Food Drink

Forget Cheese And Wine, Here’s An Expert Guide To Cheese And Bubbles

Well don’t completely forget about wine, but try something different with your cheese next time…

The subject of cheese is a slightly depressing one on the Tuesday following a long weekend… We have chowed through all of the cheese and wine as we enjoyed that extra day off from work (surely that wasn’t just us?). In saying that, let’s use this story to give us some inspiration to make it through to the next weekend. We can do it!

So when we talk cheese, we get serious. And by serious we mean going straight to the Cheese Queen of Adelaide, Kris Lloyd – Manager and Head Cheesemaker at Woodside Cheese Wrights, to get the latest…

Today it is all about cheese and not wine. Because if you ask anyone, anywhere around the world to recommend the perfect match for cheese, they will say wine. Stating the bleedingly obvious, right? Well maybe so, but this article is all about cheese and bubbles.

That’s right. Cheese has another best friend. This best friend isn’t a stranger to us… In fact we love it so much that we recently dedicated a guide to said best friend (check out our guide to bubbles here).

It seems that Summer has decided to hang around in Adelaide for a little bit longer, basically begging us to enjoy cheese and its perfectly suited suitor (go with it).

Kris says that, “From my own experience, the strong flavours of red wine wipe out the delicate flavours of many cheeses. On the other hand, many white wines can boast high acidity, which interferes with the natural acids that occur, particularly in goat cheese.”

And with so many different styles of cheese – white mould, fresh, blue, hard, soft – there is no one perfect wine for all of them and while white beats out red when it comes to versatility… bubbles/fizz/sparkling takes the cake. Or the cheese in this case.

That’s right, in all my years of trying and testing; I enjoyed cheese most when accompanied with a crisp flute of champagne. And maybe some dried fruit. Throw in some crackers too.

With cheese having a high fat content it can often leave your mouth with an almost ‘sticky’ feeling. This is where the carbonation of the sparkling comes into play, creating a dialogue with that cheesy residue that wipes your palate clean. It leaves you wanting more cheese, which makes you want more bubbles… A slippery slope, but nonetheless a rather enjoyable one.

In general, a good sparkling wine is slightly more aromatic and yeasty with only a crisp, momentary bite of acidity in the mouth. While they can vary toward a more full-bodied and lush taste, there is a level of crispness and intensity always present, courtesy of the hundreds and thousands of tiny bubbles, which is why Kris believes it complements cheese the best.

Lighter, brighter sparkling wines and Champagne pair well with creamy cheeses that have high butterfat content. Test it out with a double or triple cream Brie and you will be able to feel the bubbles cut through the mouth-coating richness. If you’re feeling a bit adventurous, try our the Woodside Harlequin (a super smooth rich and buttery cheese) paired with a yeasty sparkling, some fresh strawberries. It will blow your mind.

If you are more partial to a full bodied sparkling then try traditional Champagne that has undergone a secondary ferment in the bottle. That time spent delivers complexity and toasty, bready notes that work well with slightly more pungent cheeses, try the Kris Lloyd Artisan washed rinds with this you’ll find the Champagne echoes the nutty notes found in the cheese.

And let’s not forget Prosecco! The Italian speciality that has undergone a secondary fermentation. Prosecco tends to be dryer than other sparkling wines working brilliantly with Chevre (goat cheese) of all forms as it collects and lifts the sweetness in the cheese. Whether the cheese is rinded or fresh, the acid development in the cheese is truly complimented by the yeasty nature of the wine.

A great bubble does not need to cost you the earth. Look beyond Champagne and you will discover a host of well made options including many produced in Australia.

Of course, this is no reason to upend your wine cellar and throw out all your beautiful whites, reds and rosés – you may prefer to enjoy your cheese with these wines, which is absolutely fine. But next time you sit down to dabble in a cheeseboard, don’t dismiss the bubbly things in life.

Next time, beer and cider with cheese. Because we are all about keeping the people happy!

Cheers to cheese.

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