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The best wines to drink with cheese

If you're having a picnic or party this summer - the potage box of Artisan British Cheeses With Grapes & Crackers is a winning addition. Here our wine blogger Josephine shares three delicious wines to pair with it.

"Wine and cheese and two of my favourite things. Both can be enjoyed independently but together they can be truly sublime- it's just a case of cracking the perfect combinations. More often than not (and I'm guilty of this too) little thought goes into the choice of wine you drink when devouring a cheese board. This is a missed sensory opportunity and below I'll outline some tried and tested pairing options. The key to matching wine with cheese is picking harmonious flavours that complement and accentuate each other's attributes without overshadowing one another.

Camembert - A British soft cows milk Tunworth Camembert cheese is intensely creamy and can often steal the show so you need to choose a light, young wine that isn't going to clash or compete. A French juicy fruity red is a good choice. The acidity and vibrancy of a young red wine can cut through the richness of the Brie without overpowering the mild flavour.  

TRY: Chateau Le Peyrat 2015 which is a Merlot (think red cherries and raspberries) dominated blend from Bordeaux. £8.60 from Justerini & Brooks.

Comte - Hard cheese goes very well with Chardonnay.  The buttery notes of Chardonnay bring out the rich and complex flavours of Comte, especially if it's aged and has salt crystals. The citrus flavour and zippy acidity of a young white Burgundy can really lift the cheese and balance out the richness. 

TRY: Macon Uchizy, 2016: an approachable and affordable white Burgundy. It is fresh and fruity and is the perfect accompaniment to Comte or Gruyere.  £10 from Justerini & Brooks

Clawson Stilton Wedge - Blue cheese pairs brilliantly with sweet wine (like Sauternes) or Port. The syrup like viscosity of a sweet wine is a great match to the crumbly texture of a blue cheese and the sweetness counteracts the salty pungency. Interestingly, serving sweet wine with blue cheese is a trend that goes back hundreds of years. Back in the 18th Century, with little refrigeration, maturing Stilton would become infested with maggots. When it came to eating the cheese, a hole would be cut in the top of the Stilton truckle and Port would be poured in to drown the maggots. 

TRY: Late Bottled Vintage Port which shows a rich black fruity character, £11.50 per half bottle from Fortnum & Mason.

If in doubt about trying new pairings, Brie-lieve me, the old adage 'what grows together, goes together' is a pretty Gouda rule of thumb!"


Written by our wine blogger Josephine Davies