Do you have to eat in the event you’re tasting wine?

Do you eat whilst you’re tasting wine?
H.H., Erskineville, NSW

Credit score:Simon Letch

A: Nice query, as a result of the true place of wine is on the desk with meals, but wine professionals seldom eat whereas tasting critically. This may look like a paradox. Nicely-chosen wine with a meal does elevate the enjoyment of meals, and vice versa.


Nevertheless, to evaluate wine critically, it’s problematic to eat whereas tasting. Evaluating the standard of wine calls for focus and acuity, and each are compromised in the event you’re consuming. Meals within the mouth adjustments the chemistry of the palate and that impacts the way in which we understand wine’s attributes – its aromas, flavours, texture and construction.

Folklore has it that “within the outdated days” (every time they have been), less-reputable members of the English wine commerce used the maxim “Purchase on apple, promote on cheese”. In different phrases, if you would like your buyer to overlook the imperfections within the wine you’re attempting to promote them, feed them cheese as a result of it should make their tastebuds much less discerning. However in the event you’re the client, and also you wish to style perceptively your self, use apple to sharpen your senses. That’s to not counsel that cheese isn’t an amazing accomplice for a lot of wines. It’s, certainly. It will depend on the cheese, after all: not all cheeses go along with all wines.


At public tasting occasions, I often ask the kitchen to not put any blue-mould cheese on the cheese platter if younger purple wines are to be served. I discover the blue mould reacts disagreeably with the tannins in younger reds.

Nevertheless, the place the place blue cheeses are proper at house is with candy wines. Roquefort with sauternes is a basic match. Robust or gentle blues, corresponding to gorgonzola, stilton, roquefort, Shadows of Blue and others, will be elegant with wealthy, candy wines, corresponding to Rutherglen’s fortified muscats and topaques.

Somewhat sweetness can counteract essentially the most piquant flavours: spicy, chilli-spiked Asian dishes will be fantastic with a barely candy riesling. However remember: if you wish to get an correct impression of what you’re ingesting, chilli is a palate-killer!

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