Each year the 25th January sees celebration of Burn's Night with a traditional supper to honour the life and poetry of Scottish poet Robert Burns. Alongside the strained melody of bagpipes, haggis, neeps and tatties typically feature on the menu - all a bit of an acquired taste! We suggest a trio of exceptional Scottish cheeses as an alternative Burn's Night feast, accompanied by a wee dram of single malt whisky or these delicious wine pairings from our friends at Heritage Wines.
Paddy's Mile Stone
Paddy's Mile Stone is a small, beautifully wrapped soft cheese made by Dunlop Dairy near Stewarton to the west of Glasgow. It is handcrafted from the milk of Ayrshire cows and then ripened for several weeks to develop its white bloomy rind. Encased is a mousse-like paste with a melting edge under the rind. An unexpected beauty when cut into, Paddy’s Mile Stone has a delicate flavour that is creamy and savoury with a slight lactic bite.
Pair Paddy's Mile Stone with a sparkling rosé. The mousse-like texture of this cheese is a wonderful contrast to the bubbles. We recommend Black Chalk Wild Rose 2016, a small batch traditional method sparkling wine produced in Hampshire using the three Champagne grape varieties (Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay). Notes of red berries compliment mushroom flavours in the cheese, whilst further time in bottle has awarded the wine a delicate and creamy mouthfeel to enhance that of the cheese.
Isle of Mull Cheddar
Cheddar is wonderful with both white and red wine, and as we’ve previously paired Isle of Mull Cheddar with a medium-bodied red wine (Montgomery Vineyard Rondo 2017) we opted for a white this time.
Made on the Hebridian island from which it takes its name, Isle of Mull Cheddar is a raw cow's milk cheese. Made to a traditional farmhouse recipe and matured for eighteen months, it is pale ivory in colour with a yeasty aroma and full, savoury flavour. Its sharp, fruity tang comes from the cows enjoying fermented grain from nearby Tobermory Whisky Distillery.
Chardonnay is particularly delicious with Cheddar. Choose a richer style that can stand up to the cheese like Louis Latour Montagny 1er Cru "La Grande Roche” from Burgundy. Ample with notes of yellow fruits, Mirabelle plum, almond and vanilla; the fresh fruits are a wonderful contrast to the cheese’s yeasty and buttery flavour.
Dessert wines and sweeter sherry styles are an excellent pairing for blue cheese, but so is whisky.
Lanark Blue is a powerful blue-veined sheep's cheese that has been made by family-run Errington Cheese in South Lanarkshire since the 1980s. Semi-hard in texture, it is completely handmade using raw milk from the farm's own flock of Lacaune ewes (the same breed used to produce French Roquefort). The cheese has a wild and totally abandoned taste; salty and creamy with a sharp tang that works wonders with single malt whiskies from the Highlands.
Lanark Blue was tasted with Glenfarclas 10, 15 and 21 year old whiskies but it was the 15 year old that worked particularly well. This robust whisky hit the sweet spot of complexity to suit the cheese. Notes of raisins, orange peel, walnuts and dates with a sherried sweetness beautifully complement Lanark Blue. Humphrey Errington's powerful blue cheese is not for the faint hearted, but then not many cheeses would be a worthy partner to whisky. Enjoy at the end of a meal or cheeseboard as the match can overpower other cheese and wines.