I recently came back from a fortnight in Burgundy with a coolbox full of delicious goat’s cheeses from the region and, a day or two after my return, we took advantage of a gorgeous, sunny afternoon for an alfresco tasting. The children were rushing round the garden, a bottle of rosé was being enjoyed and we were feeling distinctly mellow.
My stash included two goat’s cheeses from Alain Hess’ amazing Fromagerie on Place Carnot in Beaune (see photo of a selection of his cheeses below) and a just-made, fresh goat’s cheese, bought at a fraction of the cost of the other two, from a local fermier, La Chèvrerie des Sources. I stumbled across the latter on the road between Couches and Le Creusot in the Saône-et-Loire whilst whisking my 10-year-old daughter to casualty with a broken finger and couldn’t resist calling in the following day to see what was on offer.
Our wines to match the cheeses were the aforementioned rosé – Vida Nova 2008 - a fruity blend of Syrah and Aragonez, from Cliff Richard’s vineyards in the Algarve. I found it in Waitrose, intending to serve it with barbecue fayre. I hadn’t expected it to be good with the goat’s cheeses but the bottle was already open and I was pleasantly surprised. In addition to cheese, another commodity I’d stocked up on in Burgundy was wine and we now have plenty of Bouzeron to get through (see previous blog post on the Fête du Bouzeron) so we opened a bottle of André Delorme’s 2008. Being a crisp, acidic white wine, I had expected the Bouzeron would work well with the goat’s cheese, just as Loire Sauvignon does.
We started our tasting with the round, fermier cheese which was only five days old. Lemony, light and acidic, it was an unusual, refreshing cheeseboard option and would be a great addition to a salad of spring vegetables – broad beans, asparagus and freshly-podded peas. It worked tolerably with the Bouzeron but was far better with the rosé, the fruitiness being a wonderful contrast to the young cheese. Next up was a Vézelay, from the town of the same name in the Yonne. This was obviously older than the first cheese and denser. Smooth and creamy, there was not a hint of citrus yet it, too, preferred the rosé wine. Finally , we tried a lusciously creamy cheese called Le Cosne which disappeared fairly quickly, being my husband’s favourite. It went extremely well with the Bouzeron but the flavour of the rosé was completely lost on it.
One thing this rather pleasant tasting has taught me is that I should definitely try rosé wine and goat's cheese again and I imagine, giving our findings, that other mild, creamy cheeses would work too. Next time I’m in Burgundy, I plan to investigate the cow’s milk cheeses of the area: Ami du Chambertin, Epoisses, Soumaintrain and Saint Felicien to name just a few. Don't be surprised to hear that I'm already thinking about the wine matches.