Cheese platter makes perfect summertime snacks!
Deliciously soft and creamy, they are extremely versatile with carbs that can easily be prepared in a variety of ways: as cheese spread, toppings, baked, eat it off a spoon (or a scoop if you can handle it) and make good combination for wine pairings. There are many types of cheese on supermarket shelves, what you choose and how you are going to serve it open up more possibility for wine pairings.
For convenience sake, we decided to serve all of the cheese on a wood plank to share. We did this at a rooftop party welcoming a friend passing through Hong Kong last week, the weather was just perfect for an al fresco! This guy only drinks red wine so it was a bit of work to talk him into dropping his all time favourite porky platter and went for something different: simply cheese.
Then here comes the question, what wine would you pick to drink with the cheese you eat? There's always a place for Champagne in the top list of course - a natural with rich tangy cheese. But we never thought of bringing one for the evening unfortunately. What else's there - if I had to pick another wine that goes best with all these cheeses, perhaps it would be best to point to a fruity and spirited sparkling? As many cheese and wine pairing tips suggest, sparkling wines would readily pair with a range of cheese from young fresh to hard-aged. We love to experiment and try as much as we can, so why not randomly pulled a few bottles from the fridge and they used to be all good! Here are the ones we tried using some of the most common types of sparkling wines that can be found in the market:
Brie (cow's milk, France) & Il Prefozo - a Brie with marbled blue throughout (cow's milk, Spain):
Nice with an Italian Prosecco - soft bubbles pose a nice counterpoint to a young, moist cheese. We think its refreshing acidity slightly cuts back the fat content in the cheese and scrubs your tongue clean. We love these thin-rind that can keep a fairly long time at room temperature and stays gooey and yummy. One thing that gets asked quite often is that if we should eat this rind - it's part of the cheese so we can in fact, as long as the curd is a natural one such as the white 'washed' shell of these two Bries.
Camembert (cow's milk, Normandie) & Pié d'Angloys (cow's milk, Loire):
Maybe with Cremant de Limoux - a French dry sparkling wine made by traditional Champagne method. Finer bubbles produced by second fermentation in bottle. This Chardonnay-dominant sparkling wine is with finesse and has good acidity, its sprightly fruit profile and slight nuttiness goes well with these stronger-flavoured cheeses. However, the bitterness in the rind can come too strong that easily overpowers the wine.
Works better with Franciacorta - we're lucky to be able to find one flavourful sparkling wine from our portfolio Ca del Bosco Cuvee Prestige Brut. The freshness and elegance in this are what my palate adores very much. 75% Chardonnay in the blend. Very fragrant, persistent aromas of strawberry, some black fruits and hints of bubblegum. Long aftertaste as it may have picked up some toasty notes from its 28 month ageing on yeast. On a side note though, we think this Franciacorta tastes even better when it stands alone, jolly impressive!