Clark feels all the fuss over wine and cheese pairings is a big oversight and more of a product of history and tradition than taste. He points out:
"We harbor the assumption that finding the right wine for your cheese will make them both sing. But really, much of the nuance and many of the most treasured flavor dimensions of a wine—berry, dried fruit, oak, mushroom, vegetal and bell pepper aromas—are actually greatly diminished (if not lopped off totally) when your mouth is full of butterfat."
In terms of complementing the complex and heavy tastes of cheese, Clark suggests pairing them with beer, cider, single malt scotch, and port. And, as we all know, wine isn't exactly bad with cheese. Stick with your favorites and let yourself off the hook when making selections for your next dinner party. Just don't go crazy (read: spend extra) on so-called perfect pairings because they're not so perfect, after all.
Do you pair cheese with alcohol other than wine?
• Read more: Don’t Take Wine and Cheese Pairings Too Seriously at Gilt Taste
(Images: Tio Pepe; Faith Durand))