Category Archives: Cheese news

What to drink with cheese . . .

Oh the list is endless, needless to say if you like to drink something with some particular cheese then do it!
Don’t worry about what people tell you, everyone is different with our own tastebuds, of course there are suggested options that pair well but if their not to your liking do you own thing!

Here is what I’ve found works for me over the years, of course you may differ but that’s ok.

We’ll, start by working our way down the cheeses and I’ll suggest cheeses from the list that I personally think works best.


These are cheeses which have been produced and have had no aging, so no more than a week old and to be enjoyed soon after production. Like Mozzarella, Ricotta etc.


A fresh wine like a fruity Sancerre or refreshing Rose
A light refreshing crisp ale like a lager
A fresh apple cider with a little sweetness
A Spanish Sherry with a little sweetness
Either a dry refreshing Junmai Ginjo or a sweeter Umeshu


With such fresh cheeses and gentle flavours it’s best to not have anything too overpowering. Anything with a crisp refreshing mouth feel that’ll match nicely with a gentle delicate flavoured cheese


All Brie & Camembert cheeses are classified as white mould cheeses, as well as triple cream Bries. But here they have been put into their own category below.
White mould cheeses are the most versatile of all the cheeses, they marry well with numerous beverages.


White wine of a dry and fruity nature such as Sauvignon Blanc & Rose
Dry barrel oaked wines such as Chardonnay
Full bodied red wines such as Shiraz & Cabernet Sauvignon
Crisp refreshing Pilsner style cheeses
Dark full bodied beers
Classic savoury Normandy Cider
Port or Sherry
Like wine, from the dry minerality to the sweet dessert wine style


With a delicate interior of the cheese it pairs well with dry wines
More robust Bries such as Brie de Meaux can handle the stronger full bodied red wines
Fresh crisp beers can withstand the stronger style Bries & Camemberts
Dark heavier beers can give a coffee/chocolate & cream effect
Camembert & Cider both hail from Normandy making them a perfect match
The sweetness of a fortified can pair wonderfully with the creaminess of a white mould cheese
Sake like wine, will pair with all manor of white mould cheeses


The dry crumbly citrusy cheeses such as any Holy Goat cheeses from Victoria.
Or classic French Goats cheeses from the Loire valley such as the ash coated St. Maure, or Chabichou du Poitou.


A fruity wine, such as a Sancerre, Riesling, Sauvignon blanc, Un-oaked Chardonnay or fruity Rose.
An equally fruity sparkling wine such as a Champagne or sparkling wine from the Loire valley.
A sweet dessert wine, like a Late harvest Botrytis or similiar.
French Cider, these tend to have more savoury apple notes than the sweeter versions outside of France
A crisp fresh Pilsner, Wheat beer with more malty notes such as a Kronenbourg Blanc.
Junmai Ginjo – A fruity and semi dry Sake, similiar to a Sauvignon blanc


All of the above suggestions match the gentle acidity and fruity notes in these cheeses
Sancerre is France’s Sauvignon Blanc and grows in the Loire valley.
The Loire Valley was originally the home of French Sparklings, until the Champagne region became the largest producer. Hence the name, Champagne now being well known as French Sparkling.
The dessert wine would give a lovely contrasting flavour to the goats cheese, much the same way as you’d drizzle some honey over Goats cheese.



Or strong soft goat’s cheeses, such as a Mothais sur feuille, which is matured in very high humidity and gives way to a softer, creamy fudgey interior. These cheeses when aged can have quite a punch to them, leaving the gentle acidity behind and bringing forth more of a zing on the palate.


A sweet dessert wine as you would with a fresh crisp goats cheese.
A robust red wine such as a Pinot Noir, but try to steer clear of anything with too much tannin such as a Cabernet.
A fortified such as an aged Port or a Spanish Sherry such as a Pedro Ximenez.
A whisky, such as a Japanese or Scottish Whisky variety. Possibly not an American Whisky as the smokiness can over power the cheese I find.
A classic Pale Ale, with a hoppy finish.
Umeshu – A sweet dessert Sake, with a sweet yet slight sourness.


