In my previous life as a sommelier, one of the big questions I had was ‘how can I match a beverage to cheese in all of its wondrous variations?’ There was no simple answer – until I delved into the world of sake.
In my early years working in restaurants I had looked for the somewhat classic approach to matching cheese – tannic red wine with cheddar, port wine with blue cheese, and so on. But I came to the realisation that these were examples of wines that only just stood up to the character of the cheese and obliterated some of the more nuanced elements of both. After much sake tasting and cheese sampling I realised that sake really does come to the rescue – it can handle big flavours in cheese without overwhelming the other elements that make cheese so delicious. It almost magnifies the delicious nature of cheese.