Cheese and wine tasting with awesome Wellington foodies

30 Foodies, 6 cheeses, 3 wines, a sommelier and a cheese geek. Last night’s cheese and wine tasting at Elements Café was awesome. Organised by the fabulous Lucy Mutch from Wellington Foodies, we gathered to taste a selection of winners from the New Zealand Specialist Cheese Association Awards. I was in charge of the fromage, Jules van Cruysen from MacVine International provided the wine and Kate Hardwick helped cut and plate up. I’d chosen six cheeses with the help of James and Tara from The Dairy in Ponsonby. I’d swung by after the cheese awards and tasted my way through … Continue reading Cheese and wine tasting with awesome Wellington foodies

Beer and cheese tasting

Winter’s coming and with it stronger, heavier cheeses. Cheeses that shout out for beer. I’d heard beer and cheese were easier to match than wine and so I hollered out to my beer geek friends. 4 beers, 5 cheeses, my best glasses – a tasting afternoon! I love formal tastings, they encourage a mindfulness often missing when you’re sitting round socially, quaffing and snacking. The incidental-ness of the food and drink is replaced by an almost solemn focus. Except of course nothing stays solemn for long when sipping beer and sampling cheese. Soon enough we were giggling our way through … Continue reading Beer and cheese tasting

Gruff Junction Darfield – perfect cheese for summer

Bone white, with a layer of black ash, Gruff Junction’s Darfield is perfect for languid summer days when I hanker for young, light cheeses. Paired with a Sauvignon Blanc I want something to serve in the lead up to a barbeque, rather than at the end of a feast. This is when goat’s cheeses come into their own. And Gruff Junction make some of the best I’ve tasted. Their Darfield is a sexy cheese for summer. The pyramid square of bloomy rind opens up to reveal a dramatic seismic line. Named after the town at the epicentre of the September … Continue reading Gruff Junction Darfield – perfect cheese for summer

Goats cheese and kiwifruit – strange but true…

Goats cheese and kiwifuit? With basil? On toast? OK Madame Fromage, Cheese Courtesan from Philadelphia, you got me tempted. What an unexpected pairing of our national fruit, and by an American, this combination turned out to be a revelation! A hot looking canapé, simple and fairly inexpensive, it’s bound to become a staple this coming summer. Just smear fresh goats cheese on bruschetta, add a slice of kiwifruit and a jaunty spring of basil. Easy as. Pair with a G & T or a chilled Sav. Delicious. I used Meadowcroft Chevré, a New Zealand-made, French-style, fresh goats cheese made by … Continue reading Goats cheese and kiwifruit – strange but true…

Secrets to a great cheeseboard – Prep, place and accessories (part 2)

We eat with our eyes first, then our noses and last our palettes, I read once, but I reckon we also eat with our imaginations! I mean what is eating with the eyes? Sure, there are some down right sexy looking foods, perfectly ripe strawberries, a gooey Brie, the sensuous fall of honey from the spoon. But bound up in there is also anticipation, triggered by the remembered.  Past experiences flooding back, priming the taste buds with imaginings of upcoming joy! This post then my cheese-y friends, is about transforming your cheeseboard so it calls to your guests like sirens … Continue reading Secrets to a great cheeseboard – Prep, place and accessories (part 2)