With such a tang to these cheeses they behave similarly to a washed rind so you can pair them with something more robust to bring forth their subtleties.
The sweet wine and fortified will mellow the tang.
A whisky will bring forth the smokiness.
The red wine and Pale Ale will enhance the sweet leaving a creamy texture.

Be wary of red wine with non aged goats cheeses, the wines tannin and the cheeses acidity create a very unpleasant mouth feel. Be sure to taste your combination first before unleashing it on your guests!

Mothais sur feuille
Mothais sur feuille


Generally your smellier cheeses, with a sticky rind due to the washing during its maturing period. These cheeses are best eaten and smelt little, they have an oozy texture that coats the palate. Created by the monks who used to eat these cheeses on their ‘fasting days’, which is why sometimes these cheeses are referred to as having a meaty texture!
Such things as Epoisse, Taleggio and Raclette are the most well known.


Washed rind cheeses are best with a dry fruity white wine such as a Gruner Vetliner with a savoury finish.
A sweet Sauternes lends well to these cheeses.
With these cheeses having such a strong taste, and softer washed rind a yeasty taste, they lend well to heavy Trappist beers such as Chimay or a light Stout (Porter).
Depending on the strength of the cheese a Cider can be a pleasant pairing.


Epoisse is washed in a pomace brandy, so best paired with the same. The ‘meaty’ texture lends well to such strong flavours. Also from Burgundy, so the old adage what grow together goes together. It brings forward the creamy texture.
Raclette being from more Alpine areas, the local wines tend to be more minerally which match the savoury character of the cheese.
A sweet wine would hide a little of the punch whilst still allowing the flavours to penetrate.
A savoury cider would allow for a little sweetness contrasting with the cheese whilst also allowing the full flavours to come though.
The monks were the ones to play with cheese and created their Trappist beers, both having yeasty notes, they really do marry well together.
chimay and cheese


Such as the Dutch Wyngaard Chevre, Midnight Moon or Queso de Cabra from Spain
These aged semi hard goats cheeses still have a little of the goats cheese acidity but also have a more mellow sweetness that comes through the cheese and a fudgey texture in the mouth


A dry fruity wine such as a Gewurztraminer, or similar sparkling wine.
Sweet dessert wine with Pineapple notes, or try a more gentle fruity Riesling or Chablis with a savoury finish.
A crisp Pilsner or Wheat beer.
Umajun Junmai – a nutty savoriness and yet a gentle citrus note.


A sparkling wine to bring forward the cheeses sweetness.
Dessert wine to match the sweetness with the acidity of the Goats cheese.
Beer to refresh the palate with crisp bubbles
Sake to provide lively vanilla notes and finish with a crisp citrus to contrast the sweetness.

Learn more about Sake pairing here . . .



These cheeses are not for your faint hearted. Most definitely creamy and with minimum 70% fat content it’s not a cheese I recommend eating everyday. But, we have some wonderful suggestions on how to tone down that creamy mouth feel when you cant help but to over indulge!
So, whether you’re into your Brillat Savarin, Delice de Bourgogne or many of the other incarnations, this one is for you!


This type of cheese matches with so many things its hard to narrow down, but here are some of the ways I’ve enjoyed
it. . .

A dry classic French Champagne
A light fruity Rose, to bring forth memories of ‘strawberries & cream’
A sweet dessert wine such as a Vouvray
For something more heavy this cheese stands up to a full bodied Cabernet
A crisp refreshing Pilsner
A heavy Stout, try a Chocolate Stout ‘chocolate & cream’
A full flavoured apple cider with gentle sweetness, I prefer the Sidra del Verano from Spain
With a Tawny Port or for a sweeter version try a Spainish Sherry, Pedro Ximenez
A blended malt whisky from Speyside in Scotland, called Monkey Shoulder
Umeshu – A sweet dessert Sake, with a sweet yet slight sourness.


