Our October trio brings a celebration of autumn to your cheese board, with a selection of cheeses that evokes the colours, tastes and sounds of the new season: vibrant pumpkin orange, earthy mushroom flavours and crunchy leaves underfoot! In this blog we are delighted to share with you pairing suggestions from our wine partner Heritage Wines. Ranging from contrasting to complimentary, these matches make the very most of our autumnal artisan cheeses.
Sparkenhoe Red Leicester
Being a hard cheese, Red Leicester is a good pairing to both medium and full-bodied red wines. Sparkenhoe Red Leicester is slightly milder than some cheeses of this style, making it ideal for a fruity light red wine like Blackbook Winery ‘Little Wonder’ 2018.
Little Wonder is medium-bodied with soft tannins and an alcohol level of only 11%. Made from the rare Cabernet Noir grape, this red wine is reminiscent of those from France’s Loire Valley. Fruity with notes of cassis, cherry and redcurrant, while oak maturation adds further complexity - smoke, leather and vanilla. These characteristics all complement Sparkenhoe Red Leicester without overpowering its mellow and nutty flavour.
Picos de Europa
Semi-soft blue-veined cheese can be paired with rose or red wine, also sweet or fortified styles. It’s not until tasting Picos de Europa and its intense piquant flavour that one can safely rule out two options (still rose and red wine). Sweeter wines are perfect here. Sauternes would work well, as it does with Roquefort, the cheese to which Picos de Europa is often compared. But I preferred a sweeter red wine, specifically White Castle Vineyard 1581. A fortified wine, similar in style to Port, its fresh berry notes were a pleasing contrast to the caramelised aroma and sharp tang of Picos.
Brie de Meaux
If it’s indulgence you’re after, look no further. This cheese and wine pairing is autumnal luxury (if such a thing exists). Brie de Meaux differs from Brie in its production and maturation processes. Its aroma and flavour can also be more complex; soft and buttery, its creamy flavour is earthy with notes of autumn vegetables including mushrooms and truffle. Pair simply with walnuts and apple, and a bottle of English sparkling wine from Wiston Estate in Sussex.
Wiston Estate Rosé 2014 is a fruit forward sparkling rose, brimming with ripe red cherries, raspberries and orange zest. Extended ageing on lees and in bottle, the wine has developed complex savoury notes and a hint of winter spice. The cheese and wine compliment each other wonderfully, and before you know it both have quickly disappeared.