Match of the week
Cornish Blue and South African Muscat
After last week's Muscat pairing my match of the week oddly involves Muscat again, this time a sweet Muscat Petits Grains from South Africa with the romantic name of Heaven-on-Earth. The grapes are apparently dried on a bed of straw and rooibos tea, a flavour I couldn't really pick up in the wine but it was very attractive nonetheless with an lovely quince and apricot flavour.
I partnered it with the award-winning Cornish Blue at a wine and cheese pairing I ran at the Cheese and Wine Festival in London at the weekend and it went really well. That isn't always the case with light dessert wines and blues (the Heaven-on-Earth is only 11%) but Cornish Blue is quite a mild cheese. (To be honest I'm surprised it won the title of World Champion Cheese at the World Cheese Awards last year. It does however make it a good blue to have on a cheese board as it's less likely to clash if you're drinking a red as I suggested shortly after it picked up its award.)
It was supplied along with the other cheeses in the tasting by Paxton & Whitfield whose affineur Rhuaridh Buchanan shared the platform with me. The other pairings were a Sancerre and Ticklemore goats cheese, Rioja Crianza and Manchego and Touchstone Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon with Auld Lochnagar, a Scottish cheddar-style cheese about which I've written here.
All the wines were organic and came from Vintage Roots. The Heaven-on-Earth Muscat is also Fairtrade-certified and £8.99 for a 50cl bottle. It would be lovely with an apple tart too, I reckon.
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