Food with Wine Part 4: Semi Hard Cheese
August 26, 2009
In the last post in the food with wine string we looked at the soft cheeses, this time round I’m going to focus on the semi-hard cheese including the one we all have in our fridge, ceddar. Remeber the following matches are not set in stone and everyones palate is differernt so what works for you or me might not work for everybody.
Ceddar: The most widely purchased and eaten cheese in the world. Cheddar cheeses were originally made in England, however today they are manufactured in many countries all over the world. This popular cheese originated in the village of Cheddar in the Somerset region of England. It’s a firm, cow’s-milk cheese that ranges in flavor from mild to sharp, and in color from natural white to pumpkin orange. Depending on the strenght and style of ceddar there are many wines to try, for mild ceddar a nice creamy Chardonnay or if your feeling a bit more flush a sparkling wine from Champagne or a new world sparkler made in the Champagne method. For red wine drinkers a rounded Rioja such as a Tinto or Crianza is a good match with mild ceddar as well as sharp ceddar. However for sharper cheddars a nice Cabernet based Bordeaux or Australian Cabernet does the trick perfectly or a nice crisp Chilean or Australian Sauvignon Blanc.
Gouda: was named after the Dutch town of Gouda, just outside Rotterdam. It accounts for more than 60% of the cheese produced in Holland and it has a very long history. Gouda is a traditional, creamery, hard cheese, similar to ceddar. It is round with very smooth, yellow, waxed rind. The flavor is sweet and fruity. As time passes, the taste intensifies and becomes more complex. Mature Gouda (18 months plus) is coated in black wax which provides a stark contrast to the deep yellow interior. Gouda is considered to be one of the world’s great cheeses. It is both a table cheese and a dessert cheese, excellent with fruit and wine. Gouda is now made globally, again like ceddar. Wine matches with Gouda are like those for ceddar, Champagne for those who like to splash out, but if it is a still wine your looking for Riesling is the only man a zesty citrusy Aussie Rielsling or a slighlty drier Alstain are delectable partners with gouda. For red lovers a fruity new world Merlot or a fruit forward Cabernet do the job especially if it is mature.
Stilton: Historically referred to as “The King of Cheeses” Stilton is a blue-mould cheese with a rich and mellow flavor and a piquant aftertaste. It has narrow, blue-green veins and a wrinkled rind which is not edible. Stilton is milder than Roquefort or Gorgonzola, and is equally excellent for crumbling over salads or as a dessert cheese. The classic cheese and wine combination is Stilton and Port. But if you feel like being a bit more adventerous try a spannish red something from Ribera del Duero or a crisp Kiwi Sauvignon Blanc from Nelson or Waipara.