With all the new quarantine rules, possibility of travel to Europe feels like it's fading fast. Instead, bring a taste of Alpine mountains and Mediterranean sunshine to your cheese board with our August Cheesemonger's Special Selection. This trio includes Gorgonzola Dolce, Manchego do Diaz and Morbier. In this blog we are delighted to share with you pairing suggestions from our wine partner, Katie at Heritage Wines, chosen to enhance the beautiful flavours of these European favourites.
"Blue cheese and dessert wine is always a fantastic match. The saltiness you get from blue cheese is crying out for a sweeter wine. Gorgonzola Dolce is a milder style of blue cheese. Itself sweet and creamy but still with that noticeable tang coming from its blue veins. An ideal pairing then for a dessert wine from England. England’s wines have become known for their high acidity and this is no different when it comes to dessert wines. In comparison to Sauternes, Takaji and Germany’s Eiswein, English dessert wines are less cloying and more refreshing; a result of that natural high acidity.
Hattingley Valley Entice is my wine of choice with Gorgonzola Dolce. This milder style of blue works fantastically well with this refreshing English sweet wine, neither overpowering one another. Add a sliced peach and you have a delicious summer’s day lunch. If dessert wine isn’t for you, pair Prosecco with Gorgonzola Dolce.
Hattingley Valley Entice 2018 is a made by freezing Bacchus grapes to -10°C, England’s version of Eiswein/Ice Wine. Pale gold in colour with vibrant aromas of tropical fruits, peach and gooseberry. Notes of elderflower and pear follow on the palate with a delicious honeyed character and a creamy mouthfeel.
Hoping across the Mediterranean, to taste the Manchego do Diaz, I took inspiration from Spain’s fantastic tapas restaurants for this pairing of cheese and wine. I chose Gonzalez Byass Delicado Fino sherry which exhibits the hot, dry saltiness of Andalusia’s wines. The cheese, like the Fino, has seen some extended ageing and has a well-developed flavour, from sweet to savoury. Manchego do Diaz is bold enough to stand up to sherry’s pronounced flavour. Serve cubes of Manchego do Diaz and almonds in a dish together, pair with Fino and you’re sure to be transported to the Spanish coast.
Gonzalez Byass Delicado Fino Sherry is a limited production sherry, whose ‘Delicado Fino’ has been carefully selected from long-aged casks of fino, resulting in a rare wine. Very dry, as is typical of a Fino, but wonderfully refreshing for a sherry that has seen extended ageing. Notes of lemon curd and baked apples are complemented by almonds, bread and yeasty characters.
If you have a young Manchego with a fresh, grassy quality, instead pair it with a still white wine, such as Albariño from Galicia.
And lastly to the French Alps, Morbier is a cheese that you can pair with both white and red wine, even a Vin Jaune - a wine similar to sherry, from the Jura region not far from Morbier’s home in Franche-Comté. However, I chose a light red wine from England that has been made in the style of a Beaujolais.
Flint Vineyard Pinot Noir Précoce is bursting with red berries and cassis. Backed up by notes of cedar and vanilla, this delicate red wine with soft, if not slightly grippy, tannins is an ideal partner to Morbier. Tart, fresh fruit matches the tartness of the cheese and counterbalances a creamy texture, all of which is wonderfully refreshing.
Morbier is an excellent melter. Use in a Tartiflette, or when baking onions, and continue to pair with Flint Vineyard Pinot Noir Précoce. Its acidic kick makes it the ideal match for rich dishes."