Category Archives: * Spanish cheese

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!

Petite Odre

History of Petite Odre

From the village of Vilasar del Dalt, Spain
In the 20th Century, the village split into 2 and became Vilassar in the hills de Dalt (in the hills), and Vilassar de Mar (by the sea)

Naturally this little Sheep’s milk cheese is from the hills.petit odre

Maturing & Tasting notes

Petite Odre is a Sheep’s milk white mould style cheese from Vilasar del Dalt, near Barcelona.
The name however is a little curious as Odre is the Spanish word for a bota bag, a ham shaped animal skin bag used to transport wine and, in earlier times, cheese. As to why it has this name is a mystery to me!

Made with pasturised Sheep’s milk and matured for a month before being released to the public.

The interior is creamy at the edges and becomes a little firmer in the centre.
Unfortunately this cheese has been labelled as a Sheep’s milk Brie which is such a shame as not only does it look nothing like a Brie it has its own right to be who it is.

The interior is pure white under the white mould exterior with a smooth texture and a slight mushroomy hazelnut sweetness that lingers on the palate.


Pron. Gar-rot-cha

History of Garrotxa

From the Catalonia region of the Spanish Pyrenees, we bring you this semi hard Goats cheese.
This aea is well known for its gorges and cliff faces so suits perfectly for the sure footed goats of the region.
This cheese was revived by passionate cheese makers in the 1980s as the recipe was almost lost but thanks to some hard work this cheese is still around for all of us to enjoy.

Maturing & Tasting notes

This goats cheese is aged for 1-2 months after having a surface of ash rubbed over the cheese, and the aging produces a wonderful coating of a blue grey velvety mould over the cheese known as pell florida.
This rind is perfectly suitable to be eaten as was originally placed over the cheese to keep insects at bay, these days with modern refrigeration its merely for aesthetics.

This cheese is unlike what you’d expect from a goats cheese as its earthy notes balance the acidity which some people find offensive. However the taste is one of a fudgey texture that lingers on the palate with a nutty walnut overtone, forest floor earthiness and a clean smooth finish on the palate.

Garrotxa has even been referred as a dessert cheese so go ahead and have some with of Spains best Sparkling wine or even a Pedro Ximenez Sherry.

Queso de Cabra

History of Queso de Cabra

Goat cheese has been made for thousands of years, and probably was one of the first dairy products prepared.
Queso de Cabra, Meaning ‘cheese of the goat’ from the latin ‘cabra’ for goat.
This cheese is a pasteurised Spanish goat’s cheese made in the region of Montes de Toledo which spans East to West across Spain, just north of the region known for Manchego cheese in the Castilla La Mancha.
The goats in this region graze on rich grass and wild herbs, producing a full flavoured cheese.

Manufactured by the Rocinante Company in Spain, this cheese is commonly known as Queso de Cabra or Puro de Cabra depending on age.
la mancha


This cheese has an ivory white colour with a closed texture and small cavities and the distinctive Herringbone on the exterior much the same way as Manchego cheese has.
Aged for a minimum of 1 month there are 3 varieties of this cheese:

Queso de Cabra Puro, aged for 1 month

Queso de Cabra al Vino, aged for 1 month and washed in Red Wine

Queso de Cabra al Romero, aged for 4 months and covered in Rosemary

The flavour of this cheese has a wonderful acidity just as you’d expect from a goats cheese with a faint sweetness and yet aromas of fresh hay, with a nutty buttery finish.

queso de cabra

Queso Oveja al Romero

A Sheep’s milk cheese similiar to the classic Manchego.

ovejo al romano

History of Queso Oveja al Romero

An artisan sheep’s milk cheese made in the style of Manchego. However this little beauty is rubbed with Rosemary
Produced in the same area as Manchego, this cheese has been around for as long as Manchego and the families adhere to their tradition of rubbing the cheese with Iberic lard and Rosemary as the cheese matures, and when flavours have been absorded by the cheese it is brushed off and more herbs are rubbed into the cheese.

Tasting notes

Even though this cheese is reminiscent of another cheese the flavours and maturing process is quite different, softening the interior of the cheese and yet intensifying with Rosemary flavours.
Neither creamy nor firm but more like a dense fudge as it softens on the palate and the lingering Rosemary notes on the back of the palate are quite refreshing.

Cabra al Romero

History of Cabra al Romero

Cabra al Romero is made by Dom Lorenzo, of the Ruffino Dairy in the Spanish region of Murcia.
Murcia is the optimum region for Goat’s milk cheeses just like La Mancha is the best for Sheep’s milk Manchego cheeses.
Cabra al Romero meaning Goats cheese rubbed in Rosemary is exactly what this cheese is.



Made with 100% pasteurised Murcian Goat’s milk, much like another well known cheese from the area; Murcia al Vino.
A relative new comer on the cheese scene, this 1kg wheel is aged for 2-4 months, with the milk displaying the delicate notes of the terroir, as the animals have grazed on native herbs and wild flowers of the region.
In the last stages of maturation the cheeses are hand rubbed with a traditional fresh Rosemary and lard mix.

Tasting notes

The essence of the herbs permeates the cheese and complements the tangy sour cheese. Bringing forth a beautifully balanced cheese infused with Rosemary and a gentle acidity on the palate.

