jamie goode's wine blog

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Tonight I am alone, so I choose to dine on one of my favourite combinations: bread and cheese. I'm a relatively recent convert to cheese, but now I love it, confirming the notion that tastes that are hard to acquire are often more enduring than those we appreciate immediately.

Tonight I am eating Comte and Colton Basset Stilton with a bread I made earlier: I bunged in a bit of olive oil, some salt, a little sugar and some flour with dried yeast. I mixed it with some warm water and allowed it to prove (temperature in kitchen 27 centigrade today, as it has been for at least two weeks) while still quite a damp mix. Unfortunately, my rough and ready estimations mean the bread has turned out quite salty to the taste, but this means it goes quite well with the cheese.

Two New Zealand Rieslings provide the accompaniment. Both are very good. Waipara Springs Riesling 2004 Waipara, New Zealand is drier with lovely limey fruit, together with just a hint of sweetness. There's also some flinty minerality (reduction?). It's pretty dry though, with bracing acidity, and drier than most NZ Rieslings tend to be. Framinghams's Marlborough Classic Riesling 2005 is richer and thicker with some residual sugar providing the weight and richness that helps offset the high acidity. Both work really well with cheese.


At 4:55 AM, Blogger Trish said...

Bread and cheese is absolutely one of my favorite "dine alone" indulgences, although I definitely struggle with pairing wine and cheese. It's not as easy as it's made out to be.

At 8:19 AM, Blogger Salil said...

It's hard to go wrong with the bread/cheese/wine combination. Normally don't make my own bread; there are a number of stores around here that sell fresh, and very good ciabatta and focaccia, as well as a lot of great cheeses.

As for the wines - I've found it hard to go wrong with Rieslings from NZ, particularly from Waipara or Marlborough. The Muddy Waters James Hardwick Riesling from Waipara's another excellent one - also a touch acidic and flinty, especially compared to others from the area, and worth tracking down.

At 8:39 AM, Blogger Jamie said...

Trish - agree fully - great combination but tricky to pair, especially blue cheeses and soft cheeses.

Salil - I have a bottle of the Muddy Waters lurking around somewhere, so I shall try it.

Stockist information: the Waipara is from Hellion Wines, the Framingham is as follows:

Classic Riesling: 9.99.

Carrington - Cholton - Manchester 01618810099

Carrington - Wilmslow - Manchester 01614462546

Ex Cellar - Fulham Road - London 02077362038

Ex Cellar - Ashtead - Surrey 01372275247

Les Caves de Pyrene - Guilford - Surrey 0148353880

Bedales Ltd - Borough Market - London 02074038853

Le Pont de La Tour Wine Shop - Butlers Wharf Tower Bridge - London 02079401840

Wimbledon Wine Cellar - Wimbledon 02085409979

Wimbledon Wine Cellar - Chiswick - London 02089947989

At 9:59 AM, Anonymous Jack Hibberd said...

Where do you get your cheese from Jamie?
Nice to hear yoru cheese appreciation is coming along.
I remember that conversation we had a couple of years ago (two?) when you had just started on Cheddar and Manchego!

At 10:45 AM, Anonymous Keith Prothero said...

Jamie---- Try the Richmond farmers market every Saturday morning.
Normally 2 or 3 different farmers selling a variety of cheeses,all delicious!!!

At 10:27 AM, Blogger Jamie said...

From Waitrose. Now you're going to tell me where I should *really* be getting my cheese from?

At 10:58 AM, Anonymous Jack Hibberd said...

Waitrose is a pretty good option actually. I've found the quality is better than a lot of so-called Delis. They do a wicked little Tallagio that is just perfect for a roast onion tart.
I'm lucky to live just a couple of streets from La Fromagerie - which has a lovely well-stored selection although the prices can cause heart palpatations.
Agree with Keith about farmers' markets. My flat mate bought a stunning goats cheese from the Dulwich one last week for just 1.50.
We scoffed it in the garden with a bottle of Rich Reserve Veuve. I'm not sure if demi-sec fizz is a classic match or not, but it was absolutely sublime.

At 10:35 PM, Blogger Ben Bicais said...

Wine, bread and cheese for dinner reminds me of my college days when I lived near a great shop called the Cheeseboard in Berkeley. The staff is extremely knowledgeable and the selection extensive. A little olive oil and balsamic with the bread and cheese definitely works nicely with Riesling or NZ Sauvignon Blanc. As for reds, I usually go for a Chianti or Grenache, depending on the cheese.

At 10:01 PM, Blogger Jamie said...

Ben, thanks for the comment - Berkeley must be a fun place to be at college.


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