As those of you who are familiar with this site will know I’ve got issues about drinking red wine with cheese. It may seem an obvious partnership but all too often it seems a warring one.
However yesterday our cheeseboard harmonised quite beautifully with the tail end of a bottle of Château Bouscassé Vieilles Vignes Madiran 2000 from Alain Brumont which had already taken some roast guinea fowl with spicy stuffing in its stride.
The cheese was admittedly chosen to inflict minimum damage on whatever red we decided to serve. The selection included a very young fresh Pecorino, a creamy Sharpham Brie, a mellow Devon Oke (less sharp than an artisanal cheddar) and an unusually creamy Picos Blue from Spain. (Note: no stinky cheeses!)
The wine was also mature and untypical in style for Madiran - beautifully supple rather than tannic and not over-extracted as many can be. (It’s tannin that tends to interfere with cheese matches).
You can buy current vintages from Fortnum & Mason, Noel Young and Hailsham Cellars for between £18.95 (Hailsham Cellars) and £29.95 a bottle (Fortnum’s) which seems a huge discrepancy. Happily we bought ours direct from the cellar a couple of years ago about which I now feel rather smug :)