Wine and cheese: serious science

October 27, 2005

Twenty-seven food and wine experts recently met in Summerland, Canada, to determine ideal cheese-wine parings using scientific sensory methodology.

Nine award winning Canadian artisan cheeses and 18 wines from British Columbia were paired, with judges asked to select ideal matches.

The wines included light fruity whites, oaked Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Merlot and Cabernet blends, as well as late harvest and ice wines.

The Riesling was determined the most versatile white wine, followed by the Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris. The most difficult wines to pair were the late harvest, ice and port wines.

The Blue Benedictine, Oka and provolone cheeses were most suitably matched with those wines, supporting the general rule that stronger flavored cheeses tend to pair best with stronger flavored wines, according to researchers. The white wines in general tended to pair better with the cheeses, while the ice and late harvest wines dominated the pairings.

Study authors Marjorie King and Margaret Cliff are members of the Agriculture Canada sensory research team located at the Pacific Agri-Food Research Center in Summerland.

The study is detailed in the Journal of Food Quality.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International