When you attend galas, and dinners, it is hard to miss a platter of cheese and wine, sometimes a few grapes and crackers. you casually grab a bite and a glass as you chat with friends, coworkers, or your date. If you pay attention, this combination is not randomly thrown on these platters and hurriedly served to people, there is a lot of work that goes into pairing the right type of cheese, with the right type of wine, when it’s done that way, it therefore creates a pleasant combination that is tasty and not harmful to the metabolism of individuals. Although you can opt for a variety of other snacks, bites, and drinks to serve, wine and cheese make it to the top of the list, and there is no fact to prove why that’s the case, but we all gravitate towards this beautiful duo. Wine lovers or cheese lovers know that every wine is not the same, from white, red, rose, dry or sweet, every wine has a special allure, so does the cheddar, blue, or mozzarella cheese. People definitely have preferences, that is why the chef puts in extra attention into the pairing, to bring to the table platters that will identify with different individuals and therefore create a perfect ambiance for the occasion.

Human beings are not entirely different from the combination of wine and cheese, nobody is calling nobody wine or cheese, but people are created with the same complexity, their personalities define who they are more likely to connect with. There are a lot of things that go down in trying to understand a person, that’s why it’s hard to judge a person by simply looking at them, that’s not what makes them interesting, it’s their minds, souls, and everything else that can’t be found in just their appearance. For so many decades, until now, the concept of gender empowerment has been a controversial point of discussion, from women emancipation, to gender equality, to feminism, there is always something to talk about, something that needs to be fixed, and the world gradually becomes a messy party with the wrong platters of wine and cheese. The same way, you can’t just randomly serve sparkling wine with a hard cheddar cheese, is the same way you can’t solve gender empowerment issues with just a superficial understanding of different key elements in the process. Some wines are older than others, and so are some cheeses, when you have to pair them, you need to pay attention to a few details such as the taste, the age, and the acidic nature of either elements. Understanding gender empowerment, means digging deeper. Gender based violence, or the gender pay gap, or gender based discrimination, is deeper than what we see on the surface, it has a lot to do with the context and background of individuals, their education, their upbringing , and most importantly their intellectual and emotional interpretation of the situations around them. If you know nothing about wine or cheese, then be informed that, if not out of luck, you will always get the pairings all wrong, and as you know, you can’t forever rely on luck to achieve great things. Here’s a few tips on how to do that.

#1. Pair wine and cheese with the same intensity.

The general rule is that wines over 14.5% ABV are more intense and wines under 12% ABV are less intense and that dictates the kind of cheese they go with. The Gruyere cheese has delicate flavors, it wouldn’t make sense to pair it with bold  wines such as Cabernet Sauvignon, however a Pinot Noir, which is equally delicate would be a perfect match, whereas the Cabernet Sauvignon, along with Merlot, and Cabernet Franc, would be perfectly be paired with Cheddar, and Gouda. Women’s rights violation is as old as the battles goes back in time, before the 1980s, women had no right to education, no right to owning property, no right to vote, they couldn’t even choose who they got married. For so many years, women had to be controlled by men’s power, live and do as men say. If you’re trying to empower women in your region, help girls gain access to education, or empower them to make their own decisions, you need to approach that with the same intensity with whatever value they have in those people’s lives. Either to ensure that not only women get what they should have but ensure that men also go through transformational counseling or training that helps them understand and support the cause. Playing the cats and mouse game of who is to blame and who is the victim will not necessarily create the positive impact we’re constantly seeking.

#2. Wines and cheeses from the same place pair well together.

chances are, wine and cheese from the same area will make a great combination, due to climate, vegetation, and other geographic aspects that give elements the tendency to be alike. Pair your Parmesan cheese with Prosecco, they’re both Italian, and the bubbles in the Prosecco marries the saltiness and hardness of the Parmesan cheese. Homegrown solution tends to be more effective than something that has worked somewhere else. Based on the historic, cultural, religious, and leadership backgrounds, some gender related issues will have to be approached differently. In a liberal state that gives freedom to expression, to speech,  to social media usage, to religion, movements will be more assertive than in a conservative state that has strong religious attachments, you’d have to be more deliberate with what you put out there to ensure that the cause is well received and that you don’t jeopardize the collective security and sovereignty of that community.

 #3. Sparkling wines are incredible with soft, creamy cheese and when in doubt, get a firm nutty cheese.

One thing there is to know about sparkling wines, is that they offer a palate cleanser due to their high acidity and carbonation versus sticky cheeses such as Epoisses de Bourgogne and Camembert. If the chef did not pair any for you and you’re faced with a table full of cheese and wine, go for hard nutty cheese such as Gouda and Edam, their fats balance the tannin in red and are delicate enough to compliment whites. Gender inequality doesn’t have a one size shoe fit all solution, sometimes things will not be as crystal clear and you might have to first unlearn the principles and values that you hold to be true, or simply make sure you remain neutral versus complicated and doubtful situations.

There are more tips and guidelines on pairing wine and cheese, if you’re interested,  but if there is one thing we have learnt so far, is that wine and cheese are both exceptional but very complex, they can both do well on their own, they can be used for a variety of other things without each other, but it is undeniable that when they come together their match is indispensable. Gender empowerment is as wide, deep, complex, but not unattainable. Men and women are differently made but in a way that compliments each other. Yes there are problems, yes they are complex, it’s also true that they are a big challenge to the global community, although there is no clear cut solution, the foundation lies in a deep understanding of the human structure and how that plays into the decision making process.