Cheese for Sauvignon Blanc

by Joe Colosi

Sauvignon Blanc, one of the world’s most well known white wine grape varietals, is often drank within under four or five years. It tends to provide a tasty accompaniment to chicken and seafood dishes. Hunter provided a unique example from Touraine and, as usual, we drank and ate cheese until doing so anymore would impair my bike-riding abilities.

Ricard 07 Sauvignon Pierre a Feu: This producer’s vineyards are located less than two miles from the town of Sancerre and the wine closely resembles a good Sancerre. The nose emitted spicy grapefruit and kiwi notes while the flavor was distinguished and balanced. It tasted smooth and round, with a gentle bite.

The first cheese we paired with the Sauvignon was also the most obvious. Valencay de la Loire is an ash-dusted goat’s milk pyramid about three inches tall. Hailing from the same region of France as the wine, the two meshed well together. The new flavor was milky and nutty, almost like fresh coconut. The cheese’s smooth, dry texture provided a soft landing for the wines acidity, creating a warm sensation in our mouths. Valencay de la Loire is an excellent choice for nearly any Sauvignon Blanc or Sancerre.

The wine was too sweet for an aged goat such as Tomme d’Ayduis or Cabra Pimentao, though both worked for moments. We thought a balanced cheddar like Isle of Mull would match the wine, but the Scottish cheddar brought out a nasty bitterness in the combination after an initial fruity flavor. Sparkenhoe Red Leicester, another delicious cheese we receive from Neal’s Yard, also tasted great at the start – like the cheese was melting. However, with the more we ate and drank, the harsher the flavor grew.

The Verdict: Valencay de la Loire

How about that – a drinkable, young white wine and a young, tangy goat cheese. It’s not our most exciting pairing, but they call it a classic for a reason. I mean, you don’t ask for the best there is and then change your mind during ‘Livin’ on a Prayer.’