The blue skies and sunny days of late have put us in the mood for summer picnics and fresh goat's cheese. Our May Cheesemonger's Special Selection is a celebration of three delectable British goat's cheeses: Bosworth Ash, Ticklemore and Norfolk Mardler. We shared this trio with our wine partner, Katie Goodchild of Heritage Wines. Read on to discover Katie's pairing suggestions to bring joy to your cheeseboard over the coming Bank Holiday weekends.
"I have always shied away from goat’s cheese thinking of it all as tasting too sour for my liking. As I write, the idea that I even thought this perplexes me, for cheese is as unique as wine. I know from tasting many wines what my preferences are. Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand is generally avoided but France’s Loire Valley examples are drunk in abundance. Surely the same applies to cheese. May’s Cheesemonger's Special Selection from Slate includes a trio of goats cheese: Bosworth Ash, Norfolk Mardler and Ticklemore. Each one different in taste, texture and appearance. Sauvignon Blanc and goat's cheese are the classic wine and cheese match and for good reason, they work incredibly well together.The white grape variety Bacchus is quickly becoming England’s best-known variety, after Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, and it is wonderfully similar to Sauvignon Blanc in aromas and flavours. Rather than choosing a still Bacchus wine, I decided to bring a little joy to this pairing with Chapel Down’s Sparkling Bacchus.
Stemming from Kent, Chapel Down is the UK’s leading winemaker, with a big focus on this grape variety. This wine is the first example of a sparkling Bacchus they have made and it’s everything you could want from a glass of bubbles on a sunny day. Made in the style of Prosecco, the bubbles are gently fizzing and perfectly counterbalance the tang of goat's cheese. Herbaceous on the nose with flavours of tropical fruits; think mango and pineapple, on the palate. I enjoyed this wine most with Norfolk Mardler, especially when I drizzled the cheese with honey. Bacchus also makes a wonderful pairing with asparagus, another great choice for goat's cheese.
The second wine I suggest is Simpsons Wine Estate's ‘Railway Hill’ Rosé. I selected this wine with a meal in mind, as opposed to simply grazing from a cheese board. A light Provencal style rosé is a great match to a goat's cheese and peach salad, a cheese and tomato tart, even a goat's cheese and caramelised onion pizza.
Another Kent-based winery, Simpsons Wine Estate draws inspiration from it’s sister winery, Domaine Sainte Rosé, in France’s Languedoc. ‘Railway Hill’ Rosé is reminiscent of the rosés from Provence. It is delicate, with red berry notes and a crisp acidity. The wine has been aged on lees giving it roundness and depth of flavour, and when paired with Bosworth Ash creates a strawberries and cream effect. I found the berry notes in the wine to be enhanced when paired with both Ticklemore and Bosworth Ash. The crumbly texture of Ticklemore worked particularly well 'Railway Hill', whilst a slight smokiness from Bosworth Ash was absolutely sublime."
Both Chapel Down's Sparkling Bacchus and Simpsons' Railway Hill are available to purchase for nationwide delivery from www.heritagewinesuk.co.uk.