Do not take it with cheese.
This is an old Spanish proverb.
It’s said that a father sent his son to buy wine. A lot of wine to resell later and make a living from that.
The family depended almost exclusively on buying and selling wine, so the father gave very good advice to his son to make a good deal.
Among this advice, the father said “Son, please, do not forget to try the wine before paying for it and putting it on the donkeys, and try again to make sure it’s the same wine. But whatever you do, do not try it with Manchego cheese”.
The son took a couple of donkeys and left for La Mancha, in the centre of Spain, where very good wines and the best sheep milk cheeses are produced.
Once the boy arrived at his destination, he asked for the owner of the first winery he found, and he immediately attended to our friend.
The old man took a glass of his best red wine and offered an unbeatable price.
The boy could not believe the good business that the wine producer had proposed, so he accepted the deal immediately.
To celebrate, the man invited the young boy to dinner and treated him to all kinds of delicacies. Roasted partridges, stewed hare, white wheat bread, and for dessert a typical Spanish dish; quince with a little honey and cured cheese.
The boy, intoxicated by the wine, the dinner and the happiness of having made a good deal, delighted in a last bite of that delicious dessert, loaded the donkeys with the arrobas of wine and before leaving he tasted the wine again – once it was ready on the donkeys, as his father told him.
The wine was the same, it even tasted better than the first glass.
The two men said goodbye and the boy went to his village, loaded with the best wine of La Mancha at an unbeatable price.
But when he got home and his father tasted the wine, he fell to the ground unconscious.
The wine was the closest thing to vinegar he had ever tasted.
Why did it happen?
The answer is simple.
A cured cheese can hide almost all the defects of a bad wine. The flavour of cured cheese is so strong that it completely covers the nuances of wine.
So now you know, if you’re going to taste a wine to buy it, never accompany it with cheese, it’s better to choose an Iberian ham tapa.
You could end up drunk on bad wine and crying lying on the kitchen countertop.