With holidays abroad a little trickier than usual, this month we are celebrating staycations by the Suffolk seaside. Our July selection includes three of our favourite East Anglian cheeses, all with a Continental twist. Katie from Heritage Wines has the perfect wines matches for these local cheeses made to a French-inspired recipe.
"Slate’s Cheesemonger's Special Selection for July is outrageously good. You could say I’m biased as the trio stems from East Anglia - my homeland too. But no, these cheeses are some of the best being made in England and it’s easy to see why. The trio includes St Jude, Baron Bigod and Well’s Alpine.
Initial wine pairings include Bolney Wine Estate Pinot Noir 2018 and Black Chalk Classic 2015. As a lighter style of red wine, Pinot Noir can match especially well to soft cheese and is often recommended as a pairing to Brie, the style of cheese Baron Bigod is compared to.
Personally, I love sparkling wine with cheese. It is often overlooked in favour of a still white wine but sparkling wine so often has the ability to cut through rich, creamy cheeses and can refresh one’s palate. The grape variety Chardonnay is also a brilliant match for a variety of cheeses, so my tip would be, if choosing a sparkling wine to opt for a wine that is Chardonnay-dominated.
I am delighted to have found a fantastic sparkling wine and cheese match. Black Chalk Classic 2015 is Chardonnay-dominated (49% Chardonnay, 34% Pinot Meunier, 17% Pinot Noir) which provides a richness to the wine. It paired well with both Baron Bigod and St Jude however, the pairing with Baron Bigod was particularly scrumptious. I might opt for a richer sparkling wine to pair with St Jude next time. A wine with more toasty notes and a creamy texture, such as Wiston Estate Cuvée 2009.
As a semi-hard cheese, I was expecting Well’s Alpine and Bolney Estate Pinot Noir to be a match made in heaven. But I have to remind myself that red wine and cheese is often not a great pairing. It was perfectly acceptable, however a pairing with Trevibban Mill Constantine 2018 was sublime! The wine’s nutty, buttery, honeyed and rich fruit character complemented those similar flavours found in Well’s Alpine.
For those who would like to enjoy red wine with cheese, I do recommend pairing Baron Bigod with Bolney’s Pinot Noir. The naturally high acidity in the wine and the fresh berry flavours are a good contrast to Baron Bigod’s creamy, luxurious texture."