E.g., Brie de Meaux with crusty baguette, fresh strawberries and Champagne.
One of the most exquisite and memorable cheese and wine pairings that I have ever experienced is the one that occurs between wines that are made from the Chenin Blanc grape and a little sheep milk cheese from Switzerland – the rare and distinctive Flixer. This cheese is related to the better known Alpine style cheeses such as Appenzeller; this cheese is cooked, pressed, and it receives several washings to enhance its savory flavor profile.
I've tried a great cheddar cheese sauce. It has a great taste with a mild heat. The name of the sauce is Cheddar Cheese & Chipotle Salsa Spread by Zaaschila.
Found it at:
Blue cheeses are originally a product of the environment in which they were ripened. In the case of Roquefort, the Roquefort caves in which the cheese was stored were teeming with Penicillium roqueforti.
From Cypress Grove Chèvre in California, Lamb Chopper is a buttery, nutty gouda-style cheese made from organic sheep's milk. Its semi-firm texture and good meltability make this cheese great whether served at room temperature or cooked into a hot dish.
The dry tanginess of this cheese matches well the high acid content of a Chenin Blanc, while the fruitiness nicely offsets the cheese's buttery flavor. Cypress Grove's website also recommends pairing it with Sauvignon Blanc or Vouvray.
Lamb Chopper is available for $26.06/lb at WinePavillion.com
Manouri is a Greek cheese made from the whey left over from Feta production combined with sheep's milk cream. Seriously, what could be bad about that? It is smooth, sweet and tangy, the texture is similar to cheesecake, and it is used in a lot of Greek pastries and desserts, often paired with sweet things like honey and/or fruit. Moschophilero is a Greek white grape varietal, similar to Muscat, with a complex bouquet and a nice balance between tangy acid and fruity sweetness.
Keen's is one of England's few remaining farmstead cheddars. Produced in the West Country from raw cow's milk, it is a wonderfully crumbly, grassy cheddar with a smooth bite and a lingering finish. Pairing it with apples is a great idea, the latter's fruitiness serving to highlight the acidic twang of the cheddar.
In fact last year I posted an entry about pairing cheese with apples, and the cheddar I chose then was Fiscalini Farms Cheddar, produced in California. The apple it went best with was Mutsu, a green apple that's firm, tart, and sweet. The balance between sweet and tart is perfect in the Mutsu, and I like to think it complements that very same balance evident in all great cheddars.
From the Spanish island of Menorca, Mahón is made in the style of regional sheep's milk cheeses, but using raw cow's milk instead. This adaption came about in the 18th century when a large influx of English immigrants brought dairy cows with them to the island. The square-shaped cheese has a golden orange rind (rubbed with olive oil and paprika during aging) that surrounds a tangy paste made salty by the island's Mediterranean breezes. Our faithful reader suggests sprinkling olive oil, ground black pepper and chopped tarragon over slices of Mahón, and serving those with olives, jamón serrano and Madeira.
This week's cheese pairing is Pont l'Evêque with crusty baguette and Norman cider or Merlot. Pont l'Evêque is a small, square-shaped washed-rind cheese from Normandy, and is one of the world's oldest cheeses. There is a reference to the cheese in a document from the 12th century, which states that "a good table always finishes with a dessert d'angelot" (Angelot may have been the historical name for this cheese). It is a soft, rich cow's milk cheese, whose unctuous and full-flavored paste includes notes of cooked cauliflower.
Again, a crusty baguette is a perfect foil for the smooth paste. Norman cider is a great choice of beverage, first because of the regional connection and second because the sweet tartness of the apples will pair nicely with the savoriness of the cheese. For that reason I might also try pairing it with Calvados.
As for a wine pairing, French Cheese recommends Condrieu, which has fruity notes from the Viognier grape. I haven't tried a Merlot with Pont L'Evêque; the currant/black cherry flavor and low astringency are definite points in its favor, but I'd be a little wary of pairing a relatively bold wine with such a bold cheese.
What do you readers think?
This week's pairing is Brie de Meaux with crusty baguette, fresh strawberries and Champagne. Brie de Meaux is an A.O.C. cheese made from cow's milk in the town of Meaux, near Paris. It is mushroomy and creamy, with an unctuous paste and a delicate bloomy rind. Champagne is a good choice; the tartness of the wine balances well the creaminess of the cheese. However, a bold Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot might be a better match for the savoriness inherent in the cheese. Like Champagne, Strawberries should provide a sweet counterpoint to the savoriness of the cheese. As for the crusty baguette, it is a great vehicle for enjoying this smooth, sensual cheese. (Incidentally who would ever want to eat a non-crusty baguette?) What do you think, o faithful readers?