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Match your Cheese and Alcohol

Zoe 4 April 2012

Cheese and wine is a classic pairing, but with some cheese it’s possible to move away from the grape and towards the grain, or at least towards a fortified grape. Rhuaridh Buchanan of Paxton & Whitfield’s London Jermyn Street shop has a few suggestions for the cheeseboard and alcohol to complement.

Blue cheese:

  • Stilton – a classic British blue cheese made from pasteurised cow’s milk in Nottinghamshire. A good Stilton has a herby tang with a deep creaminess.
    Best alcohol match: Vintage port.
  • Cornish Blue – an award winning cheese made from pasteurised cow’s milk by Philip Stansfield in Cornwall. It has a soft dense texture with a buttery yet tangy flavour.
    Best alcohol match: Madeira or aged barley wine.

Hard cheese:

  • Paxton’s Cave Aged Cheddar – this uses pasteurised cow’s milk. Made in the Bride Valley, Dorset, the cheese is then matured in caves at Wookey Hole, Wells, Somerset. It has a distinctive nutty and fruity bite.
    Best alcohol match: India Pale ale.
  • Mossfield Organic – this cheese is made on Mossfield Farm, County Offlay, southern Ireland, from organic pasteurised cow’s milk. Rich in colour it has a full flavour like an aged Gouda.
    Best alcohol match: French granache/something earthy.
  • Berkswell – produced in Warwickshire this cheese is made from unpasteurised ewe’s milk. It has a distinctive rind with lively flavours that vary with the season of production.
    Best alcohol match: An unoaked chardonnay or an English sparkling wine.

Soft Cheese:

  • Finn – made from organic pasteurised cow’s milk in Herefordshire, this cheese is lactic and creamy when young developing walnut and mushroom flavours as it matures.
    Best alcohol match: English pinot noir.
  • Wigmore – made in Berkshire, this cheese uses unpasteurised ewe’s milk. With a soft rind the cheese has a mixture of favours running from grass and herbs through to flowers and nuts.
    Best alcohol match: French chenin blanc.

 Goat’s Cheese:

  • Aldwych – this firm textured goat’s milk log has a clean, fresh flavour with plenty of character. It’s made from unpasteurised goat’s milk in Somerset.
    Best alcohol match: Bacchus or riesling.
  • Ticklemore – with a rich, nutty and refreshing flavour this cheese is made from pasteurised goat’s milk in the Dart Valley, Devon.
    Best alcohol match: Bacchus sauvignon blanc or bacchus