Home   Lifestyle   Article

Bubbles with brie is a perfect combination according to New Forest wine expert Helen McGinn, of the Knackered Mother’s Wine Club.





CHEESE and port used to be the traditional way to finish off Christmas lunch; but in recent years port has become a bit old hat – not to mention a sure-fire way to end up with a horrific hangover if you drink too much of it.

A much nicer way of serving a cheese board, according to wine expert Helen McGinn, is to pair each cheese with a different wine.

The two are perfect partners because “there are so many similarities”, says Helen. “If you think about it, with wine we talk very much about the place, the ageing of it, the different way it is made, and the winemaker is part of the story, which is the same for cheese.

Pair each cheese with a different wine, says Helen (Photo: The Priory Restaurant)
Pair each cheese with a different wine, says Helen (Photo: The Priory Restaurant)

“If you put the right style of wine with a different style of cheese it will bring out the best in both.”

For example, bubbles with brie, is, according to Helen who lives in the New Forest, a brilliant duo.

Lighter cheeses go well with a sparkling wine
Lighter cheeses go well with a sparkling wine

She said: “People think of cheese and red wine together, but actually it works better with white and different styles like sparkling.

“You are trying to match the intensity of flavour, so if you have something really heavy in your glass you are not going to taste a delicate, light cheese.”

Helen McGinn runs the Knacked Mother's Wine Club
Helen McGinn runs the Knacked Mother's Wine Club

Helen says sparkling wine is perfect with brie and other similar cheeses, recommending a South African one by Graham Beck which is made in the same way as champagne.

She said: “It works really well with any creamy cheese because the wine has got the freshness and acidity you want. Sparkling wine also goes well with parmesan and pecorino cheese as they both have saltiness in them which the bubbles help cut through.”

Helen McGinn gave her wine and cheese pairing tips to Angela Hartnett and Nick Grimshaw (Photo: S:E Creative Studio)
Helen McGinn gave her wine and cheese pairing tips to Angela Hartnett and Nick Grimshaw (Photo: S:E Creative Studio)

Goats cheese paired with Sauvignon Blanc is also a brilliant combination, according to Helen, who runs the Knackered Mother’s Wine Club. Again, it has bite to it, she says, which contrasts well with the soft creaminess of the cheese.

“This wine is also really light and lemony – it’s a really nice combination,” said Helen.

Blue cheeses are very much "red wine territory"
Blue cheeses are very much "red wine territory"

Her next cheese and wine suggestion is rind cheese with rose. “With rose you get that freshness that you need to cut through the cheese, but it comes with a bit more oomph.

The flavour is a bit weightier. This cheese is more pungent, so you need a bit more flavour than with creamy cheeses.”

She recommends a Malbec rose.

Cheddar, according to Helen, is one cheese that needs a red wine. She revealed: “This is very much red territory because harder, and especially aged cheeses, do work better with red wine.”

A “really juicy” red is the best to go with cheddar, Helen says, adding: “If you have a creamy cheddar, you do not want a wine with too tannic, or too chewy. You want something a bit more subtle.”

One wine that works well with red is Reyneke from South Africa.

King of the cheese board at Christmas is, of course, stilton, which is often served with port. But Helen says it goes much better with a dessert wine like Beaumes de Venise.

She said: “Think about how strong and salty those flavours of the cheese are. So, whatever we have in our glass has got to really come out fighting.

“So, this is where you go for a sweet wine and that is all about the contrast because your mouth will be full of gorgeous, creamy, salty flavours, so cut through with it with a sweet wine that has got freshness. Beaumes de Venise just sits so well with blue cheese. “

Helen was sharing her wine and cheese tips on the hit podcast Dish from Waitrose, which is hosted by celebrity chef Angela Harnett from Limewood hotel in Lyndhurst and former Radio One DJ Nick Grimshaw.

Visit https://www.waitrose.com/ecom/content/podcast



This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies - Learn More