Wine and cheese tastings

Last night was the first time I added wine to my cheese board at Cheesy Bookclub and  the girls loved it! I’d tried a cheese and wine combo before inspired by Fiona Beckett’s post on her Cheeselover blog and wanted to share the revelation. Her pairing of Gewurtz, Munster and cumin seeds a) made me feel like a true cheese person, and b) was a sublime combination.

A new turn on my journey as a cheese nerd – wine and cheese. But if I had a strong cheese to eat at the end of a cheese tasting, what would go with it? And then what wine? How do you choose what goes with what? Here’s what I did .

Le Marche Francais
Le Marche Francais

First off I had the anchor elements for my cheese board – the Munster and Gewurtz. Munster is a washed rind cheese with a good stinky pong so I needed some lighter flavoured ones and luckily Ludovic at Le Marche Francias advised me on cheeses which would work with white wines.

We worked backwards, a challenge I literally relished as he fed me little tastes in the search for a sympathetic match. We agreed a little tower of wrinkly goat, Chabis Fermier, would start us off nicely, and a 12 month Comté would give us a safe middlepoint of sweet, nutty deliciousness. It was also going to be pleasing on the eye: a tower, a square and a triangle; coloured white, through lemony cream to fleshy orange. Balance, just what a girl likes.

So to the wines, and really this was the easy bit. There is heaps written online about matching cheese and wine – I even have an app for it! There are many classic pairings concepts, one of which is that wines and cheese from the same areas are going to work together. Is it the terroir, or that they evolved together? This is why the Gewurtz and Munster works, both are from Alsace.

I chose a Sauvignon Blanc for the Goat, another classic pairing as both have a sharp zing that sings to each other. They also both come from the Loire Valley. The Comté paired with a Chardonnay, the richness of the Chardonnay holding hands with rather than competing with the nuttiness of the cheese. Again, Chardonnay is grown in the Jura, the region where Comté is from. I’m starting to get the hang of this!

I wasn’t sure whether my bookclub would appreciate this level of geekiness, I also gave them tasting notes, and dictated the order we should try the cheeses. But they loved it, and it was cool really getting a sense of how matching the cheese and wines together really enhances the taste of each. I can’t wait to try more and would love to hear it about other wine cheese combos you’ve tried.

The safe and summery hands of Comte
Munster and Gerwutztraminer – stinky and the sweet

The Wine and Cheese app by Max Allen & Will Studd
– check out the cheese library