Children’s Hospice Association Scotland (CHAS) is a registered charity that provides the country's only hospice services for children and young people with life-shortening conditions. CHAS offers children’s hospice services, free of charge, to every child, young person and their families who needs and wants them. CHAS was formed in February 1992 by a group of professionals and parents of children with life-shortening conditions who had travelled to England for hospice care.
When Jackie from CHAS approached us in April about a cheese and wine charity tasting we got really quite excited. We hadn’t done a cheese and wine paired tasting before, but we knew exactly who we should be speaking with – Steve and Hillary The Cheesery in Dundee. The Cheesery has been supplying The Wine Press with quality cheese since we opened in 2015, so we approached them to get some guidance.
When you are matching cheese and wine there are two schools of thought. A regional match is the most popular; you may have heard the phrase “What grows together goes together.” This is true of most foods – particularly in the old world. Wines have developed alongside regional dishes and vice versa, so 9 times out of 10 they are going to be a good match. The other way to go is a contrasting pair, so instead of matching a creamy goats’ cheese with a big oaked Chardonnay, you can match it with a crisp, young Sauvignon Blanc to contrast. Doing this can highlight the differences between the cheese and the wine, and bring out the best characteristics in each.
Here’s how our first cheese and wine tasting went down. Remember, if any of the wine catches your eye, it’s all for sale on our website! Any cheeses, please visit the Cheesery – they’re a great bunch down there too!
Frivolo Frizzante Prosecco - £7.99
We always like to begin with a party fizz. It gets people in the mood, and is a great starter. This Frivolo is lightly sparkling, making it a perfect party fizz! No cheese match for this one – It’s great on its own!
Pair with Bonnet: a semi hard natural cheese made from pasteurised goats milk in East Ayrshire - £2.99 for 100g.
Bonnet is light on the tongue and perfect for a first venture into goats’ cheese. Mild and nutty, the crispness of the Sauvignon is a sharp contrast, while the mellow Semillon mouth feel compliments the texture perfectly.
False Bay ‘Crystalline’ Chardonnay £7.00
Pair with Appenzeller; a hard cow's-milk cheese produced in the Appenzell region of northeast Switzerland - £2.99 for 100g.
The saltiness from the cheese is cut through by sharp, unoaked Chardonnay.
Pair with Baron Bigod; a creamy, white bloomy-rind cheese handmade in Suffolk - £3.59 for 100g
Baron Bigod has a smooth silky texture and a golden curd, with long lasting warm earth, farmyard and mushroom flavours. This is a super soft cheese for a super soft wine, and the ripe cherry and fresh raspberry notes from the Cicada really shine through the creaminess of this "British Brie."
Pair with Brebirousse d'Argental; a soft-ripened cheese with a bloomy rind from Rhône - £3.29 for 100g.
Brebirousse d'Argental is creamy like a brie and tastes little sweet and buttery, so the dark red cherry notes from the Chianti complement it very well. Meanwhile, the supple tannins provide a grippy contrast to the smoothness of this delicious cheese.
And to finish….
Pair with Fourme d'Ambert; a semi-hard French blue cheese from the Auvergne region of France - £2.49 for 100g.
Fourme d’Ambert is one of France's oldest cheeses, it dates from as far back as Roman times. This big blue cheese needs a full bodied wine to go with it, with a bit of sweetness, so we selected a white port for maximum intensity.
Not only did we have a great night, but Jackie informed us that thanks to our Cheese and Wine event we managed to tip the scales to over £20, 000 raised for CHAS this week! An amazing effort by Jackie, who was organising this event, countless others, and an online auction this week! So thank you and well done to Jackie, to Steve and Hillary from The Cheesery, and to everyone who attended.
If you would like to enquire about a charity tasting, please feel free to contact us here.