Good news for cheese lovers: A recent study supports what you already knew. Cheese has magical properties. It's so magical, it can enhance the taste of wine, a study in the Journal of Food Science found.
The study: Researchers asked 31 experienced wine tasters to sip four wines (Pacherenc, Sancerre, Bourgogne and Madiran) and describe the experience. Then, the researchers asked the testers to eat bites of Epoisses, Comté, Roquefort or Crottin de Chavignol while sipping the wines and describe how the taste of the wines changed.
The result: Cheese frequently improved the taste of the wines. The expert tasters found that cheese increased fruitiness and the bouquet of the wine. If the cheese didn't improve the taste of the wine, it had a neutral effect — the dairy didn't adversely effect the wine's taste, according to the taste buds of the expert testers.
The secret behind cheese and wine's deliciousness? Cheese decreases the dry mouthfeel from drinking wine, the small study noted.
Luckily, the four cheeses were equally magical.
"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," lead study author Mara V. Galmarini said in a press release. "In short, when having a plate of assorted cheeses, the wine will probably taste better no matter which one they choose."
Previous research established that the bitter tannins in wine and the fat in cheese go well together because they create a balanced "mouthfeel," LiveScience reported in 2012.
Fatty foods like cheese lubricate the mouth, while the chemical compounds in wine or green tea make our mouths feel dry. The study revealed that drinking an astringent beverage like tea helped decrease the slippery feeling in the mouth after eating salami, LiveScience noted.
For optimal taste, you're better off chasing a bite of Brie with a sip of white wine, instead of simply chugging a wine flute before hitting the cheese platter this holiday season.
But we're not one to judge how large your sips are.