If you’re anything like me, you’re the odd one out at the table who goes for the cheese platter after dinner when everyone else orders a sweet dessert. Even self-professed cheese lovers, however, need a bit of help when it comes to the perfect accompaniment to their selection of coagulated dairy. So if you want to Brie the one who slices a better Cheddar, it’s a Gouda idea to check out this How to Eat guide.
Too cheesy? Let’s get on with it then.
Creamy, mild cheeses
For creamy Brie cheeses, such as this Brillat-Savarin, for example, earthy flavours like mushrooms will add dimension and a touch of umami to the cheese, while an elegant Champagne will cut through the richness but still balance its creaminess.
In the video: Brillat Savarin and black truffle with Champagne Blanc des Millénaires 1995
Creamy, complex cheeses
For a soft goat cheese with rind – yes, you’re supposed to eat it too – the nutty flavour profile of the cheese and slight ashiness of the rind don’t need much accompaniment except perhaps bread or toast. The fruitiness of a good Sancerre will complement the cheese without distracting from it.
In the video: Rouelle Cendrée with Sancerre Clos la Neore 2014 Edmond Vatan
Semi-hard, nutty cheeses
When you have a beautifully matured cheese like this three-year-old Comte, you don’t mess around. You can either get a bit fancy like we did and eat it with some white wine jelly, or go full-on fancypants with a Vin Jaune 1964 Bourdy (we weren’t allowed to open the bottle, unfortunately), which offsets the woodiness of the cheese with a lovely freshness.
In the video: Comte aged 3 years with Vin Jaune 1964 Bourdy
Love it or hate it, a good blue cheese is a force to be reckoned with. The Fourme d’Ambert isn’t quite your go-to Stilton, perhaps, but it does have the pungency and character, only much creamier. A nice mature port will complement the umami richness with a punch of sweetness and spice.
In the video: Fourme d’Ambert with Port Warre’s 1970 (Thongue)
Soft, spicy cheeses
A spicy goat cheese like the Picodon we tried goes well with an elegant, ripe wine with a touch of toastiness, like a Roc d’Anglade White 2011. This wine also works with a younger Picodon, which has a fresh rather than spicy profile.
Mild sheep’s milk cheeses
A good sheep’s – or ewe’s – milk cheese is firm, creamy, mild but sometimes has a bit of a kick, like the Ossau Iraty we tried. A sweet, spicy wine like a Chateau Musar rounds off the flavour profile nicely.
Jacqueline Tsang's makeup was kindly provided by Sponge.