Enjoy with a light, fruity red such as a Merlot

Santa Gadea

A white mould goats cheese from Spain.

History of Santa Gadea

In the Northern province of Spain the Burgos, which sits along the Ebro river you’ll find Alfonso’s Santa Gadea farm. A new comer on the scene having only been producing cheese for 10 years, but boy have they created a wonderful product.

Range of cheeses from Santa Gadea
Range of cheeses from Santa Gadea

An area well known in the historical books and referred to as the ‘land of castles’

The Farm

This is where Santa Gadea excels and believe me, a purer form of farming and therefore what follows down the line to milk, then cheese only creates a more desirable product and is better for all involved including the animals and the consumer.
The farm has 2000 acres of rich organic land for their 1000 goats to roam free, that’s 2 acres per goat!
The goats are fed with Alfonso’s own crops (GM, chemical herbicide & fertilizer free) which produces rich, organic milk.
The barn holds the milking parlour and the goat’s sleeping quarters during the winter months, all with a French design of course. They are French goats and Alfonso didn’t want them feeling homesick!Goats in their santa gadea barn

Carbon negative dairy
This farm has a negative carbon footprint and that’s definitely something to be proud of… planting over 100,000 trees and using only green energy from the farm including windmills, 4 photovoltaic solar panels, probiotic technology is used to convert manure as an alternative to chemical fertilizers.

Maturing & Tasting notes

Matured in specially designed humid moist conditions this cheese is left to mature for 15 days to grow the Geotrichum mould, it is then wrapped and placed in their mini Cedar boxes where the cheese continues to ripen where we as the consumer can taste all the care and passion which is passed on to create this little beauty.santa gadea maturing

This cheese has a mild goaty flavour a smoothness that just glides over the tongue, with a slight acidity that you’d expect from a goats cheese. Then comes the hit on the back of the palate, reminiscent of another wonderful Spanish goats cheeses; Monte Enebro, its the same spice hit that you get from a blue cheese.IMG_20150406_190157

For a gooey, runnier goat’s cheese try Santa Gadea Red Label cheese.

Please check out their cheeses and website here…

Queso Iberico

Pron. Case-o E-beer-echo

This cheese is very hard to tell apart from another more well known cheese from the same region, Manchego.

Mixed milk cheeses

Queso Iberico is a Spanish hard cheese from the Le Mancha region, with the same herringbone weave pattern externally and weighing in at 2.5kg wheels. Yet that is where the similarities end as this Iberico cheese is made from a mixture of cow’s, sheep’s, and goat’s milk.
Nearly 50% of Spain’s cheeses are made with mixed milks, but there are still some guidelines; Queso Iberico must be made with a minimum of 50% cows milk, 30% goats milk and 10% sheeps milk.

The blend used in the making this hard cheese is constantly altered according to seasonal availability, and not having to conform to strict regulations under the PDO umbrella the cheese profile can vary from season to season but the above minimum percentages MUST be adhered to.
This cheese is also available as pasturised or unpasturised.

Queso Iberico wedge


Aged for approximately 6 to 12 months it develops an ivory coloured pate that is slightly oily due to the sheeps milk and therefore flavours become exaggerated at the cheese is warmed and like Manchego is a great option for tapas.

Tasting notes

Due to being a mixed milk cheese it has various flavour profiles. The cow’s milk provides the mass volume of the cheese as well as the rich creaminess, the goat’s milk provides the acidity and gives the cheese more of a white appearance and the sheep’s milk provides the delicate sweetness and nutty flavours of the cheese.
Its texture is dense and bold with tiny holes in the pate.

Serve with a classic Spanish Rioja or Malbec, this cheese can also withstand big reds with bold tannins.Queso Iberico

Queso Valdeon

Pron. Case-o Val-de-on

Long before the invention of plastic wrap people used what they had at hand to preserve & wrap the cheese.

History of Queso Valdeon

queso valdeon logo

Queso Valdeon is wrapped in Sycamore leaves from the local surrounding area which not only protect the cheese but add to the cheeses unique flavour and its blue/grey veining.
Made with a blend of Cows and Goats milk, the ratios vary due to the seasons, the animals roam the Valdeon Valley in the Leon region of Northern Spain.

queso valdeon wedge


The cheese is matured for three to four months in limestone caves where the cheese gains its characteristic flavours, cow’s milk gives the cheese its creaminess and the goat’s milk its sweet, fresh flavour.

Tasting notes

The cheese is spicy and rich with a syrupy finish. Slightly dry but not crumbly, creamy yet not sloppy. A beautifully balanced spicy blue cheese.

Viejo Maestro

Pron. Via Maestro

Viejo Maestro meaning ‘Old Master’ is a beautiful goats cheese from the Extremadura region in South West Spain near the border of Portugal.



Made with pasturised milk from the Retinta goats in small wheels of 400 & 800g this white mould cheese is made with a vegetarian rennet and although being a semi hard cheese can definitely have an oozy texture.

Tasting notes

The pate being a pure white colour as with all goats cheeses, this one is not to be missed. It has an acidity with a mouth coating feel and yet creamy and with a unctuous milky grassy notes.

Paired with a Crianza Spanish wine or something similar and the cheese is elevated to another level.