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Study Shows Cheese Can Enhance Your Wine Drinking Experience

Turns out that fancy cheese plate isn’t just for show

Wine merchants have long had a saying , "Buy on bread, sell on cheese," meaning that bread won't interfere with their palates when they're deciding which wines to purchase, while cheese will improve the flavor of those wines when their potential customers sample them. Now a study conducted at the Center for Taste and Feeding Behavior in France has found scientific proof that eating cheese can positively impact the taste of wine. Its findings were published in the October issue of the Journal of Food Science, according to Phys.org.

“[F]requent wine and cheese consumers from the city of Dijon” were the subjects of this study. Four wines (Pacherenc, Sancerre, Bourgogne, and Madiran) were evaluated and paired with four cheeses (Époisses, Comté, Roquefort, Crottin de Chavignol).

The subjects first judged the wines using a sensory evaluation method that measured how perception of the wine on its own and while eating cheese changed over several sips.

It was found that eating cheese impacted how the subjects described the wines, as well as their preference for the wines. None of the cheeses had a negative impact on preference. The subjects either liked the wine the same or more after consuming the cheese.

“Thanks to our research we learned that the duration of the perception of astringency of a certain wine could be reduced after having cheese and that the four evaluated cheeses had the same effect,” said lead author Mara V. Galmarini. “In short, when having a plate of assorted cheeses, the wine will probably taste better no matter which one they choose.”

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