Come to the church of cheeses

More than 70 percent of people surveyed said they did not feel they had a good knowledge of wine

More than 70 percent of people surveyed said they did not feel they had a good knowledge of wine

Later this month Johannesburg-based foodies will join the holy trek to Montecasino, where they will find cheeses – and enter the gates of heaven.

While wine sounds like the main appeal of the inaugural Franshhoek Food and Wine festival taking place the last weekend of August at Montecasino, cheeses will be a cornerstone of the festival. Or at least that is the feeling after attending the media launch for the festival – where it was revealed that La Cotte Inn will be one of the vendors.

Those unfamiliar with La Cotte Inn will be in for a treat, they are Franschhoek’s favourite wine and cheese shop, arguably featuring the finest selection of South African and imported wines in the country.

Apart from stocking a wide range of wines from outside the Franschhoek Wine Valley, they represent 35 Franschhoek wineries. They are the proprietors of Fromages De France – where imported French cheeses are the order of the day. They also offer a fair selection of Italian and locally produced cheeses. In fact La Cotte Inn stocks 113 cheeses in total, and the launch event was not complete without trying to mix and match some cheeses.

As it goes classic wine and cheese combinations are a must do at the festival, and we paired some of the 35 wines from La Cotte Inn with cheeses also avaiable through them. Note that most of these wines and cheeses won’t break the bank. In fact, many of the wines are available for under R50.

Traditional pairings include sparkling wine with fresh cow or goat milk cheese, saugvinon blanc with goat milk cheeses (sometimes mold-ripened), Chardonnays with triple creamed cheeses or aged gouda, Pinot Noir with semi-firm sheep or goat milk cheeses or medium gouda, Syrah with a Comté cheese,bodied red wines like Cabernet Sauvignon, Bordeaux and Zinfandels with aged cheddar or a cheese with bite (like pecorino) and finaly dessert wines pair great with blue cheeses.

* Sparkling wine and goat’s cheese
Try Allee Bleue Brut Rosé Vintage (Cap Classique) paired with Pouligny St .Pierre. 
Pouligny St .Pierre is a salty, sweet and sour au lait cru made from goats milk, that marriages with the refreshing palate of delicate flavours of Allee Bleue.

* Sauvignon Blanc and goat’s cheese
Angels Tears Sauvignon Blanc with Banon goat’s cheese.
Banon is a soft curd cheese wrapped in chestnut leaves, giving it quite a punchy flavour. Angel Tears is a crisp white wine with fruity aromas.

* Chardonnay and triple cream enriched cheese
Ataraxia Chardonnay with Mini Brillat Truffles Formi.
Brillat is a triple-cream enriched, soft complex and flavourful cheese with a lingering of black truffles. Antaraxia has mineral acidity and creaminess (think buttery).

* Pinot Nior and sheep-milk cheese
Haute Cabriere Unwooded Pinot Noir with Brebiou Bearn.
Brebiou Bearn offers a delicate richness, fine, creamy, firm texture with a natural rind. Haute Cabriere Unwooded Pinot Noir offers red berry aromas with cranberry flavours.

* Syrah with semi-hard cheese
La Motte Syrah 2011 with Tomme de Savoie Ferme.
Tomme de Savoie Ferme is a pressed semi-hard cheese with cellar aromas and a nutty taste.

* Cabernet Sauvignon with hard cheese
Kleine Zalze Vineyard Selection Cabernet Sauvignon with Sua Meastra.
Sua Meastra is a black rind parmagano hard cheese with strong full flavours while Kleine Zalze Vineyard Selection Cabernet Sauvignon offers fruit flavours and high notes of spice.

* Dessert wine with blue cheese
Maison Straw Wine with Blue d’Auvergne.
Maison Straw Wine features hints of honey, raisins and candy, while Blue d’Auvergne is a salty blue mold with spice blends. 

Just be sure to get to the festival and let cheeses into your life!

Venue: Outdoor Events Area (Montecasino)Dates: 28 to 30 August
Times: Friday 28August from 6.30 pm to 10.30pm.
Saturday 29 August from 1pm to 5pm.
Sunday 30 August from 12pm to 5pm.
Ticket prices: R150 to R450.




today in print