Cheese and wine are one life's great pleasures. If I could only eat one thing for the rest of my life it would be cheese. I didn't think there could be much better than the classic cheese and wine combo- until I met Cheese and Champagne.
Having ate my fair (OK totally unfair) amount of cheese over the years, I thought I was a bit of cheese buff, as us amateurs do, so me and Caroline decided to put this to the test, and go Cheese and Champagne Tasting.
We decided to go to Champagne + Fromage by French Bubbles in Covent Garden. A gorgeous, Paris style shop, filled with wooden tables, and classic chalkboards with today's special. However it was downstairs that we came for.
Downstairs we were taken a a intimate room, where around a table were our first course cheese boards set up. Once we had all settled, our lesson began.
First order of the day was the Compte Extra, a cows milk cheese from the Alps. I hate to say this, as it was the first cheese, but this was a very good cheese- one of the best ones.
It was a relatively hard cheese, and while our teacher described it as strong, I wouldn't quite go that far, however it did have a great flavour that lasted in the mouth.
Our second cheese was the Tomme de Brebis, a ewe's milk cheese from the Basque Country. Apparently Tommes are made from the skim milk left over after the cream has been removed which means they are lower in fat than most cheeses. Great for the waist, however I think this was why this was a very mild cheese. Personally I like strong, punchy cheeses, but it was very good with the quince.
Onto the Brie de Meaux from Ile-de-France. I really enjoy brie, as it even though it is a mild, the rich, creamy nature just comforts me. I also discovered something new, black cherries and brie combo. Try it. Its a game changer!
Finally on the first board, we had Bleu D'Auvergne. I adore blue cheese; the stronger, the smellier the better in my eyes. This was an exceptionally creamy cheese, that would be perfect pasted all over hot crusty bread.
To accompanied all this cheese, we were paired with the Pertois- Moriset Selection Champagne. A rich, crisp taste, helped lift out the flavours of the cheese.
Once we had devoured our boards, they were whisked away, and replaced with a new selection, as was the champagne.
Say hello to Colin.
Colin Blanche de Castille 1st Cru- a sweeter, fruitier note than the last.
We started with Chebris, a mixture of ewes and Goats milk from the south west. This had quite a nutty texture, which would go great on biscuits.
The next was the Cabri Frais, a goats milk cheese. On its own it was very very mild, however they told us to try it with lavender seeds. OK...?
I would never have thought to try lavender seeds with cheese (or anything really) however the floral taste actually worked extremely well. What was, to be quite honest, a bit of a bland cheese on its own suddenly become quite flavoursome. Differently an example of why we should experiment with flavour combinations.
Final orders of the day was the Langres cow's milk from Champagne. I really did love this cheese. It is quite salty, but this brings out a slight spicy taste.
This was my favourite. A almost creamy single Vintage, it was very light which was needed after all that cheese! It had a slightly sweet fruit taste, which matched perfectly for our little treat.
Chocolate Fondant with Bleu des Basques. Yes, your mind has probably guessed right, a chocolate fondant with BLUE CHEESE! Even I looked at Caroline with a little suspicion, however, boy was it good. Oh, I don't know why, but blue cheese and chocolate is a huge do. Don't ask, just go out immediately and hunt down this combo, you need it in your life.
Surprisingly we were stuffed by the end. We had said 'there's no way this is going to fill us up!' School boy error.
A thoroughly enjoyable eduction. Why wasn't school more like this?
If you fancy booking a tasting session, here's the details. Enjoy.