For years, we’ve believed that wine and cheese go together like strawberries and cream; there’s nothing quite like a hunk of melting camembert and a glass of plonk, after all.
However, according to experts, vino isn’t all that when it comes to fromage – and every single wine and cheese evening we’ve been to has been based on a cruel lie. If you really want to do right by your cheese, you need to team it with one of Great Britain’s best-loved beverages – and, no, we’re not talking about gin (for once).
Tea, this is your moment.
Read more: 10 reasons why eating cheese is good for you
That’s right; the humble cuppa deserves your love and respect, because it’s no longer just for downing with your nan on a rainy day. In fact, this hot beverage is sophisticated, refined, and – most importantly of all – your cheeseboard’s new best friend.
Explaining why tea is such a good option for cheese, food expert Rachel Safko told Forbes: “Like wine, teas have varying degrees of tannin along with a natural astringency: a dryness and feeling that isn't quite bitter or sour, but more like the pleasant tartness and pucker you might get from tasting a lemon or pomegranate.
“Cheese—in its infinite glory—offers a nice balance to that astringency.”
She added: “Tea is the chameleon of all beverages.”
However, before you go rogue and start teaming the classic English Breakfast with a hunk of cheddar, Safko advises you spend some time carefully pairing your fromage with your teabags.
Brie, she suggests, goes best with a “crisp, lemony first flush Darjeeling” – while a strong-tasting green tea (ideally with grassy undertones) is the dream companion for a creamy goats cheese.
And your bog-standard black tea? Well, you want to pair it with a blue cheese, such as a gorgonzola or a stilton.
“The salt and creaminess in [these cheeses] play off the sweetness and darker depths of the tea,” explained Safko.
So, next time someone invites you along to a wine and cheese night and begins boasting about all the vintage vinos in their kitchen, you can scornfully point out that they’d be better off switching the kettle on instead.
All hail tea!