Wine & Cheese Pairings from our June 1st Camembert-Making Workshop

Posted on Monday, June 03, 2019 | By Nicole Easterday |

Cheese and wine pairing

Below are pairings from our May 11th Brie-Making with Sommelier-Led Wine-Pairing Workshop:

Wine listed first and then the cheeses (selected by Nicole at FARMcurious) with which Christina paired them:
  • M. Chevalier Cava, Spain - Cava is Spain’s response to Champagne and is produced in the same manner so some characteristics overlap. It has a similar mouthfeel, medium bodied with pleasant big bubbles and a nice bit of acid on the finish that cuts through the creaminess of brie. Cava is a blend of 3 Spanish grapes -  Macabeau, a simple grape with floral notes and slightly bitter lemon and green almond finish, Xarel-lo, aromatic with a rich floral nose and a sweet pear and melon taste, and Paralleda- a high acid grape blended in to add zesty citrus notes.

    Why this works: Bubbles and cheese are a classic pairing for a reason. The acid and yeasty flavors balance the creaminess of bloomy-rinded cheeses. Both are delicious on their own but together they shine, the complexity of the wine and cheese are fully realized when enjoyed together.
    • Brillat Savarin - It's almost cliché to serve this sweetheart of cheese-lovers but it really is the silk underpants of cheese. Named for the famous gastronome who said "Tell me what you eat and I will tell you who you are", the tripe crème richness leaves no doubt as to who you are. Cow's milk with 75% butterfat and a thin, edible snowy white rind, it's all lactic sweetness with the slightest of bloomy mushroom. It's made to be paired with bubbles!
    • 2017 Wente Small Lot Pinot Noir Rosé - Wente is so lovable for its history and commitment to sustainability. They are the oldest continuously run family winery in the US and the current winemaker is 4th generation. In 2010 they were one of the first wineries to be certified CA Sustainable Vineyard and have since certified every aspect of the business. We love them for all these reasons BUT when it comes down to it the reason I continue to come back to their wines, they are SPECTACULAR! This Rose is a beautiful subtle pink color with a beautiful nose of strawberry, tropical fruits, and florals. The taste and mouthfeel are crisp and clean with a slightly acidic finish, lots of green apple and grapefruit.

      Why this works: Dense goat cheeses love the brightness this Rose offers. This wine has subtle mineral notes that are brought forward with Humboldt Fog and the acid on the finish highlights the texture and earthiness of the cheese.  
      • Humboldt Fog by Cypress Grove - A gorgeous and wildly popular little California cheese, Humboldt Fog boasts a lovely line of ash down the middle, morbier-style. That's where the resemblance to morbier ends as this cheese is a goat's milk with floral notes and a fresh citrus finish. More mature versions will have a thicker, meltier creamline than younger cheeses.

        Cheesemaker and founder Mary Keehn conceived of this cheese in a dream on a transatlantic flight back from Europe. The single mother of four got her first goats on her journey seeking wholesome food for her kids. Before she knew it she was making cheese and as the herd grew so did the cheesemaking.
          • Brie du Pommier - a collaboration between Peterson cheese and French affineur Hervé Mons to develop the Le Pommier cheeses including this lovely brie. The milk is sourced from herds of the classic Normande cow, a traditional breed that produces rich, grassy milk high in proteins.

            This beautifully aromatic cheese is everything you want in a classic brie with it's purely vegetal flavor - I pick up aromas of broccoli and cabbage with a light overlay of mushroom. It's funky in the best way and absolutely dreamy with the pinot noir rosé from Wente.

