From the pictures above I put the selection from the mildest to the strongest. It will give you an idea of what you can found on the market!
So let start!!
When I was doing my tasting and decide to put some of those cheeses so many of my customers used to tell me " Argh I hate those cheese they are too strong, they smell weird or it is so hard to pair them with wine".
For me goat cheese are one of my favorite for pairing!
The first cheese is called Sainte Maure de Touraine, it is a fresh goat cheese as you can see on the picture it has a straw through his center to keep the roll cheese together and rolled into wood ashes. It is eaten fresh (3 week)s to mature (5 weeks). Sainte Maure is mild and creamy with a little zesty note.. And just to reassure you the ash has no taste and it is eatable!
The second one is called Rachel, it is made with great milk, vegetarian rennet, has crusty washed rind (in Brine) and it is a hard cheese. It has a very particular shape like an space ship. The flavours are mild, quite milky, grass hay. The rind will bring more flavour to the cheese such as nut and oak. As the cheese above the rind is eatable.!
The third cheese is called Fleur du Maquis, it is a cheese made in Corsica produced with Ewe milk, non vegetarian and semi-soft in the middle.
And the last one, is called Mont Enebro, it is a goat cheese made in Spain with ash on the top same as the Sainte Maure, flavor wise it has nothing to compare to it. It is very strong! Tangy and citrusy at the same time.
You can pair those three cheeses Sainte Maure de Tourraine, Rachel and Monte Enebro with light fruity red, lovely refreshing white and Champagne or Sparkling wine! yes all those. Lets go dipper.
Light fruity red wine such as Pinot Noir but also Gamay which is a grape variety known in Beaujolais region just under Burgundy.
It is a small grape juicy and has lovely fruity note, such as little red berries, cherry, and strawberry. It has the perfect acidity to sustain this cheese and soft tannin., Tempranillo grape variety also will be ideal as a "Crianza" (Young) wine aged at least 6 months in oak and aged 2 years before being sold. It has blackberry note, cedar note with very soft tannin.
Fleur de Maquis needs to be paired with an aromatic reds, and the south of France or Austalian Shiraz are just perfect. They are medium to full bodied wine, it has enough tannin but not too sharp! with Australian Shiraz you will find blackberries, black cherries, and spices such as white pepper, chili, just talking about it I would love a glass of it!
The South Of France well, Langued'Oc Roussillon as they used blends, its fruity, medium bodied and aromatic and has a little bit of oak. South East, Provence, Cassis, Bandol, why so many because they have one aromatic not which made them s articular for me " La Guarigue" which is a mix of herbs from the south east (Sage, Rosemary, lavender). If you went already there you will understand or remember this fabulous smell!!!
For the white, the Sainte Maure will go very well with Sauvignon blanc, dry Chenin Blanc, and unoak chardonnay.
Sauvignon blanc grape variety will give you refreshing dry white wine, with citrus note, green apple. The acidity will will blend with the creaminess of the cheese. It is a question of taste but I will not recommend passion fruit note in the wine as it will be too powerful for the Sainte Maure or the same type of cheese.
Where to find it:
France; Sancerre/ Menetou Salon/ Cheverny/ Crepy
Chili: Maipo Valley
South Africa: Roberston/ Elgin
Now Chenin Blanc, it has many story where it comes from The French will tell you it comes from Loire Valley and the South African will tell you it comes from Stellenbosch but let's not get into this conversation.
Chenin Blanc grape variety has a particularity which it can make wine from bubble (dry and mineral), Dry (stone fruit note) Semi-dry ( apricot, quince) to sweet (honey, flowery, dry fruit such mango,, apricot..) and they are an absolute delight!
With this cheese you need as I said earlier a wine that as acidity and dry with stone fruit, such white peach, pear and apple.
Where to find it:
France: Montlouis, Vouvray
South Africa: Stellenbosch (Ken Forrester my favorite)
For Rachel as it has a rind I will pair it with slightly oaked white wine, same grape such as Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay.
Here are some example:
Where to find it:
South Africa: Rustenberg chardonnay (Beautiful, I myself tasted it with it)
France;: Vouvray demi sec (with more residual sugar), Pouilly Fume,
Italiy: Wine from the south which a loads of sun, nice and round.
But if you are not a rind eater the wines above will be perfect.
Monte Enebro is a particular cheese because of the strength. The white is the perfection for this pairing.
No oak! but a wine that stays on their "lies". What is it? While your wine take some maturation, you will leave the skin in the juice it will add more flavor and on the skin you have natural yeast which will also add flavor to it. The flavor you will find in those wines are stone fruit such as yellow peach, apricot, then apple but more pink lady, then nutty such almond and a bit of honey
With this cheese I realize that wines from the same country are the best, and one of my best pairing wine is Albarino from Rias Baxias. You add on the side a bit of honey and nuts and you will have an explosion of flavor in your mouth.
Champagne/Sparkling Wine can be as tricky as wine for the pairing and the bubbles do not help!
There is also something important its the sugar content wich will change the taste of your Champagne/Sparkling.
Here is the board thank you to Which?
For the Rachel cheese, I tasted with sparkling wine from South Africa a bland of chardonnay Pinot Noir. It has a fine bubble, a refreshing side which also gives a lovely creaminess to it.
For the Fleur de Maquis a Blanquette de Limoux will be good, as you have aromatic herbs around it it has a very powerful flavor but the inside it is creamy and citrusy.. The Blanquette has bigger bubble and the flavor will be more on the mineality and fruit which will suit perfectly the cheese.
The last cheese Monte Enebro is a big boy, it has strong flavor, I will be honest I have not tried a bubbly wine with it as finf it so powerful and white and red are just perfect with it.
Here you go, I hope it was not too long and most importantly clear for you. Please do not hesitate to message me on Facebook or leave me a comment if you liked it or have a question.
A Wine Lover