The Norwegian Food Research Institute (Matforsk) has studied the effects of ambience on food and drink and can finally offer scientific backing for certain tastes and preferences.

Research indicates that we enjoy wine more in good company but a good piece of cheese is always nice cheese.

Matforsk researcher Margrethe Hersleth said the wine study clearly demonstrated that accompaniments and social situation had as much effect on taste and enjoyment as varying types of wine. Wines scored highest when served with food and even higher in pleasant social surroundings.

A strong contrast to previous tests on the influence of environment on taste was provided by a study of cheese. Here, samples were rated the same even when tasted in a laboratory or social setting, and accompaniments also failed to affect how the various cheeses were enjoyed.