The perfect cheese plate
Newsletter September 2010 ISSUE 10
Itâ€™s September once again and while that means back to school for some with heavy feet and hearts, it also means more time together for all of the parents out there. So weâ€™re giving a tutorial on the cheese plate by putting together some of our finest cheeses, paired them with wine and then explained how to put it all together.
September 2010 Newsletter
250-592-4080 www.ottaviovictoria.com 2272 Oak Bay Avenue, Victoria, B.C.
4 cheeses , 1 cheese plate : Here we present 4 different styles of cheese to create a fantastic and impressive cheese plate. BLUE, HARD, SOFT, AND HARD SHEEP OR GOAT
A king of cheeses on any plate, this blue
is not for the faint of heart. Spicy, strong and wonderfully complex this blue is crumbly and moist. Made with unpasteurized sheep’s milk this blue uses the special mold, Penicillium Roqueforti, which is derived from 2-month old, 20 pound rye loaves. Wine pairing: A sweet white pairs best. A Sauternes from the Bordeaux region is the most classic combination with Roquefort. It’s medium bodied with floral, perfumed notes, and an acidity that balances out the sharp blue flavours of the cheese.
Rich, triple cream hailing from Quebec
with bold style. Fashioned after France’s St. Andre, it’s buttery and rich with a little more oomph than your regular go-to creamy cheese. This cheese is beautiful as a dessert cheese and loves delectably sweet, ripe fruit. Wine pairing: Something sweet and sparkly. Asti Spumante is a classic Italian sparkly made with Muscat grapes, a variety that tastes of fresh, crunchy, green grapes. Asti is a sweet, slightly bubbly, off-dry wine with a mousse-like texture that is a real treat. Look for one from the Piedmont region of Northwest Italy, and skip the lesser versions from other regions.
Tomme de Savoie
Classic and rustic French peasant’s cheese.
Savoie is a raw cow’s milk cheese with a beefy, hazelnutty flavour and mild aroma. The word “Tomme” translated into its Alpine roots roughly means “round” or “piece” A cheese with the word “Tomme” has milk that has been gathered from several different herds of animals. Wine pairing: Pinot Noirs pair well, France’s in particular are earthy with a fresh acidity and a mushroom aroma that accompanies the beefy flavours of Savoie well or try a Chilean pinot for a richer, red fruit aroma that isn’t as earthy.
Pecorino Toscano Stagionato
A classic pecorino loved by all of us here at the shop. Pecorino is the name for any sheep’s milk cheese made in Italy. It’s firm, salty, and slightly flaky yet characteristically oily. Like most pecorini, it has a high butterfat content which is why it tastes rich and full bodied.
Wine pairing: A regional red with bold, dark fruit tones. A Sangiovese red from the Tuscany region is a natural pair, as with most regional cheeses and wines. Earthy with a balance of acidity and soft tannins, this wine carries hints of dark berries with flavours of cocoa and tobacco which marry perfectly with the salty tones of pecorino.
September 2010 Newsletter
The Perfect Cheese Plate 250-592-4080 www.ottaviovictoria.com 2272 Oak Bay Avenue, Victoria, B.C.
Let your cheese come up to room temperature
Like wine it’s always best to appreciate the flavours of cheese when it isn’t icy cold. This can take an hour for hard cheese, or half an hour for soft cheese, use your judgment.
At Ottavio we recommend about 30 grams per person, per serving. This can change depending on factors like what time you’re eating, what course it is, and how much you know your guests like to eat.
3. Types of Cheese:
Three to four is ideal. Often in Italy and France only one to two good cheeses are enjoyed in a course. Once you get above 4 cheeses it gets difficult to distinguish one cheese from another and properly savour each cheese’s individual characteristics. Keep in mind contrasting textures, flavours, regions, and milk types when choosing cheeses. Variety is the spice of life!
Make sure to use a large, flat surface as lipped plates will cause cheese to run and stick together. Adequate space is key and the best way to serve cheese is on individual, separate surfaces. Wooden boards or a marble slab always look lovely but be creative. Individual knives for each cheese are best, and no fancy tools requires.
Seasonal is best when it comes to fruit and vegetables (no big, tasteless California strawberries please). Nuts, dried fruit, sliced meats, and olives can all elevate cheese when paired appropriately and sparingly, try not to let the accompaniments overpower your cheese. Ottavio also sells many cheese-specific chutneys, jellies and quince products for you to try. And don’t forget the bread, a classic white baguette works perfectly!
6. Rule Breaking...
As always, nothing’s ever set in stone and all of these guidelines have their exceptions. Use your judgment because in the end cheese, like all food, is meant to be enjoyed and bring people together to have a good time. Whatever wines and accompaniments taste good to you, go with them. And hey, if you’re ever in doubt, that’s what we’re here for, so ask away!
Don’t miss our last event of the season! All things German from sausages & sauerkraut on the piazza by Galloping Goose Sausage Co.in Metchosin, to mustard samplings, beer tasting, schnitzel special & our German boys & girls!
Oktoberfest Saturday Sept 25th 11-3
All about putting together a great cheese plate!