Fine cheese and wine pairing: The perfect introduction
Do you love cheese? Then this is the perfect experience for you or any cheese lover you know!
I was very lucky to be invited along to an evening of fine cheese, and fine wine, hosted by Svetlana, aka The Cheese Lady, a few weeks ago. I have tried lots of different styles of farmhouse and artisan cheeses from The Cheese Lady shop, all of which have been delicious and very different from each other. Svetlana’s passion and knowledge of the fine cheeses that she sources and offers to her customers is second to none, so I knew instantly I was going to be in for a real treat!
On arrival, the lovely Anne and I, and the 15 other fellow diners, were warmly greeted by Svetlana, and encouraged to make ourselves comfortable at the communal table set in the Cottage Garden Kitchen’s beautiful, cosy space. Waiting for each of us was a beautiful plate of five artisan cheeses perfectly positioned, a wonderful selection showcasing different styles of cheese, milk, milk source, rind, texture and age. And there were three complimentary wines to pair with the cheeses, sourced from L’art Du Vin who specialise in natural, organic and biodynamic wines.
Svetlana introduced the evening by defining what a fine cheese is, her journey so far in the fine cheese world and an introduction to how she sources and selects the cheese to offer her customers. We were then warmly guided through the tasting by taking each cheese in turn, encouraged to taste each one without and with rind, then with the complimentary wine, with the hope of finding the perfect balance where cheese and wine complement each other in order to find a 3rd flavour. My personal favourite had to be the Epoisses de Bourgogne, a classic French cows’ milk cheese from Burgundy, when paired with a Wachauer Gruner Veltliner, an Austrian white wine. I got hints of peaches and delicious sweetness… amazing how different combinations of food can work together to produce new flavours! Whilst our senses were exploring each cheese and wine combination, Svetlana chatted about the cheese making process of each cheese and other snippets of information, which reinforced her passion and knowledge for her craft.
After the guided tasting, we continued to explore different cheese and wine combinations whilst we chatted with fellow diners and Svetlana answered our questions on all sorts of fine cheese related topics, from how to pair cheese with wine, to difficulties facing the artisan and farmhouse cheese makers such as the use of raw milk in cheese production, in Scotland and elsewhere. And it was wonderful to try the Corra Linn from the Errington Cheese company, a Scottish cheese made from raw cows’ milk, of which we tried the batch that had matured for 3 years!
All in all, a perfect night. Svetlana was the perfect host, passionate, professional and enthusiastic. The cheese and wine was aplenty to satiate the body and mind. If you are looking for an introduction into fine cheese, and wine pairing, want to expand your knowledge of fine cheese, or are looking for a fabulous food experience with friends or family, then I would wholeheartedly recommend a night of fine cheese and wine with The Cheese Lady.
Liz from Litty’s Larder