The pairing of wine and cheese has been practiced for centuries—in France, of course, but also in Britain. In both countries, it was recognized that cheese just seemed to bring out the best of the wine, and vice versa.
Turns out, it's all about chemistry. The astringency of wine is caused by a substance known as tannins, the acidity of which makes your mouth pucker. Cheese, on the other hand, is creamy and fatty and coats your mouth. Your mouth reacts pleasurably to the creamy coating at first, but then needs the wine to cut through it, cleansing your palate. Wine and cheese truly do complement each, causing you to crave the opposite whenever you consume one or the other.