Much-loved Connaught Village retailers Buchanans Cheesemongers and Connaught Cellars have come together to bring you the ultimate cheese and wine pairing guide just in time for Christmas. Wow your guests with a cheese course that’s guaranteed to put a smile on their faces. Take a look below to find the perfect pairings of aromatic wines and cheese bites for you.
Brightwell Ash Cheese: In the heart of Oxfordshire England, Fraser Norton and Rachel Yarrow have been making cheese from the milk of their goat herd since 2014. Despite knowing little about cheese making at the time, the couple have gone on to make two award-winning cheeses from their herd of 200 goats and tiny creamery. Brightwell Ash was their second cheese and has a beautiful, wrinkled grey and blue rind that gives way to a smooth, creamy breakdown and bright white fudgy core. It has a clean flavour of citrus and hazelnut.
Generosite Noire Blanc de Noirs Brut Champagne: This wine shares the same citrusy notes as the Bightwell Ash cheese with its lovely stone fruit plate. The fresh citrus and clean taste makes it the perfect fizz to impress your family and friends this festive period.
Old Roan Cheese: Old Roan is a farmhouse Wensleydale cheese made by husband and wife, Ben and Sam Spence, who left behind city jobs to make cheese in 2019. The milk is sourced from a local farm with a small herd, high quality milk and a commitment to animal welfare – the cows graze outside for as long as the harsh Yorkshire weather will allow (usually April to November). In winter they feed on haylage made on the farm, giving the milk a sweeter flavour which comes through in the final cheese. Old Roan is made in the couple’s micro dairy in their garage, in small batches using just 500 litres of milk, clothbound with butter and aged for 3–4 months. Unlike traditional crumbly Wensleydale, they use a slower, pre-war recipe that leads to a smooth and buttery texture. The flavour has all the lemon yoghurt acidity you would expect from a Wensleydale, with mineral, earthy tones closer to the rind.
Villa Sparina Gavi di Gavi DOCG: This classic Italian wine is bright yellow in colour that has delicate tastes of flowers and fruit with a scent of peach. Full and rich in flavour, the complete grape-ripening gives a wine which is lively, fresh and soft on the palate with a wonderful aromatic flavour to finish. The perfect bottle to pair with a slice (or two!) of Old Roan Cheese.
Coolea Cheese: Coolea is a hard cheese made in the style of a traditional Dutch gouda by Dick and Helene Willems, who moved to southern Ireland from the Netherlands in the 1970s. The cheese has a characteristically sweet and buttery-rich flavour, with notes of honey, caramel and butterscotch.
David Moret, Chasdagne-Montrachet, 2020: Wash the stunning Coolea cheese down with a bottle of Chasdagne-Montrachet wine that fills the palate with flavours of toasted brioche and tangerines. It is incredibly concentrated with refreshing acidity and is perfectly balanced. It is fantastic to drink now but also will develop deeper flavours the more the bottle ages.
Truffled Brie: Produced in Lorraine, France, this truffle brie is made in-house at Buchanans Cheesemongers by slicing open a traditional brie de Meaux and filling it with the most beautiful mixture of fresh brilliant Savarin cream cheese and black truffle. Bite into this gorgeous cheese and experience the velvety smooth texture and bloomy rind with a full savoury flavour reminiscent of mushrooms.
Connouau di Sardegna DOC “Orriu”: Orriu meaning weave, has a way of weaving into people’s hearts. This dark ruby red coloured wine perfectly compliments the deep flavours of the Truffled Brie. Its perfume is intense and enveloping, where notes of ripe red fruit, aromatic herbs and wild spices stand out as final notes. On the palate, the wine is soft, savoury and gives a pleasant freshness that will leave you refreshed.
Pevensey Blue Cheese: Pevensey Blue is a new cheese made by Martin and Hazel Tkalez in East Sussex, using milk from nearby Court Lodge organic farm where the cows graze the ancient drained marshland of the Pevensey Levels. The pair set out to make a creamy blue cheese based on a Gorgonzola recipe. The result is a cheese with a yielding, semi-soft texture and a flavour that starts out milky and sweet and deepens with roasted hazelnut notes as the cheese matures.
Domaine Du Tunnel Saint Joseph 2016: Pair your Pevensey Blue Cheese with a bottle of Domaine Du Tunnel Saint Joseph. This wine has dark berry and cheery aromas that are offset by deliciously savoury black olive and liquorice flavours. You’ll taste blackberries on the palace, with a seductive smokiness that lingers alongside the fruit over a long finish.
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