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Laura Werlin Offers Her Cheese Tips

Laura Werlin on Pairing Cheese and Wine

One of my favorite classes during the Food and Wine Classic in Aspen, was Laura Werlin's American Raw Milk Cheese seminar. Laura is one of America's foremost cheese experts and an awarding-winning author. Upon arrival, I was greeted with a plate of cheese and three wines (a white, red, and dessert). Laura walked us through each cheese and wine pairing while giving the rundown on what we were tasting. She also provided some interesting cheese tips. To see her tips for pairing wines and cheese and to learn more about cheese in general,

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  • When pairing wines with cheese, taste the wine first. The flavor of the cheese affects the wine's flavor more than the wine affects the cheese.
  • Cheese kills off the fruit flavors in wine and brings out the tannins making it harder to perfectly pair red wines with cheeses.
  • Candied walnuts are served with cheese and red wines because they help bridge the gap between the cheese and the tannins in red wine.
  • Blue cheese is especially difficult to pair with red wine. Instead match a good blue cheese with a dessert wine.
  • The crystals in aged cheeses are called tyrosine. They're the deposits left behind as protein breaks down.
  • When cheese is left out for a while the butter fat separates from the cheese causing the cheese to appear as if it were sweating.
  • Different types of cows make different kinds of cheese. Sometimes one can taste the different grasses in the cheeses as well.
  • Raw milk cheese is cheese made with unpasteurized milk. They are legal in the US, but only if they have been aged for 60 days or more. This includes imported cheese.

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Join The Conversation
nancita nancita 7 years
Wow great tips. I had no idea about any of this!
gigill gigill 7 years
When I had a little wine/cheese tasting in France I just picked out some random stuff and it tasted fine! I'm all about the experimentation, but if I had more time I'd like to research and try a proper wine/cheese tasting.
SugarFreak SugarFreak 7 years
I have the cheese and wine book from Williams-Sonoma that I received for my bridal shower...must read it!
AbbyHintz AbbyHintz 7 years
Interesting about the walnuts. I will definitely be adding that one to my Sunday wine and cheese nights.
ahappierdiane ahappierdiane 7 years
I need to know alot more about this.haha Mmm.
shoneyjoe shoneyjoe 7 years
Somehow my parents have designated me as the wine / cheese guy in the family and turn to me for advice on setting up a cheese plate. I don't know where they got that idea - I'm pretty terrible at it. I'd love to go to such seminars to learn more.
shoneyjoe shoneyjoe 7 years
Somehow my parents have designated me as the wine / cheese guy in the family and turn to me for advice on setting up a cheese plate. I don't know where they got that idea - I'm pretty terrible at it. I'd love to go to such seminars to learn more.
Tabloid Tabloid 7 years
ilanac13 - Me too! I also like red wine with black olives
Tabloid Tabloid 7 years
ilanac13 - Me too!I also like red wine with black olives
ilanac13 ilanac13 7 years
i always love to go to wine and cheese seminars, but to be honest, i never buy things that match up. it's great to learn about it, but i typically stick to my 'fail safes'
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