In only about 150 pages author Adam Centamore covers “The Basics” of tasting and pairing cheese (and condiments) with every wine imaginable – sparkling, white, red and dessert – in his book, Tasting Wine and Cheese.
Some Tasty Tidbits Eve Nibbled On
Don’t skip the compelling forward to this book written by Dr. Diran Apelian. (Professor, Mechanical Engineering and president of the International Wine and Food Society) who was vital in getting Centamore to pen this book.
Centamore cajoles readers to pay attention “beyond what we need to form a basic judgment” to get the most of what we eat and drink. This is a common lament of mine as well.
On page 17 we are reminded that temperature effects aroma (a too-cold wine is often closed) and how this also relates to getting more aromas from foods that are warm as opposed to cold.
Pages 21-25 are devoted to observing the look, the smell, the feel and the flavor of cheese, which gives the reader a very good start before settling in to pair.
By page 30 Centamore gives us some pairing examples, how terroir (what the goat grazed on) applies to cheese as it does wine and how combinations of foods are better together than as stand alones.
We then learn how tannin and fat – fat in steaks and tannin in red wines – balance each other out.
We also learn that “there can be only one center of attention at a time” in a pairing. So don’t serve a complex food with too complex a wine, only one food can “claim the spotlight.”
Not to give too much away, after a little pairing education, Centamore moves into pairing every wine varietal – common and uncommon – with different cheeses. From the sparkling start though to sweet red wines, he lays out different pairings, however, if there was a common theme I did note that French cheeses were often suggested with French wines, Spanish was the same, and so on. Much like pairing wine with any food, I often reach for what the wine was meant to be served with.
The book concludes with a neat little chapter on condiments, as adding them to your cheese and wine pairing is a way to “add another flavor or texture.” Here is where you will pull out your jams and fruit chutneys, chocolate and dried fruit, honey, nuts, vegetables and herbs.
If you have a fave wine or a fave cheese, the index will come in very handy as well.
In his gorgeous new book, Tasting Wine and Cheese, Maître d’Fromage Adam Centamore teaches readers how to first taste wines and cheeses separately, helping everyone 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 readers on a journey through pairings of cheeses with white, red, sparkling, and dessert wines. There is even a section to help reader’s pair condiments with their wine and cheese.
Whether readers are looking to broaden their appreciation for gourmet combinations or simply looking for a menu to host a party, everyone will find everything they need in this comprehensive, must-have guide.
Here’s what people are saying:
“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.
Eve Bushman has been reading, writing, taking coursework and tasting wine for over 20 years. She has obtained a Level Two Intermediate Certification from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust, has been the subject of a 60-minute Wine Immersion video, authored “Wine Etiquette for Everyone” and recently served as a judge for the Long Beach Grand Cru. You can email Eve@EveWine101.com to ask a question about wine or spirits that may be answered in a future column. You can also seek her marketing advice via Eve@EveBushmanConsulting.com