Vacherin Mont D'Or has a luscious soft texture and powerful flavour full of woody, resinous notes. Truly seasonal, it is made on both sides of the French / Swiss border around the mountain peak, Mont D'Or, only between 15 August and 31 March each year. A strip of spruce, a 'sangle', is put around each Vacherin Mont D'Or to stop it collapsing whilst it is brine washed and ripened for up to sixty days. The spruce imparts resinous flavours to the cheese as it develops a pillowy, corrugated rind. Intensely creamy, this distinctive cheese is rich and piney.
Our favourite way to eat Vacherin Mont D'Or is baked in the oven. With the following simple recipe it's extremely easy and exquisitely tasty!
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees;
- Remove all plastic packaging from the cheese but leave it in its wooden box and place on a baking tray;
- Using a sharp knife, make small slits in the surface of cheese and stud with cloves of garlic and sprigs of rosemary or thyme;
- If desired, pour around half a small glass of dry white wine into the cheese;
- Bake for 15-20 minutes until the cheese starts of feel soft and there are signs of bubbling.
Enjoy your melting Vacherin Mont D'Or by dipping in crusty bread or boiled potatoes, alongside sliced charcuterie. A spoonful of redcurrant jelly or a side of crunchy cornichons (pickles) is an excellent accompaniment as they both provide refreshing tanginess to cut through the richness of the cheese.
And to complete your feast we have pairing recommendations from our wine partner, Katie Goodchild of Heritage Wines.
“A perfectly ripe Vacherin Mont d'Or, oozing with funky fruit aromas, is an extraordinary thing to eat with a 15 to 20-year-old Auslese Riesling, which by then has developed a singular smoky aroma reminiscent of kerosene”, Eric Asimov of the New York Times suggested a while ago. Other aromatic white wines, such as Gewurtztraminer, make a great choice.
However, with only one Riesling dessert wine and no Gewurtztraminer being produced in England, why not try Astley Vineyard Old Vine Kerner 2013.
Kerner is a close relation of Riesling with many similar flavour profiles and characteristics. Astley’s version - the only producer to grow Kerner in England - has a distinct petrol aroma with an almond, honeyed palate and a faint suggestion of smoke and dried lime. Pairing this with Vacherin Mont D'Or is phenomenal. Racy acidity and citrus notes cut through the creamy baked cheese, as smoky flavours add depth to a truly knockout match.