In this month of National Vegetarian Week, our May Cheesemonger's Special Selection showcases a trio of our favourite cheeses made using vegetarian rennet to coagulate the proteins in liquid milk into curds. We are delighted to bring you Mrs Temple's Copys Cloud, one of our local cheeses not often found outside East Anglia's delis and farm shops. Alongside this we have the beautiful nettle-wrapped Cornish Yarg and Alpine-Gouda cross, Mayfield.
For this month's wine pairings, our friends at Heritage Wines have cast the net a little further afield to include some wines made outside Britain, and indeed Europe, with a delicious South African suggestion.
Copys Cloud is a Norfolk-made brie-style cheese with a bloomy rind that is edible and delicious. This cheese has a subtle flavour with a buttery centre, and it is also a treat baked with garlic and rosemary.
Whether you’re eating Copys Cloud well warmed to room temperature on your cheese board or baked in the oven, it’s a great match to a delicate still rosé wine such as Folc English Rosé 2020 (Heritage Wines, £20). Buttery notes and creamy mouthfeel of Copys Cloud are compliment by wild strawberry and berries flavours in this wine; each partner equally delicate in their characteristics and allowing one another to shine.
This is the second vintage of Folc English Rosé - the first was a sellout! It is a brand created by Elisha Rai (one of the very few female BAME wine producers in the UK) and Tom Cannon. Seven varieties of grapes are sourced from vineyards in East Sussex and Kent, and the wine is made in Canterbury by winemakers with over 60 years of experience.
Folc English Rosé is dry with vibrant aromas of wild raspberry, elderflower and pink grapefruit. The textured palate of English strawberries & cream is balanced by floral notes and a freshness that lasts beyond the final sip.
From Lynher Dairies in Ponsanooth mid-Cornwall, Cornish Yarg is a Caerphilly-style cheese with fresh lemony notes, creaminess under its natural rind and crumbliness towards the core. Its distinctive nettle-wrapped exterior not only gives an appealing appearance but also attracts naturally occurring moulds that impart a delicate mushroomy, herby flavour and encourage buttery breakdown under the rind.
Cornish Yarg is a fantastic match to fuller-bodied white wines. As the cheese ages and its flavours become more complex so too can your wine choices. Think aged white Burgundy. Upon tasting, the cheese is wonderfully lemony with notes of butter that work deliciously with Anthonij Rupert's 'Cape of Good Hope' Chenin Blanc from the South African Swartland (Majestic Wines, £18.99). This wine is fruit-forward (peach, nectarine, lemon pith) with refreshing acidity, both of which compliment the cheese’s characteristics. Partial oak fermentation and lees ageing adds creaminess and a textural mouthfeel to the wine, making it an excellent full-bodied white wine for this cheese pairing.
For an English wine match, try Cornish Yarg with Trevibban Mill's Chardonnay dominant Constantine. With age, buttery flavours can dominate the cheese and so an oaked Chardonnay becomes the perfect choice. Other full-boded white wines, such as Viognier, will also work well depending on flavour development in the cheese and the wine’s acidity and oak influence.
Smooth, creamy and gentle with notes of salted caramel, Mayfield is recognisable by its 'eyes', naturally occurring oval holes not typically seen in a British cheese. Made by Alsop & Walker in East Sussex, its sweet nuttiness is reminiscent of Alpine flavours.
The obvious wine choice for Mayfield is Chardonnay to match the nutty and buttery flavours of this cheese, but a Cotes du Rhône Blanc is far more exciting. Many Cotes du Rhône Blanc wines are fuller-bodied and some have oak influence, both of which are a great match to traditional Alpine cheeses. However, Hexadique Cotes du Rhône Blanc (Majestic Wines, £11.99) is hugely aromatic with floral notes and stone fruit flavours. Oak takes a backseat here but it softens the wine’s acidity and thus pairs deliciously with the creaminess of Mayfield. A fantastic pairing for those seeking something a little different.
White Rhône like the Hexadique is an extremely drinkable and food-friendly style. A small proportion of this wine was aged in oak, adding weight, but it remains fresh and fragrant with flavours of pear, melon and honeysuckle. The wine is a blend of six grapes including Grenache Blanc, Rousanne, Marsanne, Clairette, Bourboulenc and Viognier.