue cheese, a pungent soft cheese called Epoisses and Comté, a hard cheese. These four French varieties were specially selected to offer a cross-section of the country's diverse range of cheeses, each set apart with a different level of strength and a different texture.
The result was decisive. Tasters reported that all the wines tasted better with cheese, gaining in fruitiness and flavor. What's more, cheese even reduced the "duration of astringency," the dry-mouth feeling from tannins in red wine.
The news comes as food for thought to wine fans debating whether reds or whites are the best match for their cheeseboard.