A Sparkling with lots of bubbles helps to cut through the richness of the cheese
Whilst I’m not a huge fan of dark beers, this is like a chocolate and beer cream delight.
However the bubbles in a Pilsner lightens the cheese cutting through the richness.
The sweetness in the Port helps the cheese feel like a all in one dessert luxury
This particular Whisky has a lovely mellow sweetness that pairs so marvelously with this cheese.
A fruity Sake reminiscent of a dessert wine.

brillat savarin cheese


So, now we’re talking of cheeses such as Ossau Iraty, Chebris & Alpine cheeses such as Uplands pleasant ridge from America, or France’s Comte & Beaufort . . . Manchego which we’ll come to later.
Some of these cheeses are made during certain times of the year but for arguments sake were going to put them into this category for now!


Classically a dry fruity white wine pairs best with Alpine cheeses such as a Vin Jaune
Fruity full bodied red wines have their place too
Belgium Pilsners, with a crisp finish or Pale Ale with more hoppy notes
Tawny Port or local Topaques
Karakuchi – with a minerality and upfront fruity notes, perfect for complex cheese flavour profiles


Vin Jaune made in the Comte region (what grows together, goes together)
Ossau Iraty used to have such a pungent aroma/taste that heavy red wines were used to mask the cheese. Thankfully this is no longer the case however the tradition still remains and with its fudgey texture pairs quite well with a fruity full bodied Pinot Noir.
Belgium beers are fruity enough whilst having enough savoury notes to match the complex cheeses
Ports with their sweetness bring out the more savoury notes of these cheeses
Karakuchi Sake, with its minerality makes it a perfect fit for savoury cheeses bring out out its subtle flavours


Talking of classic British cloth bound cheeses (although there are some great American ones too known as ‘bandaged wrapped’) such as Cabot. These are drier and crumblier than your supermarket versions with a tang that lingers on the palate due to the cheese being aged for 12 months or more


Depending on the strength of the cheese, a hearty red wine such as a Shiraz
A dry oak smoked chardonnay
A bold brown ale
A Tawny port
Umeshu, a sweeter style fruity sake


A hearty red wine can match the the strength of a sharp cheddar without becoming overpowering
The oaked Chardonnay will match the dryness of the cheese bringing out the grassy notes
Unless you have an Isle of Mull cheese which has strong whisky overtones so a whiskey would be best!
A full strength beer would match the cheddar without being too strong, what grows together goes together. British Cheddars are best with hearty British ales.
The sweetness of a fortified Port or Umeshu sake contrasts with the sharp cheddar bringing forth other subtle nutty flavours


Gentle Cheddars such as Cantal, Barbers Cheddar or Double Gloucester which have a more buttery texture and softer notes.


A fresh fruity wine from the same region
A crisp pilsner style beer
A crisp savoury cider, not too sweet
A blended malt whisky from Speyside in Scotland, called Monkey Shoulder


The wine would contrast the butteriness of the cheese bringing other flavours through
A Pilsner style beer would cut through the buttery notes with its refreshing bubbles
A refreshing French style savoury cider to contrast the butter notes
This particular Whisky has a lovely mellow sweetness that pairs so marvelously with this cheese.


A sheeps milk cheese, these generally have a natural oiliness to them with hazelnut overtones


A big bold red wine with heavy tannins
Local Rioja wine
Spanish beer from the La Mancha region with malty notes
Spanish Sherry
White Spanish Port
Sweeter Spanish cider like a Sidra del Verano


Manchego is a cheese that pairs wonderfully with heavy tannin red wines and compliment each other
The malty notes of the beer pair beautifully with the nuttiness in the cheese
Spanish Sherry with its sweeter notes brings out the subtler cheese notes
A savoury Spanish white Port would match the savoury notes of the cheese allowing others to come to the fore
The sweeter Spanish cider contrasting the savoury notes of the cheese


Aged Goudas have been aged for 12 months or more and as they age the flavours intensify from a caramel sweetness to a grainy salty texture.


