There are many amazing food pairings in the culinary world to mention. Fish and chips, bangers and mash etc, but one of my all time favourites is cheese and wine!
This is where Geoffrey (originally from the Loire Valley), the host comes in! Their statement for the business says "we are devoted to spreading knowledge and love of cheese & wine through iconic tasting experiences in London at restaurants and supper clubs, or in your home." I have been to one wine tasting event many many years ago, but a virtual tasting was definitely a first for me!
Our cheese and wine tasting was organised for a Saturday evening and on Friday, a super friendly chap delivered our goodies for the following evening. Within the bag was an envelope full of useful information on what artisan cheeses and wines we were to taste and their origin, and a sweet little tasting tutorial book, which we would use for the tasting! We were also given three wines to sample (chosen by expert sommeliers) - rose, red, white and six different seasonal cheeses from France to unwrap the following day!
The day of the tasting, Geoffrey added all of the participants to a skype chat. There was probably about 15 people on the call and we were all able to see each other and chat to one another. Geoffrey was incredibly warm and friendly and made us feel at ease, virtually!
What became incredibly apparent from the start was how knowledgeable Geoffrey was. He was full of useful tit bits about how the wine should taste, what kind of notes we could be sampling, how the cheese pairs with the wine etc.
With each wine we used a wine aromas pie chart and used a blank piece of white paper to observe the true colour of the wine. It's amazing how the colour changes when you put it up against a blank surface. For each wine, we discussed what type of aromas we could sense, be that fruity flavours such as apricots, grapes or figs; nutty flavours like toast or almonds, or even spice like pepper or smoke! I was surprised to learn how many different categories and associated aromas one could experience from a glass of wine!
With each wine, Geoffrey advised of what cheeses were best paired. I have to admit, I loved all of the wines, and the cheeses. You could taste that the produce was very good quality, supermarket cheeses do not even compare!
As previously mentioned we had six cheeses, five of which we knew what they were. The sixth cheese was a mystery 'blind taste' cheese where we had to guess the origin, type of milk and the cheese name. It wasn't easy but fun nonetheless to have a good guess and there was also an incentive! The winner receives a free 'cheese drop'! The five cheeses were goats cheese (Fusette), soft cheese (Brillat Savarin), hard cheese (Comte), washed rind cheese (Langres) and blue cheese (Bleu des Basques) and were a mix of cow, ewe and goat milk. I thoroughly enjoyed all of these wonderful cheeses but for me the Langres was the star of the show. Incredibly creamy with the rind adding a powerful and pungent kick to the palette. Truly scrumptious!
The night was very interactive and fun. It was nice to be virtually surrounded by a bunch of people with the same passion for cheese and wine! It was also great to learn something new, especially in these challenging times, where it was good to get the brain cells working a bit and engage with something new and different.
The expertise and passion from Geoffrey made the evening very enjoyable and everyone seemed to be really engaged from the start. I have definitely taken on board some tips and tricks on how to cut cheese, for example! If anyone is interested in learning more about the delicacies of wine and cheese or just fancy learning something new and different, then Geoffrey is your guy. Highly recommended and definitely looking forward to eating some more of that cheese another time!
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