            For a stronger version, try the camembert, which is made with the same recipe but in a smaller format.
        • Domaine du Bouchot Pouilly Fume - “Le Domanie” by Kerbiquet Pascal Et Rachel 2017 - This Pouilly Fume is 100% Sauvignon Blanc, one of the Loire Valley’s most revered grapes. They grow in tight clusters that when ripe are coated with a smoke colored bloom. Often wines from this region are described as having a smokey “gunflint” aroma as an indicator of the terroir of the vineyards from this region. This wine is a shining example of what to expect from Pouilly Fume, Nose- minerality, apple, orange blossom, wet stone, and subtle smokiness. It has a classic dry taste with minerality, lemon zest, and orchard fruits. This wine is from self-proclaimed organic activists Rachel and Pascal Kerbiquet. The attention to detail shines in this wine.

          Why it works: The acidity pairs so well with the creamy texture of cheese. It is dry, low in alcohol, with subtle oak notes.  This wine tastes a bit simple on its own but the complexity of the wine and cheese are both brought out when paired together.

          • Le Rondelaine by Fromagerie Beillevaire - Made by a very successful goat cheese maker, this sheep's milk cheese uses many of the same techniques and applies them to a different milk type. Decadent and creamy with a lovely hint of lanolin, this cheese enrobes your tongue in heavenly cream and leaves you with just the slightest sheepy tang on the finish. One of the few all sheep's milk cheeses available on the US Market.
          • Vinifera, Gamay, Henry Marionnet, Touraine, 2013 - This wine is 100% Gamay and is true French masterpiece due to the winemaker Henry Marionnet’s instance in quality and over 50 years of experience. In the ’90s when phylloxera was ravaging France’s rootstock many winemakers replanted with American vines. His commitment to remaining a French wine kept him from following suit. This wine is hand harvested, then the grapes are fermented in carbonic maceration in stainless steel. The attention to detail and mild climate come through in the wine from start to finish.  It is a light-bodied red (similar to pinot noir, in fact, they are cousin grapes). The nose is so floral and finishes with cherry, raspberry, plum and subtle, earthiness. The character of this wine is developed mostly on the nose, the actual taste is very mild. The taste has high acidity with tart red fruit with subtle bitter and earth notes on the finish.

            Why this works- If you are seeing a trend of acid its not by accident. The acidity and brightness of this wine (and many good French Gamays) is perfect for food. If you are having a hard time finding a wine that will please a crowd and go well with a variety of foods I highly recommend Gamay.    

            • Wabash Cannonball by Capriole - Made by Judy Schad, an American goat cheese making legend, this fantastic cheese is considered one of the few 'American Originals', created with originality, rather than by copying an existing Eurpoean recipe. Round and wrinkly with a delicate rich cream-line and firmer cheese in the center, it's a delight to behold!
          • Château du Hureau 2016 Tuffe (Saumur-Champigny) - This wine is an organic Cabernet Franc from historic property that is considered one of the top producers in Saumur-Champigny in the Loire Valley. If the grape and region did not catch your attention, perhaps the 5th generation winemaker and unique terroir will. This wine is lime-stone driven both in the nose and taste. This area is known for its amazing limestone that was mined while building Paris and other cities. Left behind are tunnels with vineyards above and tunnels filled with mushrooms and wine cellars. The nose is has a roasted red pepper start, with cooked raspberries, and a gravelly finish. I catch a bit of spicy jalapeno too. The taste has medium to medium-high acidity, low tannins, sour cherry, smokey tomato and peppers, and a slightly sweet finish.  

            Why this works- If you subscribe to the idea of what grows together goes together then this Cabernet Franc belongs with Harbison.  The earthy, mushroomy, meaty quality of Harbison is needing the bright, tart, lively fruit with the subtle minerality of this wine. In an ideal world, this wine needs a good decanting to truly shine.       

            • Harbison by The Cellars at Jasper Hill - Made by one of the best cheesemakers in the country - Mateo Keuhler and the team at Jasper Hill Farms - from cow's milk and wrapped in spruce bark. This big, bold cheese is a show-stopper. People claim to taste everything from cheeseburgers to bacon to hot dogs in this smoky, delectable cheese. It's often served with the top cut off so you can dip right into its gooey interior like fondue.


            Surface Ripened Cheeses