Champagne, Sparkling Wine, Cheese & Friends

12th December 2017


We recently visited Gastronomica in Pimlico, London and following a taste through their cheese selection and sparkling wines, we had acquired the itch to re-visit and this time bring a host of wine and cheese critics for an afternoon of cheese and fizz pairing.

The afternoon saw Christopher Walkey (Founder of Glass of Bubbly), Emma Young (Mons Cheese), Paul  (Manager of Gastronomica), Michael Edwards (Champagne author), Andrea Rinaldi (Head of UK Sommelier Association) and Azim & Theo (Connoisseur’s Cellar London) come together to taste through a selection of cheese and sparkling wines.


Champagne Roger Brun – Cuvée des Sires Millésime 2011 (Gastronomic Trophy Winner 2017 Glass of Bubbly Awards)

Champagne Dom Caudron Épicurienne

Champagne André De Villeneuve Rosé Grand Cru

Champagne André De Villeneuve Grand Cru

Giannitessari 60 Mesi 2010 (Gold medal winner Summer Days 2017 Glass of Bubbly Awards)

No.1 Family Estate Virginie Cuvée (Gold medal winner Gastronomic 2017 Glass of Bubbly Awards)

Bortolomiol Prior Millesimate 2010 Prosecco DOCG Superiore


Berkswell – Hard Ewes Milk Cheese

Sheffield Cheese Masters – Little Mester

Supplied by Gastronomica:

Ubriaco al Prosecco DOC – a semi hard cows milk cheeses soaked in barrels of Prosecco DOC for 40 to 50 days. Made in Treviso by third generation cheesemaker Sergio Moro.

Testun al Barolo – A hard cows milk cheese that is aged and covered in Barolo grape must. Made by Beppino Occelli in the Langhe region of the Alps. Beppino grew up in the area and has created a personalised range of cheeses using traditional methods.

Malto d’Orzo – Another Occelli cheese. Hard cows milk cheese containing whisky and coated with local Orzo wheat used for making Durum flour and Semolina.

Frutta e Grappa di Moscato – From Occelli also. 12 month old cow and sheep milk cheese coated with dried fruits and Muscat Grappa.

Margot – A semi soft cows milk cheese from Piedmont. A local artisan beer called Margot made by Enrico Terzo is added to the milk.

Berkswell – A hard sheep milks cheese made at 16th Century Ram Hall Farm in the village of Berkswell near Coventry. Made using milk from their own flocks.

Supplied by Emma Young:

Mont D’Or – a seasonal cows milk cheese wrapped in spruce bark. Perfect eating as is or baked in the oven for a self contained fondue.

Langres – a washed rind cheese from the Champagne – Ardenne region, washed in Marc de Bourgogne.

Beaufort – One of our favourite cheeses at Mons. A hard cows milk cheese from the Savoie made by Claude Mercier and his team. Two herds of cows are used to make this usually co-operative made beauty.



Champagne and sparkling wines are more and more likely to be paired with foods these days and cheese is right up there with offering great results when enjoyed with a glass of something bubbly. Sparkling wines offer many different styles from light and fruity to classic vintage styles, rosé to red sparkling, sweet to dry and much more beyond.

Cheese also have a great variation of flavours and textures from mild to strong, creamy to dry.  Cheese not only from England, but across Europe and beyond gives us a host of styles to explore.

As a very general and basic rule, the stronger the cheese then the more powerful sparkling wine you will require to pair best with it.

During the tasting, all wines were initially tasted in order to gather their flavours and from there all went on to taste the cheese and pick a wine that we each felt would pair best. On the afternoon we all found our perfect pairings:

Andrea Rinaldi: “The Champagne André De Villeneuve Grand Cru and the Berkswell for me stood out. The bubbles and fresh acidity of the Champagne with its brioche taste goes well nutty and creamy taste of the cheese –  the cheese leaves the mouth ready to be refreshed and the crisp Champagne from André De Villeneuve does just that.

During the tasting there was also some pouring of Champagne (Roger Brun Cuvé des Sires 2010) on to the fountain ‘dimple’ of the Langres – A creamy full of flavour cheese paired very well with Gastronomic Trophy winning wine from Roger Brun.

Michael Edwards: “The André De Villeneuve has a nice balance and is enjoyable. It is very typical of Northern Montagne de Reims by giving power with finesse from the good terroir this region holds. A wine that will age well and improve. The Dom Caudron Épicurienne has a very strong Meunier and earthy character, good for pairing with cheese.

Christopher Walkey: “For me the creamy and smooth fruity flavours from the No.1 Family Estate ‘Virginie Cuvée’ stood out as the preferred wine to pair with the cheese we had and I found that it combined very well with the soft and creamy cheese especially the very more’ish Mont D’Or. I also very much appreciated tasting the Prosecco cheese (Ubriaco al Prosecco DOC) which I of course paired with the only Prosecco of the tasting, the Prior Millesimate 2010 from Bortolomiol.

All cheeses available at the Mons Borough Market site, Lordship Lane Shop in Dulwich and Wholesaled at many cheese shops and restaurants throughout the UK.

Biscuits and crackers on the day were supplied by Stockans.

Christopher Walkey

Co-founder of Glass of Bubbly. Journalist and author focused on Champagne & Sparkling Wines and pairing them with foods.