Riesling or something floral
Champagne or something bubbly
Karakuchi – with a minerality and upfront fruity notes


The floral notes will mellow out the intense sweetness
The bubbles will have the same effect as above
Sherry will match the cheeses sweetness and contrast its saltiness
The Sake with its minerality will match perfectly for complex cheese flavour profiles


Blue cheeses tend to vary in strength but have a saltiness throughout the pate with a strong smell


A sweet dessert wine with fruity pineapple notes
A dessert wine, like a Late harvest Botrytis or similiar.
Full bodied Pale Ale
Port or Muscat
Spanish Sherry like a Pedro Ximenez
Glen Garioch


The sweetness mellows the saltiness of the cheese
The beer will match the strength of the cheese allowing other notes to come to the fore
The sweetness of the fortifieds pair to bring forth the gentle blue cheese flavours
This whisky has lovely vanilla notes with a gentle smokiness that matches with the cheeses intensity

Be wary of red wine with some blue cheeses, the wines tannin and the cheeses react to create a very unpleasant mouth feel, Metallic almost. Be sure to taste your combination first before unleashing it on your guests!


Such things as a coffee rubbed rind Bella Vitano American cheese, spiced Cumin Gouda, Isle of Mull Cheddar


These cheeses are interesting as they have so many options due to their flavourings

Pair with either a coffee or caramel flavoured drink to match the cheese
or a crisp wine or beer to contrast

Pair with either a spiced Rum or Whisky to match the cheese
or a sweeter fruity wine like a Riesling to contrast

This cheese is made with the milk of cows which are fed some of the leftover draff from the local whisky distillery.
Pair with a local Whisky to match the cheese
or a crisp refreshing white wine like Sauvignon Blanc to contrast

Bella Vitano Espresso

No matter what you enjoy, there is no wrong or right answers. You’ll be amazed just how much the cheeses can change with what you pair with them.
Everybody has different tastebuds!

What happens to cheese now the UK has left the EU

A big concern is edging closer and closer.
Now the UK has decided to leave the EU there are concerns that many people and businesses have globally.
Many of those concerns will remain for quite a while whilst things are being sorted out inside the EU and in the UK.

This is a very interesting article from Handelsblatt. . .

What to have with cheese . . .

Of course the list is endless, and so much depends on your personal preferences.

But here’s a few you may not of thought of and some old favourites


There are many options, not all Quince paste are created equally. I prefer the Spanish membrillo (pron. Mem-brie-oh) as I find the flavours more rounded and less sweet than other options.
Learn more about Quince paste here . . .


My all time favourite accompaniment, from Orange jelly with my goats cheese to Port jelly with something more pronounced there are many to choose from. I like the way its softer in texture and milder in flavour than quince and therefore doesn’t overpower the delicate cheese.
jelly for cheese
Check out these people, the best jellies I’ve ever come across. . .


Steer clear of those awful fluorescent fruit things.
But find yourself some real Glace Clementines or Cumquats, they should be glossy shiny, sticky yet have a lovely sweet and tarty acidity.
Those are worth hunting around for as a little go along way. On a hard Cheddar or soft white mould cheese such as a Brie or Camembert.
galce clementines


English and Scottish mustards provide the perfect amount of spice to strong Cheddars, where as French mustards provide a more subtle punch to their own hard cheeses such as Cantal.

Or just combine the two together?
Or just combine the two together?


This is not as strange as you may think. There are many ways to go about this but I prefer the dark chocolate with a blue cheese, or an aged cheese such as a 2 yr Gouda. The dark bitter chocolate levels out the spicy blue cheese and with the Gouda it brings forward the sweetness.
chocolate for cheese
Head to . . . to find out more


Add a touch of sweetness to a summer picnic with fresh goats cheese. Or a make a play on the ‘strawberries and cream’ with a triple cream Brie and drizzle of honey.
Or even Brie and Raspberries as shown here by Driscolls…
strawberries and brie


Think winter time in front of an open fire. Also great for placing on top of a baking cheese such as a Mont d’Or, or a Camembert or Brie and warm in the oven, share with friends. Or not!
Learn how to make your own, as Will Studd shows us his recipe . . .


Such as those little Cornichons, or pickled onions with a hard Cheddar style cheese, Brie, Camembert, or a punchy washed rind.
Or do as they do in the alps, and dunk these little wonders in your fondue, or pour cheese over them in Raclette fashion.
Find out Wills fondue secrets from his cheese shop in Boulder, Colorado. . .


