There is nothing more indulgent than finishing a fine meal with a selection of delicious cheeses paired with their perfect alcohol partner. Whilst cheese and port might be a tradition in many households over the festive period, there are a plethora of exciting combinations that every gentleman should have up their sleeves to surprise and delight.
Berry’s XO Calvados paired with Camembert
Calvados is a sumptuous and delicious apple brandy from Normandy. This particular Calvados, from producer Lecompte is the first to bear the Berry Brothers’ own label badge, and it certainly lives up to the accolade.
The oak-maturation gives the apple-pie style some lightly spiced vanilla notes whilst still retaining its freshness. This freshness has enough punch to cut through the rich camembert whilst the more candied notes complement it perfectly – a little like a spiced chutney.
Moët & Chandon Brut Imperial paired with Brie
When asked about wine and cheese pairings, Moët & Chandon’s Cellar Master, Benoît Gouez told us, “Moët Impérial goes really well with fresh and fruity cheese like a brie for example. With young goat cheese I would select Moët Rosé Impérial for its tenderness.”
The Brut Imperial has enough lightness to not overpower the brie, but is also complex enough to not appear thin and astringent when stood up next to it. A delicious combination.
Chianti Classico for Garmence, 2013 paired with Lancashire
The Chianti Classico is a mélange of ripe cherries, plums and spices, with hints of tobacco and vanilla. The high acidity of the wine, though soft tannins, makes it the perfect match for bold cheeses such as Lancashire.
This is the perfect wine and cheese combination for those who prefer to stick to reds for the whole evening.
Domaine Sigalas, Santorini Assyrtiko, Santorini, Greece, 2015 paired with Feta
This Grecian beauty is fantastic for surprising and delighting guests at a dinner party. Whilst it’s thought that all vines stem from Greece, it’s fallen out of favour in the UK. Thankfully, this Assyrtiko (one of the most famous Grecian grapes) varietal has found its way to Berry Brothers and is very impressive.
The minerality of the wine, which is said to come from the volcanic soils of Santorini, mean it has a powerful enough finish to keep up with a salty feta. And, since it’s often said that what grows together; goes together, there’s no doubt these two are a perfect pair.
Glen Garoich Fouder’s Reserve paired with Comté
Glen Garoich’s Founder’s Reserve is a wonderfully balanced whisky that might entice even the most novice of drinkers. The buttery, creamy palette is balanced with some sharp apple skin and citrus for a smooth, easy-drinking, amber-coloured dram.
The whisky and the cheese play a lovely tet-a-tet; neither one over-powering the other. Both bring out the nutty nuances of one another but the silky texture and salty finish are a match made in heaven.
KRUG Grande Cuvée paired with Parmigiano Reggiano
KRUG is renowned for a freshness and acidity that balances well its depth and richness. This complexity makes it the perfect partner with salty food, but the acidity ‘cuts through’ the fattiness of many cheeses.
The Champagne house has long extolled the virtues of drinking KRUG Grande Cuvée with a beautiful piece of aged Parmigiano Reggiano, letting it crumble in your fingers and sipping in between each mouthful – heaven.
Graacher Domprobst, Willi Schaefer, Riesling Spätlese, 2006 paired with Vacherin
The team at 34 Mayfair sing the praises of this impressive pairing and even have it available on their menu. The late-harvested sweet wine has attractive floral notes both on the nose and the palate, the wine has an intriguing oiliness yet beautiful acidity.
Lengthy honeyed finish which pairs well with the luxuriously, delicate flavours of Vacherin which is a soft cow’s milk cheese popular in both Switzerland and France.
La Tour de Brully, Mercurey Red, 2015 paired with Epoisses
The Mercurey is lush and fruity, with strawberries and red cherries. Whilst the wine is medium to light body, its firm tannins and structure mean that it tackles the strong flavours and aromas of the Epoisses very well.
Alternatively, this cheese also pairs incredibly well with beer – so why not try both?!