Sunday, the New York Times ran a piece by Florence Fabricant in the Magazine section on white wine paired with cheese. The fundamental argument is sound (and has been made before), but several details along the way made me very disgruntled.
1. Name-dropping + absurd reductionism:
"Ever since I was taught, by none other than Aubert de Villaine, an owner of the esteemed Domaine de la Romanée-Conti in Burgundy, that good red wine is not flattered by cheese, I have been annoying restaurateurs and friends on the subject. With cheeses, de Villaine pours Le Montrachet, a buttery white Burgundy, never his top-of-the-line reds."
So, Le Montrachet is just a trifle, alongside the reds? Um?
2. Fabricant's conclusion:
"My personal theory is that the fixation on red wine with cheese is a Victorian English conceit. Dinners in which women participated were usually served with white wine, typically riesling. At the end of the meal, the men retreated to the library to drink clarets and ports with cheese, none of which were considered proper comestibles for fine ladies."
Yet, at the beginning:
"Christine Salsedo seemed somewhat surprised. 'Most of the time people drink red with cheese,' she said. 'We’re French, so we definitely prefer red.'"
Claret with cheese is a British invention? Yet the accusation is that the country that makes the cheese is traditionally interested in pairing with reds? Quelle disconnect.
3. "The selection included a St.-Marcellin, one of my favorites. 'Do you have any white wines by the glass?' I asked."
Whatever the validity of whites with cheese, St-Marcellin is not one of them. It cries out for Beaujolais.
Please, please, just make this woman go away.
End of extremely annoyed post.