Pairing Irish Cheese with Champagne

17th August 2017


Let’s discover cheeses from a country with beautiful landscapes, surrounded by the sea and a fantastic and lively capital, yes Ireland. Farmhouse cheeses are produced across the country yet each cheese is an expression of its own particular part of Ireland.

Gubbeen is a semi-hard cheese, with a washed rind with brine, which makes the cheese smelly when it gets old. The herd used to produce this cheese is the Friesian and Kerry cows from the cheesemaker family. It is pasteurised and with the use of traditional Rennet. It is a smooth and creamy cheese, with nutty, buttery and meadow flowers.

I paired it with the oldest and first House Champagne Ruinart. “R” de Ruinart NV. It has a lovely and open aroma with white fruit such as pear, apple followed by white flowers and to finish a nutty yeasty note that Ruinart is known for.

What a perfect pairing, you get similar flavours from both the cheese and Champagne, but also the Ruinart will cut through the taste of the rind leaving all those flavours to explode on your palate.

Cahill Porter Cheddar is made with pasteurised cow’s milk, vegetarian rennet and Guinness brewer porter. It has an unusual mosaic pattern which makes it even more popular. It is semi-hard with a creamy texture with complex flavours such as caramelised onion, chocolate and of course the flavours of the well known Guinness.

I paired it with Billecart Salmon Demi-Sec NV. It has a beautiful golden colour, with small but, persistant bubbles. At first, you’ll have white flower aromas followed by a lovely briochy and buttery note. The palate has a perfect balance, between sugar and acidity with floral notes followed by a hint of liquorice. It makes it the ideal pairing for the Cahill Porter.

Cashel Blue is one of Ireland best-loved cheese. It is the very first Irish blue cheese and is made from Fresian cow milk, pasteurised and vegetarian rennet. It can be aged from 9 to 35 weeks. A young one keeps the creaminess and has a zesty note with a little almond note on the finish.

I paired this with Pol Roger Rich NV a sweeter Champagne. It has an explosion of aromas including honey, apricot and white flowers. It is an uncommon pairing but definitely worth a try!

Written by Aurelie Froidevaux

Glass of Bubbly

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