Wine & cheese, simple as that…..

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

Wine-And-CheeseWine can be a tricky subject to get to grips with; a subject surrounded by more than its fair share of mystery, scaremongering and old wives tales. You’ve seen the headlines; one minute wine is good for you, the next it’s not. Then there’re the rules; red wine with red meat, white wine with fish, red goes with cheese and forget indulging in a chunk of stilton if you’ve run dry of port! When it comes to cheese and wine I live by one rule of thumb: the younger the cheese the more likely it is to go with white wine, the older the cheese the better is should be with red. Then I open a few bottles and start experimenting.

The origin and classification of cheese is very similar to that of wine, in order to label your cheese with a specific designation it must be produced according to strict guidelines, which means it can also be just as tricky to get to grips with! One of the best selections of cheese I’ve come across is at La Cave à Fromage in South Kensington where pretty much anything goes, the rule of shop manager Nicholas Broché is simple; there are no rules. They serve an eclectic mix of cured meats, cheese and wine to take-away or eat on-premise and depending on the season their range can vary from 250 – 350 different fromages.

I tried one of their ‘balanced cheese boards’, a range of 6 different styles of cheese; goats, semi hard, hard, bloomy, washed rind and blue which you can sample in store with 6 different wines for £35.00. The best match sans doubt was the Abbey de Belloc, a semi hard slightly nutty cheese made from ewes milk and produced in the Basque area of France. It paired incredibly with a glass of Vignoble Gibault Sauvignon Blanc/ Chardonnay 2009 from the Loire. And while their wine list is predominately French it has a peppering of Spanish wine which proved an eye opener when it came to the Stilton as Port of course was not an option! Instead I had Mas Estela Moscatell 2005 a sweet Spanish wine bulging with dried orange skin flavours and fruit cake aromas, it was amazing how well the sweetness of the wine balanced the saltiness of the stilton. Who’d have thought it? Incroyable!

Miss Bouquet’s top tip:
If you don’t have time for a tasting at the shop you can take-away the Abbey de Belloc for £2.95/ 100g and a bottle of Vignoble Gibault Sauvignon Blanc/ Chardonnay 2009 for £10.50. Or try the Quemby Hall Stilton at £2.50/100g and a bottle of the sweet Mas Estela Moscatell 2005 for £13.50. Better still, order it all on line at www.lacave.co.uk

This article has been published in the September 2010 issue of The Notebook, Kensington & Chelsea

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2 Responses to “Wine & cheese, simple as that…..”

  1. Chainey says:

    Fantastic article, combining two of the best things on this planet. Certainly need to pay this place a visit!

  2. Miss Bouquet says:

    Thanks Chainey! I think I may take Mr Bouquet there for his birthday next month, it’s definitely worth a visit!