Monday, October 25, 2010

Six Devon cheeses

I did a couple of cheese and wine matching classes at the Dartmouth Food Festival this weekend with local winemerchant Liam Steevenson of Red & White in Kingsbridge.

Fittingly we used six Devon cheeses. Two were familiar to me - Quicke's Traditional Mature Cheddar which we paired with Chateau Lezongars Premières Côtes de Bordeaux and Beenleigh Blue, a Roquefort-like ewes' cheese from Ticklemore Cheese in Totnes which we matched with a sweet Bordeaux, Domaine de Noble Loupiac. (I'm not sure about the vintages which weren't on the tasting sheet - sorry!)

There were two from Sharpham Dairy, also in Totnes - a very attractive creamy Brie which paired beautifully with a fresh-tasting Beaujolais: Fleurie 'La Madone', La Reine de L'Arenite and a new cheese called Sharpham Savour, a tangy mixture of cows' and goats' milk that was apparently created to celebrate the 50th anniversary of South Devon being designated an area of outstanding natural beauty. We matched that with an Urbino Rioja Crianza - the most successful of the reds for me.

The other two cheeses were Norsworthy, a hard goats' cheese which we partnered with a Domaine Jean-Claude Chatelain Sancerre and Curworthy, a mellow Cheddarish cheese which was paired with La Secreto Carmenère, a lush fruity red from Chile that I thought slightly overwhelmed it.

Although the people who came clearly felt most comfortable about red wine with cheese most were converted by the the goats cheese and Sauvignon Blanc and sweet wine and blue combinations. And I must say I was impressed by the cheeses. A tasting based on six from one county isn't bad.


Ian Wellens said...

Your readers might be interested in a piece I've just written for Devon Life (December issue) about Devon's pioneering cheesemakers. People like Robin Congdon (Beenleigh Blue) and Rachel Stephens (Curworthy) who started up as artisan cheesemakers getting on for 30 years ago - when there was really very little interest. Over 5 years of The Cheese Shed I've really enjoyed touring around meeting the makers and finding what makes them tick. I've got a lot of respect for them.

Fiona Beckett said...

I've spotted your site, Ian, which carries lots of great West Country cheeses. Keep up the good work!