It was back to school for me too last night as I attended a wine course locally entitled cheese and wine pairing. One of the weaknesses of a wine tasting is often no food is ever served – other than a wafer biscuit – but wine is almost invariably the accompaniment of food. We tend to be rather rigid here: white wine with fish, red wine with cheese and meat.
First up was a Welsh goat cheese with a Sauvignon Blanc from the Wine Society priced at £8.75.
Sauvignon Blanc has been flooded by the New Zealand variety, some of theirs is extremely good but there is no Appellation controller there.
Much is produced in the Loire valley,a region I know well and this a Touraine, Domaine Genault was excellent I gave it 8 out of 10.
I did not think though it improved the cheese.
The third wine was a Pinot Noir from Otago, South Island, New Zealand. These Pinos are good value and reliable. This one was called Mud House and certainly had strong favours and did taste well with the creamy Delicious de Bourgogne.
Fourth was an indifferent claret and this time I enjoyed the cheese, a powerful West Country cheddar more.
Fifth was a Alsace Pinot Gris ,Cave de Truckheim. This with Italian Taleggio cheese did work extremely well and won my vote for best combination.
We finished with a Montbazillac, a sweet wine which is a cheaper alternative to Sauternes with a blue cheese. These sweet wines are surprisingly adaptable. A glass of Sauternes is often served with foie gras.
Again I was not wholly convinced by the combo.