POSTED 7th August 2019
The Perfect Pairing with Michael Hartley

Wine and cheese are ageless companions. Two of life’s greatest culinary pleasures and when perfectly paired in balance, it’s truly a delicious experience. But where do you begin when there are so many considerations that play on the flavours of wine together with cheese, such as texture, acidity, fat and tannins?

The new Steves Winter Menu is here, and with it come four new hand selected international and Australian cheeses just waiting to be paired with a glass (or even a bottle). Read on below for my wine picks and impress your guests next time you’re at Steves!

L’Artisan Extravagant | Organic cow’s milk, white mould, Geelong, Victoria

with 2017 Bouchard Pere et Fills Bourgogne La Vignee

Cheese: This is a handmade, triple cream organic cheese, rich and full of flavour. A fluffy white mould and creamy paste, mild when young with a soft bite and texture at maturity. It reflects the softer side of the local climate of Western Victoria’s pastures.

Wine: The accompanying wine is a light, minimally oaked styled chardonnay and with its focused acidity is a perfect match to the mild and creamy texture of this young Victorian cheese. Flavours of apple and citrus from the wine enhance the creaminess and sweetness of this soft triple cream cheese.

Ford Farm Cave Aged Cheddar | Cow’s milk, farmhouse cheddar, Dorchester, England

with 2015 Xanadu Cabernet Sauvignon

Cheese: Firm texture and cream-coloured pâté, the aroma is a complex mix of sweet, creamy, farmy and earthy. The flavours are big, robust and well rounded, with competing notes of sweet, salty and tangy notes.

Wine: With its fine tannins, strong flavours and natural acidity, the Xanadu Cabernet Sauvignon is a match made in heaven for this big, robust, well-rounded cheddar. The wine is herbaceous with plenty of dark fruits that draw out the bold flavours of the cheese.

Bleu Des Basques | Sheep’s milk, blue mould, Midi-Pyrénées, France

with 2015 le Baron de Malleret

Cheese: Nutty and slightly sweet with a floral aftertaste reminiscent of the high Alpage pastures. A somewhat crumbly texture, wherein the salty blue mould forms in small pockets as the cheese slowly ages over three months.

Wine: This fruity, well-structured Bourdeaux pairs well with the crumbly texture and slight nuttiness of this cheese. The dark cassis flavours in the wine are more than enough to tie in with this mild aromatic Bleu des Basques.

Midnight Moon | Goat’s milk, semi-hard gouda, Holland and matured in California, USA

with 2018 Frankland Estate Riesling

Cheese: An elegant cheese made from gently cooking the curds, creating sweet, nutty, caramel notes with lovely length of palate. The pâté is ivory in colour with slight pink yeasty hues. Texture is soft and pliable at six months and develops irregular crystalline formations as it matures off to the 12 month stage.

Wine: Light enough to avoid the strong flavours of this cheese, with the riesling having enough acidity to cut through the fattiness of this semi-hard gouda. A very pleasing mouthfeel indeed.

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