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Cheese and wine – a marriage made in heaven!

August 25, 2014

cheese board

Deliciously soft and creamy or pungent and crumbly, cheese can inspire rapturous emotions in those who love it. “Milk’s leap towards immortality,” an enthusiast once memorably exclaimed. Combine it with a glass of something with body and character, and you’ll start thinking you’ve cracked the secret of deep inner happiness.

Pairing cheese and wine

Wine and cheese appear to be a perfect match – but to paraphrase George Orwell, some matches are more perfect than others. . .

  • Fresh young cheeses, high in lactose and umami (the fifth taste element behind salt, sweet, bitter and sour) – such as brie, ricotta and mozzarella – make wine taste stronger. Best match? Lighter wines such as Sauvignon Blanc, unwooded Chenin Blanc and lighter Chardonnays, with possibly even a light red – like a Gamay, Pinot Noir and even Merlot.
  • Goat’s cheese, high in acidity and umami but low in salt, effectively softens high acid wines like Vinho Verde or even Sauvignon Blanc.
  • Mild to sharp cheddars and even feta or aged goat’s cheese moderate in salt and acidity suit a range of wines. They go with most wines, highlighting the fruit flavours and softening tannins.
  • Aged cheddar, parmesan and blue cheeses like stilton and roquefort, which are high in acid and salt, make lighter reds taste astringent and vaguely metallic. They are best matched with stronger wines and those with a certain sweetness. Think about the Port and stilton marriage – or noble late harvest and blue cheese. The other match is with high alcohol reds – like Zinfandel, Shiraz, jammy Cabernets and Pinotage.

cheese and wine

Here at Penny Lane Lodge we are spoilt for choice with some amazing places to sample the best of locally made cheese within easy reach. Here are our current favourites:

Anura Vineyards in Klapmuts: look out for the mozzarella/edam blend if you want to try something different. Tel (021) 875-5360. http://www.anura.co.za/cheese.php

Dalewood Fromage on the Simondium/Franschhoek Road: apart from their award-winning camembert, expect a wide range of exceptionally made cheeses. Tel (021) 200 2580.
http://www.dalewood.co.za/

Fairview in Paarl: An extensive selection, including a lovely Havarti and exceptional goats cheeses. Tel (021) 863-2450. http://www.fairview.co.za/cheese/

Simonsberg cheese factory shop in Stellenbosch: simply for their great bargains and reliably good cheeses. Tel (021) 809-1017. http://www.simonsbergcheeselovers.com/

Waterkloof Wines in Somerset West: for the best farmhouse cheddar made by Healy’s. Spectacular views included. Tel (021) 858-1292. http://www.waterkloofwines.co.za/

goats

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