So the story goes, a respected industry veteran was pouring a white wine to go with the cheese course. One guest wasn’t happy and let his feelings be heard, ‘don’t you know that you only serve red wine with cheese!’ This sparked a catch-up with our friends from Spring Street Cheese Cellar to brainstorm and match the most exciting cheese and wine pairings going ‘round that tantalise and tickle (the tastebuds).
As wine vintages come and go, some riper, others leaner along with the seasonal variation imparted on cheese through the fattiness of the milk or a change in their food source, what may look good in theory doesn’t always pay off in practise.
While we respect rules, there’s an infinitesimal spark of rebellion when they are broken for good reason. Let’s face it, we’re not trying to reinvent the wheel, rather come up with a match that works with specific wines and cheeses, right here right now. We’re very happy to stick with some of the classic pairings – they’re classic for a reason.
Eric Bordelet Poire Granit Sydre (Cider) 750ml ~ 4%, Normandy, France ~ $47
Eric Bordelet made the switch from sommelier to cider maker and hasn’t looked back. Working with an array of heirloom varieties, his approach leans more to winemaking than cider making. Made from 15 pear varieties, some of the trees are 300 years old! This is elegant and ethereal, ever so fine bubbles dance across the palate. A hint of sweetness is followed by savoury tones of wet rocks and flint, perhaps due to the granite soils (which the name suggests). At just 4% alcohol, the lightness and freshness of this extraordinary pear cider, along with a touch of sweetness marries beautifully to a mild and creamy blue.
Cheese Match: Berry’s Creek Riverine Blue ~ South Gippsland, Victoria
Blackman’s Brewery Reginald IPA ~ 6.2%, Torquay, Victoria ~ $18/4 pack
From Torquay, this west coast styled IPA has depth and bite in the bucket load! This rusty amber bodied beer offers hints of rosemary, orange peel and fresh leather. Its hoppy finish is judicious, letting the flavours carry on and on. Refreshing, it’s a great beer. We’ve gone a little left of centre and paired it with a cheese that is accented with lovage flavours. The two collide head on, a power struggle ensues and it’s photo finish. Dead heat!
Cheese Match: Klee Liebstocklkase ~ Twente, Netherlands
Willie Smith’s Cider Limited Release Somerset Redstreak 750ml ~ 6.3%, Huon Valley, Tasmania ~ $31
This dry savoury cider pays tribute to the Somerset Redstreak apples, which originate in the West Country of England. Renowned for their fine, chewy tannins, there’s a lovely added dimension to the delicately composed flavours of freshly baked apple pie and toffeed apples which carries the alcohol seemlessly. We couldn’t resist mimicking the apple highlights in the Graindorge Camembert Calvados. Yes that’s right, this cheese has been washed daily with Calvados. Its earthy tones are complemented by appley top notes, allowing the cider to cut through the richness and continue bearing the apple baton.
Cheese Match: Graindorge Camembert Calvados ~ Normandy, France
2016 Pooley Gewurztraminer, Coal River Valley, Tasmania ~ $32
Returning to her family’s Coal River Valley winery in 2013, Anna Pooley is a driving force behind the leap in expression of Pooley Wines. This cool climate gewurtztraminer has a pristine nose of orange blossom, rosehip and baking spice. It’s cushioned palate offers a generous burst of flavour. We couldn’t pass up the classic Alsatian match of Gewurztraminer & Munster. This robust washed rind matches the ebullient intensity of the wine, providing an earthy twist to the sweet florals in the wine.
Cheese Match: Fischer Munster ~ Alsace, France
NV Doyard Cuvée Vendémiaire 1er Cru Blanc des Blancs Brut, Champagne, France ~ $80
This exquisite Grower Champagne has garnered a cult following in the wine bars of New York. Made solely from chardonnay grapes from a selection of predominantly grand cru villages in the Cote de Blancs, it has a hefty proportion of reserve wines (50%) from 2011 and 2010. These reserve wines add depth, texture and mature notes of hazelnuts, ginger and crème patissiere. Once again we’ve gone with a tradtional match, Langres. A washed rind from the Champagne region, it is washed with Champagne and never turned resulting in a truncated shape, with a depression in the centre. The concaved centre is often used as a vessel for a small amount of Champagne. Pictured below is another of our favourite Grower Champagnes in Jacquesson, the Cuvée No. 740 being one of the finest and most expressive releases to date.
Cheese Match: Germain Langres ~ Champagne, France
TO ORDER: Please click here to send a reply email or call Kay, Lachlan, Margherita or Jeremy on (03) 9654 6657