“Catherine loves France. She actually loves anything to do with France, but what she very particularly loves is French wine and French cheese.” This was the brief I had been given by Georgie and a few friends keen to throw Catherine an evening birthday tasting to celebrate her turning 30. I took the information away with me with and over the following months came up with several ideas, none of which I was quite right for this special occasion special theme. Then, late one night after a fourth scotch and half an episode of Fawlty Towers I got it – I would do a French wine and French cheese themed tasting. “Oh man!”, I remember thinking, “the girls are going to love this…!”.
Gathering in a beautiful
A reminder of some key points for pairing cheese and wine.
1. Things that grow together, go together.
2. Most importantly, match flavour intensity and weight, like for like.
3. Whites are actually much easier to pair with cheese than reds.
4. More than anything else you need high acidity to cut through cheese.
5. Tannins match with hard cheese. Low tannins are much safer.
6. Fruity and fresh wines match well with creamy and fresh cheeses.
7. Aged reds with soft fruit and tannins pair beautifully with cheese.
8. Match characteristics and flavours; creamy, mineral, nutty, fruity etc.
…and what better was to demonstrate, than by putting it into action.
We drank Champagne, we drank wines, we ate cheese, we ate canapés, we played somegames, we spoke in French, we turned the flat upside down looking for jelly babies and we learnt a mildly amusing anecdote about how Saint-Nectaire got its name – there wasn’t much time for anything else.
Thank you to Jennie, Kate, Rosie and all the manifiques hens.