As the ‘Grand Fromage’ of The French Chef at Home, you’d expect me to have firm opinions on both cheese and wine!
With Wine and Cheese Day coming up (25 July), I’m celebrating by sharing just a few of my favourite pairings with you.
As mentioned in a previous blog, we were delighted to discover that Yorkshire takes its cheeses as seriously as we do in France. And a good cheese demands a good wine.
I like to support other local businesses. When I’m not visiting France to buy my wines directly from the producer, I source most of my cheese and wine from Minskip Farm Shop http://minskipfarmshop.com/ which has a small but extensive fresh food market. Much of the produce Ben and Emma stock is sourced from within 30 miles of the shop and all the wines mentioned below can be found there.
My new favourite cheese is the soft and creamy Yorkshire Brie and I like to pair it with a dry, yet fruity Niel Joubert Pinotage from South Africa. A ripe plum flavour with slight smoky trace, the wine has a dry finish with ripe berry and spice notes.
Closer to home, Château de Brague is a superior red Bordeaux that works well with a rich cheese. With its Merlot-based aroma and berry flavours, it’s perfect with Camembert au Calvados, a cheese produced in Lower Normandy that is marinated in Calvados brandy.
But it’s not only red wine that works with cheese.
Other great pairings include Picpoul de Pinet, a dry white, from France’s Languedoc-Roussillon region. The name means ‘lip stinger’ because of the wine’s zingy freshness. With aromas of blossom, Picpoul is comparable to the better-known Muscadet from the Loire Valley and represents excellent value. Its high acidity means it cuts through rich foods including creamy, firm cheeses made from sheep’s milk such as Ossau Iraty, another product of France’s South West.
Finally, a bone dry and aromatic Loire Valley Sancerre will perfectly complement the rich flavours of Sainte-Maure de Touraine, an unpasteurised full fat goat’s milk cheese rolled in wood ash.