More reminiscent served as part of a Ploughmans lunch, match with an equally punch cheese.
There are many variations but it always comes with some cured meat, cheese, bread and a chutney of some sort.
Here we have one from the Cornersmith. . .


In Italy Balsamic Vinegar is a common pairing for their most adored cheese. It pairs well with hard aged cheeses such as Parmigiano Reggiano, Pecorino Romano or aged Goudas.
Learn more about matching Parmesan with Balsamic here. . .


The old adage of ‘what grows together goes together’ stands with meat and cheese pairings. Such as
Try Chorizo with Manchego cheese, Parma ham with Parmigiana Reggiano, Salami with Provolone. Braesaola with Asiago
Get creative…



Honey with strong blue cheeses, such as Roquefort or Stilton takes down the string punch but adding a little sweetness.
Honey with a fresh Goats cheese strikes a balance with the cheeses acidity too.


savory spread made from the yeast that is a by-product of the brewing industry. It has a very strong, slightly salty flavour. Use with strong tasting Cheddars, be warned this is a love it or hate it type of thing!

Cheese testing

How do they know when the cheese is ready…

There are amazing people involved in knowing when to release a cheese to the general public for sale.

We shall start with the most well known of all, Monsieur Herve Mons.

Herve is a well respected French Affineur, which means he knows all there is about cheese, its ripening process and when it is at its peak of perfection. Also he knows just as importantly what cheeses just wont get any better with age, and these are released as younger versions.

Generally cheeses age from the exterior to the centre, so a special cheese corer is used to extract a small portion of cheese to test.
This is done with many large wheels of cheese from Comte to Stilton.
Italian Parmesan however uses a different process altogether.
cheese corer
The tester then smells all along this sample and tastes a sample from the interior.
cheese tasting
After sampling the cheese the plug sample is then inserted back into the cheese.
This causes no issue for the cheese as it continues to ripen.
This minimises the need to crack open a whole wheel of cheese as this is lost product and money.

You can imagine my surprise and delight when I cut open a wedge of Comte recently to find exactly this.
Among all the thousands of wheels of Comte which are aged by various producers only a tiny amount are tested.
I have known people who have been cutting cheeses for decades and have never seen what I cut into yesterday.
I’m calling it the day I won cheese lottery!

Here you can see where the sample was taken from and then the cheese was re-plugged.
Here you can see where the sample was taken from and then the cheese was re-plugged.

New regulations

The raw milk cheese debate…

Wow, new things are afoot in the Australian & New Zealand cheese world.

Only in the last week has this information come to light, the cheese industry has met up with the rest of the world in allowing cheese makers to be responsible for their craft. Raw milk cheeses will now be produced and sold right here in our own country and allowing importation of other raw milk cheeses into the country, this actually opens us up to not only receiving amazing artisanal cheeses but exporting too.

Will Studd our own cheese guru has been campaigning for this for many years and we thank him for his hard work and dedication to make this so. Below is a portion of the article from the rural news.

“What they’ve come up with is actually a good set of standards, particularly when it comes to veterinary control and quality of milk of all of the animals, so the actual cheese making process isn’t specified. It doesn’t actually specify what sorts of cheese can and can’t be made.

“I think overall it’s a pretty good outcome. Basically, what it says is that cheese makers will need to demonstrate that a combination of factors, such as starter culture activity, pH, salt concentration, moisture content, storage time, storage temperature ensure that the cheese is safe to eat.”

He said it was unfortunate timing that the changes to raw milk cheese making were being considered at the same time raw milk was coming under the spotlight.

Mr Studd, who has been campaigning for the changes for over a decade, says eating cheese made from raw milk is safer than drinking raw milk and the two shouldn’t be confused.

“The whole issue of raw drinking milk is different from the issue about raw milk cheese where you’ve got far more controls on safety with cheese.

“The most important thing about cheese making is you’ve got a lot of controls that you can use to ensure that the cheese is safe.

“You’ve got things like salt, pH, the moisture content of the cheese, the storage time, the storage temperature, the culture that’s used to produce the cheese.

“There’s lots and lots of controls there and you can demonstrate with those controls that the cheese is safe.”

You can read the full story here…