Surrey’s Premier Lifestyle Magazine

What’s in a name?

Lizzy Parrott of Fine Wine Partners sorts through the office summer stories to find the best wines that accompany the distinct cheeses encountered.
As the bank holiday weekend signalled the end of the summer holidays, the still quiet office echoed with tales of new food discoveries and the wine that went with them. One tale was of a pungent cheese, purchased at a food stall at the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta. But like many smelly cheeses, its flavour was an entirely different matter. The pungent aroma meant the cheese could only be served outdoors but it was enthusiastically devoured by all. Although the smell was more memorable than the name, it was described by the vendor as a beer-washed Somerset cheese.

The story led to a discussion of which wine would go best with this unnamed west country delicacy which drew other colleagues into sharing their own summer discoveries.

A visitor to Alsace found Tomme des hautes Vosges, an artisan cheese from high in the mountains, went well with a glass of Riesling. Cheeses from the region are widely available here, as is Riesling whether from vineyards around the Rhine or from the New World, for example the Barossa region of Australia.
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Portugal boasts many delicious local cheeses and Queijo da Serra da Estrela, made from sheep’s milk, is often regarded as the queen of them all. Although found as a soft cheese, it was enjoyed in its firmer, more mature, state paired with a Touriga Nacional. The cheese might not be easy to find in England but wines with the Touriga grape are readily available.

Brillat Savarin was encountered in Tasmania, unsurprising given its developing gourmet culture. This rich, high fat, French cheese goes wonderfully with Champagne in its native France and in Tasmania was paired with a flight of their award-winning sparkling wines.

An easier pairing to recreate at home came, not surprisingly, from France where a young goats curd drizzled with local honey was found to go very well with Provence Rosé. This pairing can easily be experienced by matching a zesty goats cheese with a crisp, vibrant and flavourful Rosé especially if we are blessed with an Indian summer.

So the name of the cheese, or the wine, may not be critical to the pleasure of tasting them but we are curious to identify the cheese that gave rise to our discussion. Beer-washed cheeses originated in the monasteries of Europe and the practice is now wide spread in the USA as well as Somerset. Have you come across anything similar? Cellar One would love to hear from you. Why not pop in and see them?
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Left to right:
St Hallett Gamekeeper’s Shiraz Grenache Touriga £12.99
2015 | Australia | Barossa;

St Hallett Eden Valley Riesling £16.99
2017 | Australia | Barossa;

Petaluma White Label Nebbiolo Rose £14.99
2017 | Australia | Coonawarra;

House of Arras Grand Vintage £34.99
2007 | Australia | Tasmania.

essence info
Fine Wine Partners
Thomas Hardy House, 2 Heath Road, Weybridge, Surrey KT13 8TB
Telephone: 01932 428600