Few scientific sensory evaluation research papers answer what makes a “good” or “bad” pairing of the two important fermented products. That analysis has largely been left to the subjectivity of popular culture and popular food and or wine critics. Now we have the results of a study titled, Two Products Or One Association? A New Method For Assessing Wine-cheese Pairing by Mara V. Galmarini, Anne Loiseau, Michel Visalli, Pascal Schlich (Centre des Sciences du Goût et de l’Alimentation, CNRS, INRA, Université de Bourgogne Franche-Comté), and Lucie Dufau (Université de Bourgogne Franche-Comté and AgroParisTech, Massy). The researchers set out to establish a scientific basis that would debunk, confirm or create its own prevailing wisdom.
Since studies sanctioned by the American Association of Wine Economics (AAWE) deal primarily with the business and economics end of wine, the aim of the wine and cheese study was to understand “how one can enhance, or not, the perception of the other…” because, “knowing what makes a ‘good’ wine-cheese pair can be key for product marketing.”These were French academics working in France, where wine and cheese are major cultural icons as well as “fundamental to the country’s economy.” France produces close to 20 percent of the world’s wine, to the tune of close to 8 billion euros in wine exports. France’s cheese production is third in line behind the United States (who knew?) and Germany.