Sunday, June 12, 2011

Munster and Gewurztraminer: a classic cheese and wine pairing

I’ve spent the last few days in Alsace and can’t remember when I found a region so dominated by a single cheese. Even the Jura has Morbier and Mont d’Or as well as the ubiquitous Comté.

It is, of course, Munster the washed rind cheese named (it’s thought) after the village of the same name though there are suggestions that it may have been a corruption of monastery as it was first made by monks.

It’s typically served locally (as above) with cumin seeds and a glass of gewurztaminer, Alsace’s exotically perfumed off-dry wine which complements it perfectly. (I prefer the drier styles with it to the off-dry and certainly the sweet (Vendange Tardive) versions.)

Interestingly I found the Munster generally served younger than I would have expected presumably because of its pungent smell. The one exception was at the Taverne Alsacienne at Ingersheim where they serve a younger and more artisanal version (right) together. Needless to say the latter was the one I liked best.


Lucy Hoffman said...

Mmm feeling hungry! How were the cumin seeds served? I love cumin, stinky cheese and gewurtz- so want to try the combo!

Fiona Beckett said...

Just as they came, out of the packet. You could lightly toast them first in a dry pan but you'd have to be careful they didn't catch or else they'd be bitter.