Sparkling wine pairs perfectly with soft, surface-ripened cheeses, like Bries and Camemberts. Here our experts have matched La Tur soft-ripened cheese and Brillat Savarin with House of Arras Blanc de Blancs Tasmanian NV – 100% Chardonnay and Taltarni Blanc de Blancs Victorian Vintage – 100% Chardonnay.
Soft, surface-ripened cheeses are created by adding or spraying moulds to the milk, or directly onto the surface of the cheese. The curd is gently poured or ladled into hoops to drain, and this results in an edible bloomy rind, which breaks down the interior of the cheese from the outside through to the centre. Cheeses like Bries and Camemberts fall into this category, and dependent on where they are made, as well as their age and affineur, they will embody an array of different flavour characteristics. Two of our favourites are below.
La Tur soft-ripened cheese ($23.00 for 180g)
This is more of a delicious dessert cupcake rather than a cheese! Produced between Alba and Cortemilla in northern Italy, it combines a blend of cow, goat and sheep milk and as a result exhibits a range of flavours. Production requires gentle handling of the curd in order to retain the high moisture level, and the cheese is young, delicate and mousse-like. There are subtle tones of mushroom, nuttiness, and rich sweetness produced by the blend of milks, but overall, this cheese reminiscent of creme fraiche and butter. It’s the perfect to match with Champagnes and sparkling wines because those creamy bubbles cut right through the rich texture of the cheese.
Brillat Savarin ($14 per 100g)
With over 75% fat in this little cheese, it’s very indulgent! Much like butter-cream icing, it was created in the 1950’s and named after the 18th century gastronome Jean Anthelme Brillat Savarin, who wrote such books as The Physiology of Taste. Its high fat content means it is not only rich and creamy, but has a slight lactic tang and a slightly chalky texture. This the the cheese you would take on a picnic, with strawberries and sparkling wine, to create a most memorable moment!