Thursday, March 18, 2010

Cheese and Wine Party

Being cheese-lovers and wine-lovers, we decided to have a party involving the two. Everyone was asked to bring one bottle of wine and one cheese. But because we have incredibly enthusiastic friends, between the five of us there were 11 cheeses. A list of the contenders:

  • Camembert (Coeur de Lion) - very mild, though I think we could have aged it for a few more weeks
  • French Chevre Blanc Goats Cheese (Sainsbury's) - lovely and tangy and creamy, I could eat loads of this
  • Somerset Goats Cheese (Sainsbury's) - too mild, not enough goats cheese flavor
  • Manchego Gran Reserva (Sainsbury's) - this stuff is extra matured and it is fantastic
  • Smoked Cheddar (Sainsbury's) - great smoky flavor goes well with cheddar
  • Brie de Meaux (Tesco Finest) - this was really ripe and ready for eating, it oozed all over the cheese board
  • Cornish Cruncher Cheddar (M&S) - apparently the most mature cheddar that M&S sell, makes for amazing cheese toasties
  • Halloumi (M&S) - we ate this fresh and it was squeaking like crazy when you chewed, I think halloumi is still nicer when it's been grilled or fried though
  • Romont Reserve Gruyere (Tesco Finest) - similar to aged Comte, this was complex and nutty and delicious
  • Blue Monday (made by Blur bassist Alex James) - creamy, relatively mild, but I still hate blue cheese
  • Stilton with Cranberries (M&S) - I also dislike cheese with fruit in it so I didn't try this one

To go with the cheese, I experimented with making some baguettes. I used the bread machine to make dough for "French sticks" but when shaping the dough into baguettes, I apparently made them too big - they came out of the oven more like loafs than baguettes, though they were still crusty and warm and perfect for eating with cheese.

You can read about our wine tasting here - all in all, an excellent evening that I'm sure will be repeated again soon.

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