Christmas Tips: Must-Try Cheese and Drink PairingsBy Claudine Levy
It’s not a proper Christmas dinner unless you finish with a selection of fantastic cheeses and this year we’re making it an even more enjoyable experience with these helpful hints for cheese and drink pairing.
Whether it’s beer, wine, cider, vermouth, sherry or spirits, food and drink matching is very much in-vogue and with the variety on offer in the world of cheese, it’s time to spin the wheel and get experimenting.
The Lowdown: Goslings is Bermuda’s oldest business and is currently run by the seventh generation of the Gosling family. Goslings Rums are Bermuda’s number one export. Dark sipping rums like this amazing Goslings Family Reserve provide nourishing sweetness and have a range of unique flavours and undertones such as oak, spices and vanilla. This makes this rum big and bold enough to stand up to strong flavours – try alongside a proper vintage cheddar or even parmesan.
Price: Goslings Family Reserve is available from Amazon and Master of Malt, priced at £55.
The Lowdown: The Padró family are from the tiny village of Bràfim, Tarragona, which lies in the centre of Spain’s oldest vermouth producing area and just one hour to the south of Barcelona. The family’s wine and vermouth-making traditions date back to around 1886, when grape cultivation was in full swing in the area; local grape-based brandies were being produced and exported all over the world and vermouth was booming. The family is now in its fifth generation and all four members work hands on, in and around the winery in Bràfim where they make, age, and bottle their vermouths.
While vermouth is incredibly versatile and the different styles can match to an array of cheeses, the Rojo Classico in particular is a cracker for the Christmas table and pairs wonderfully with Salva Cremasco – a cow’s milk cheese from Bergamo and Brescia in Italy.
Price: Available here priced at £17.50.
The Lowdown: A much-loved, full-flavoured and intense Spanish lager first brewed in 1925, Alhambra Reserva is a strong, deep chestnut red beer with a majestic malt backbone. Beautifully balanced and smooth even at 6.4% alcohol, the subtle sweetness of the beer along with the delicate fruit and roasted barley undertones, makes it wonderful with the robust and nutty flavours of Comte.
Available from here at £55.20 for a case of 24 or a 70cl bottle can be found at Tesco nationwide.
The Lowdown: Somewhere Else Cabernet Franc is for those a little bored of Mendoza and Malbec who want to see what else Argentina has to offer. This wonderful Cabernet Franc is from the Tulum Valley offering intricate flavours that work so well with softer, bloomier cheeses like Camembert and Brie.
Available from the www.northernwineandbeer.co.uk priced at £8.50 a bottle.
The Lowdown: At the sweetest end of the sherry spectrum sits the PX, which has long been a favourite with sweets and desserts. This classy sherry from one of the oldest producers is seductively sensational alongside blue cheeses such as Garstang Blue from Dewlay.
Available from the www.northernwineandbeer.co.uk priced at £22.70