Somerset Cheese Tasting

Last night we tried the Somerset cheeses that I bought from the local farmshop on Friday and tried to match them with some different wines. Here’s what we tried:

Pennard Ridge Goat’s Cheese – a very salty, hard, white cheese
Green’s Cheddar from Pennard – a pretty strong cheddar
Smoke Acre from Galhampton – a very tasty, smoked cheddar

We tried them all with a 2007 white Hautes Côtes de Beaune, a 2007 red Côtes du Rhône Cairanne and a 15-year-old Verdelho Madeira.

The goat worked well with both the red and the white wines, particularly the white. The Madeira didn’t like it at all. The Green’s Cheddar was too much for all the wines – the white became flat and the red lost its fruit. The Madeira was the only wine to put up a fight but it wasn’t an ideal match for this very strong cheese. It came into its own, however, with the Smoke Acre, the slight sweetness and smokiness of the wine balancing well with the saltiness of the cheese. The white was also tolerable with the Smoke Acre but the red became pretty bland.

We all agreed that the cheese of the tasting was the Pennard Ridge goat’s cheese and that it also provided the best match – with the white Hautes Côtes de Beaune. I’ll definitely be enjoying this pairing again.

This entry was posted in Cotes du Rhone, Madeira, Somerset cheeses, white Burgundy. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Somerset Cheese Tasting

  1. Andrew says:

    after several years of experimentation I have concluded that red wine is not really the best match for cheese! White wine, tannin-less but with acidity, is a much more apt partner. Cant say I drink much Madeira mind or experimented with it either though.

  2. Thanks Andrew. I agree with you – white wines are, more often than not, overlooked. I do enjoy lighter red wines (Loire Pinot Noir and Cabernet Franc) with some soft cheeses though. Madeira is interesting – a bit of an acquired taste perhaps but lots of different styles from bone dry to unctuously sweet.

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