Wine and Cheese Tutored Tasting Review By Alex Te-Strote

image by @Eatpictures

On Weds 18th November Trethowans teamed up with Great Western wines for another fun tasting event at Goldbrick House in Bristol. Richard Guest stepped in at short notice to select & show the wines as Patrick Pigny suddenly needed to be in Italy. Life is so tough in the wine trade! Richard knew nothing of the cheeses,or Trethowans,until a week before the event,so when we sat at 10am on a wet morning tasting pieces I had collected 30mins earlier after a night of refrigeration, it was perhaps not the best introduction. However he was excited by the taste & production stories and was inspired to try and match them to wines whose makers showed equal passion & integrity. This then was the line up for the evening, I think Richard did a stirling job, considering the cheeses we presented on the evening were tasting so much more complex than he had encountered.

Gorwydd Caerphilly Roero Arneis 2007 Negro Angelo E Figli Piemonte, ITALY

This lovely,clean, bright Italian wine was already a notch up from Richards first idea, but unfortunately was still overwhelmed on the evening.

Ragstone Goats Cheese Carrasviñas Verdejo 2008 Bodegas Felix Lorenzo Cachazo Rueda, SPAIN This fresh, zingy wine from Spain was a good alernative to Sauvignon Blanc. Old vines, stony soil, small production, warm days & cold nights all combined to give complexity to the Verdejo grape & it worked well with the cheese.

Sparkenhoe Red Leicester Unravelled Pinot Noir 2008 Carrick Winery Central Otago, NEW ZEALAND

This, to me, was the best match of the evening . A really well structured Pinot Noir, whose silky texture made it a good wine for cheese. The briar fruits matched with the nutty notes in Sparkenhoe, & also brought out the rich, savoury flavour.

Keens Cheddar Corte C (Malbec Merlot) 2006 Vistalba Mendoza, ARGENTINA

This was a superb wine with good weight, and theoretically should have been a good cheddar match, but again the Keens was too much for it, the acidity destroying the violet scented edge I had previously been enjoying. Proof again how unharmonious some mixes can be.

Stichelton Jurançon Cuvée Privilège 2007 Domaine Castera FRANCE

An unusual sweet wine from S W France (rugby country) that is made with Petit Manseng grape. I like less cloying sweet wines with Stichelton, as the creaminess can so easily be overwhelmed, & this wine was comfortably in that category. I would have been interested to try this with Bekswell or Spenwood as well, as the tropical fruits could work quite well.

Mont d’Or Chardonnay 2007 Bogle Vineyards California, U.S.A.

We finished with this unpasteurised Vacherin Mont d’Or, wamed in the oven in its box. Rich, gooey & unctuous. The Californian chardonnay was lightly oaked and had a rich butteriness that sat well with the cheese, but again I think the anti could have been raised a bit here.

The loft at Goldbrick House is an elegant & intimate space, and the group of 45 people were a great crowd. Feedback was good and plenty of interesting, intelligent questions. People were encouraged to try their own couplings of the cheeses & wines, and it was a really entertaining event.

The next one there will be on 20/1/2010, so if you fancy coming along why not visit Goldbrick House event page see how to book.



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