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The world of wine and cheese pairings can be, for the non-expert, like trying to find your way out of a dense, unfamiliar wood at dusk: you might have a rough idea of the way, you could stumble on the perfect pairing by chance, or you could just fumble blindly in the dark.
What you need is a wine and cheese pairings map. Step forward Professor Gary Bader at the University of Toronto, who has created an easy to use interactive wine and cheese pairing network, utilising software designed for genetics research.
Simply search for the name of a wine or cheese on wineandcheesemap.com and you’ll be presented with a number of pairing options in visual form, from which you can explore the network further. For example, search for Barbaresco, an Italian red, and you’re presented with 21 different cheese options; pick one, say taleggio and you’re recommended four whites and three reds to pair with it, plus six cheeses that would compliment it on a board – and so on.
The site contains over 1000 pairings of around 100 wines and 270 cheeses. Bader told the BBC the idea came from a conversation with his wife: "She had the brilliant idea, the Eureka moment, to say, 'We can make a network out of these.'"
The pairings are sourced from Max McCalman’s Cheese: A Connoisseur’s Guide to the World’s Best, one of the couple’s favourite books. Bader says the visual map has allowed him to identify which wines pair most easily, including “syrahs, red burgundies, and California merlots.”
So next time your own way to a wine and cheese party, make sure you have this map to hand.