If you like the occasional cabernet with dinner, then you’re probably not new to the classic tradition of enjoying some crackers and brie alongside your glass of red. In fact, the history of this simple feast dates back to the very first vineyards, even further back than ancient Rome.
But you don’t have to be an ancient Roman to enjoy the delights of a boozy picnic. You can visit a Napa Valley winery when the grapes are fresh on the vine, and you’ll probably be offered a smattering of delectable cheeses on the side. If you’re wise, you’ll choose a sustainable winery in Rutherford to take the best advantage of local products and eco-friendly practices.
Make it a tradition on Friday nights, either with your sweetie or with friends. This can be an easy way to explore local wineries and kick back for a low-key evening with some snacks. There’s no better place than California for an evening Chardonnay in the backyard or patio. So grab a bottle from a sustainable winery in Napa Valley (or a case to share), swing by your local deli, and you’ll soon be sipping in luxury.
Here is how the classic wine and cheese tradition came to be.
Geographic Similarities in Pairings
The simplest reason behind wine and cheese pairings is that the very first vintners and farmers were just eating local. They grew the grapes that flourished in their particular region and fermented it according to the historic tradition of their area. Local farmers had their own traditions of making cheese, and it naturally came to pass that certain combinations became popular. After all, when the cows and grapes are located on the same land, there is bound to be a shared flavor on the palate. It can take years to train your tongue and build up the sensitivity necessary to enjoy these subtle flavors. But any good sommelier can help explain how it works, and point you in the right direction for your tastebuds.
There’s no better place to start than your local wineries. Make a day of it and bring a notebook so you can make notes on which brands you liked. Becoming a connoisseur is a lifelong mission, so take your time and explore. Go to a Rutherford wine tasting and ask for local cheeses, to start your journey. Remember to choose a sustainable winery in Rutherford. These venues are much more likely to understand the connection between local food systems, and they can introduce you to a palate-pleasing selection of goodies to complement your beverage.
Merchants Can Sell Them Together
As a luxury offering, there’s nothing better than fermented grapes and cheese. Throughout the course of history, wines and cheeses have been food for the peasants but also for the elite. Alcoholic beverages are known to be common in cultures around the world, throughout history. Once agriculture became common in the western world, it was only natural to use leftover grains to brew beer. China is one of the first countries in the world to show a history of wine-making, shortly followed by eastern European countries like Armenia. Early colonists to the Americas discovered plentiful natural grapevines, but they didn’t love the taste.
Instead, they brought over some of their own grapes and started new vineyards in America. If you have ever driven through Sonoma, you’ve probably passed a sustainable winery in Napa Valley that has European grapevines growing there.
When it comes to commerce, ancient merchants knew that complementary goods can sell better in bundles. So they marketed beverages and snacks together to move more merchandise. Today’s vintners and restaurateurs are just as wise. They know that a diversity of flavors can delight you even more than a single offering.
Sensation of Consuming
Food scientists say that opposite food profiles, when eaten together, can create a more delightful eating experience. For instance, the fattiness of cheese is a great contrast to the astringency of vino. Napa Valley winery owners know this. Go to any Rutherford winery and you’re bound to be offered a cheese platter along with your Rutherford wine tasting. The pleasing sensation of alternating between cheese and sauvignon blanc is unbeatable. It often leads to people drinking more and ordering more to take home.
You can explore these pairings on your own by purchasing a selection of wines and cheeses from the same region. If you go to a regular grocery store, make sure you go straight to the deli section. Explainer to the cheesemonger what you’re looking for, whether it’s a particular flavor palette or region. If you’re going to throw a party, ask if they can give you a big chunk of it.
Adulting with Confidence
In modern times, wine and cheese nights have become a popular way for young adults in their 20s to socialize together. When they finally turn 21 and are of legal drinking age, many adults are eager to explore what’s available in terms of alcoholic beverages. It’s a quintessential adult experience, after all, to host your friends for a party with proper food and beverage pairings.
For millennials who don’t have a lot of time, a simple evening with a bottle of cabernet sauvignon and a platter of cheese and crackers is a great way to impress friends and enjoy an evening catching up. Plus, as their metabolism starts to slow down, they realize that drinking on an empty stomach might not be the best idea. Enter the cheese platter!
Finally, when people turn 21 and enter the working world, they start to have more pocket money than they did when they were younger. They are now able to explore their part of the world and spend money on experiences like visiting a Napa Valley winery. Many wineries are especially focused on marketing to new drinkers because brand allegiances formed young are likely to stick around for life.
So what are you waiting for? Head to a sustainable winery in Napa Valley this weekend. Not only will your taste buds thank you, but you’ll be participating in a centuries-old tradition of feasting in style.