Cheeses of the Month & Wine Pairings

1st March 2019

We have four cheeses that carry the 20% discount this month – look out for the red star.

Perl Wen (v) One of Wales’ best loved soft cheeses – buttery, mushroomy, salty and creamy that melts into a tangy citrus centre with a soft downy rind.   Made by Caws Cenarth to a Caerphilly recipe but then matured like a Brie to give it a uniquely delicious texture and taste.  As it matures the flavours deepen and it becomes creamy with that lovely lemony centre. Gorgeous baked and eaten with warm baguettes and dollop of chutney.

A crisp white is the order of the day suggests Rob, our Corney & Barrow wine guru and what better than their Petite Gasconne Blanc? A long-time favourite from the brilliant communal group Producteurs Plaimont (standing for the territories this group occupies Plaisance, Aignan and Saint Mont). The vineyard sites tempered by cool breezes down from the Pyrénées, encourage the slow and gentle ripening of the grapes – this wine is fresh and zingy with white flower and lemon character, perfect for that citric core to the Perl Wen and enough in terms of zip and acidity to go right through the texture of the cheese.

Cashel Blue (v) – Jane and Louis Grubb have been making this cheese on their farm in Tipperary since 1984 and its Ireland’s original farmhouse blue. An easy-eating blue cheese with a pleasantly buttery texture and the balanced amount of blue veining adds a lift to the rich full-flavoured paste.  Works well crumbled onto salads or to snack on with grapes.

A slightly fatter, riper red is in order here recommends Rob and their Puertas Antiguas Shiraz is a great example; soft-textured, above all, this Shiraz bursts with black fruit, violet notes and a hint of peppery spice which should meet harmoniously with the properties of the cheese when served alone, or with plain as well as black peppered crackers. A real treat!

 Le Cret Gruyere – This is the traditional hard cheese made from milk of cows that graze the Swiss mountain pastures where the unique composition of the grass is reflected in the cheese.  Matured for 12 months it has a sweet, nutty flavour with hint of fruit.  Lovely as it is with fruit and crackers, it is one of the finest cheeses for baking having a distinctive but not overpowering taste, such as in a quiche, also a good melting cheese for fondues or traditionally used in French onion soup.

Chardonnay and Gruyere is a truly lovely yet all together under appreciated (underused maybe?) coupling. A typical expression of Petit Chablis then is the best bet here: The Corney & Barrow firm and taut example from Domaine Millet, with its layers of ripe fruit and minerality provides the perfect combo whatever the presentations of this cheese – by itself or as in a soup – delicious all!

Black Bomber (v) –The Snowdonia Cheese flagship cheese is an award-winning ‘cheddar with attitude’ and a popular choice for our cheese of the month. Strong extra mature cheddar packs a powerful punch yet is surprisingly mellow, full of flavour with a bite and long-lasting aftertaste. Rich, slightly sweet and creamy and very moreish. Wrapped in black wax retains a moist smooth texture, distinctive from other traditional cheddars which are usually more crumbly.

With vibrant, cherry-plum notes and a spicy, liquorice finish, the Bodega Ruca Malen Malbec has an array of flavourful qualities to match, with a body and firmness, too, that should meet the character and structure of the Black Bomber soundly.