Wine Pairing Basics

Wine and cheese, is there any better combination in the world? Though it seems nearly impossible to get wrong, there actually is an art and science to the proper pairing of the two favorites, and thanks to Adam Centamore’s Tasting Wine and Cheese we can all be experts.

Check out these tips and tricks on the wine pairing basics!the-basics-of-pairing-tasting-wine-and-cheese


Which wine goes best with fried chicken? How about blackened tuna steaks? Does red or white wine go better with cheese? What was once a simple mantra—red with meat, white with chicken and fish—is no longer all that simple. The culinary world is a much more expansive place than it once was, and people have access to more ingredients, techniques, and recipes than ever before. The relationship between wine and food is as important as ever, especially when that food is cheese. A fundamental understanding of pairing concepts is paramount. It’s time to talk basics.

For many people, the thought of pairing a wine and a cheese is a little intimidating. Usually, it’s because there are so many wines and cheeses from which to choose, and it can feel like the odds of making the “right” choice are very small. In reality, pairing food and drink isn’t quite the monumental task it may seem. Once you understand a few basic principles, the possibilities are almost endless, especially with so many worldly ingredients available to the modern food enthusiast!


Fundamentally, pairing is the art of bringing two or more ingredients together to create an outcome greater than the sum of the parts. Whether the ingredients are sandwiches and soda, chocolate and wine, or Scotch and cheese, the idea is the same. When professionals create a pairing, they consider the ingredients involved and their characteristics. What do they add to the combination? These characteristics can be anything, such as a particular temperature, an unusual texture, or a dominant flavor. Maybe it’s the spicy bite of roasted jalapeño  chiles, or the sweet viscosity of acacia honey, or the addition of a hot gravy or sauce. Whatever the contribution, a well-made pairing incorporates it to add to the overall experience.

When thinking about pairing, keep the end result in mind, even though the path to get there may seem a bit strange at times. Much of the fun comes from trying new and unusual ingredients together. When considering ingredients, don’t dismiss something simply because it seems a little out of place. Although not every combination will work, great combinations can come from anywhere.

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Tasting Wine and Cheese

Broaden your palate and enhance your appreciation for gourmet flavor combinations with Tasting Wine and Cheese.

Is there anything better than a great wine and cheese pairing? You might enjoy a robust cabernet with the sharp, aged cheddar, or perhaps a crisp Sancerre with a tangy, creamy chevre.

Based on the curriculum Adam Centamore developed teaching at Formaggio Kitchen and the Boston Wine School,Tasting Wine and Cheeseguides you through the world of flavor pairing with an emphasis on understanding and developing your own palate.

Maitre d ‘Fromage Adam Centamore teaches you how to first taste wines and cheeses separately, allowing you to understand the complex profiles of reds, whites, aged, and fresh. But wading through these waters is only half the battle.Tasting Wine and Cheese takes you on a journey through pairings of cheeses with white, red, sparkling, and dessert wines. There is even a section to help you pair condiments with your wine and cheese.

Whether you’re looking to broaden your appreciation for gourmet combinations or simply looking for a menu to host a party, you’ll find everything that you need in this comprehensive guide.

“Adam Centamore is a master at making the perfect wine and cheese match. The interactive pairing workshop he teaches is one of our most popular Wine School classes ever.” – Jonathan Alsop, founder & executive director of the Boston Wine School and author of Wine Lover’s Devotional: 365 Days of Knowledge, Advice and Lore for the Ardent Aficionado

“Wine and cheese pairings decoded! In Tasting Wine and Cheese, Adam employs the same approach in this book as he does his classes – comprehensive, fun and filled with practical information for anyone interested in the enjoyment of food. The result is a pairing of its own as both a solid primer and a worthwhile reference for your future wine and cheese pairing adventures.” – Tim Bucciarelli – Manager, Formaggio Kitchen