I hope you liked my last two blogs. I'm enjoying writing for you, and think we still have many things to share. There is always something new to discover or to learn with wine and food, I'm more than happy to share that with you. If you have any stories, photos or comments to share, don't hesitate to tag us on Instagram: @lovewineje / @anas_kitchen2 or Facebook: LoveWine.je.
This time, let's talk about... Cheese!!!
Cheese and Wine. What a wonderful compliment! Just thinking about it makes my mouth water. I love cheese, and believe that cheese and wine is one marriage that no one can object to. Each is delicious on its own, but when you pair the two, magic can happen. Whether it's tannic, acidic, sweet, or dry, you can bet there's a wine out there for every Cheese, even fondue!
Many, many possibilities, so as it was International Wine & Cheese Day on 25th July, we thought it would be an excellent idea to pay homage to such a beautiful relationship!
To start, I will say that Cheese can take on almost human characteristics: young or aged, sharp or soft and even stinky or fresh. It comes in dozens of shapes and sizes, from giant, smooth wheels to small, crumbly wedges. The variety of shapes and colours reflect various methods of producing and ageing. Soft cheeses take less time to prepare and spoil faster, while some hard cheeses can age for years and remain safe to eat for longer. Thousands of varieties from across the world were initially found wherever animals had been domesticated and dairy industries developed.
Here are my top 3 'Cheese and wine' summer pairings:
1. Mozzarella and Pinot Grigio
Mamma Mia, what a delicious thing! With it being summer, I will share with you this straightforward vegetarian-friendly recipe that is amazing to accompany a nice BBQ and sunshine! Let's start with something light and fresh. Mozzarella cheese is one of those easy to use cheeses as it works very well with salads, meat, seafood and vegetables.
Parcels filled with mozzarella and dressed with pesto sauce
Ingredients for 8
-drizzle of olive oil
-2 x 125g balls mozzarella, drained and sliced
-2 plum tomatoes, each cut into four thick slices
-8 basil leaves
For the Pesto (If you're short of time, you could buy a tub of fresh pesto).
-Small handful of basil leaves
-2 tbsp pine nut
-2 garlic cloves
-2 tbsp grated parmesan (or vegan alternative)
-150ml olive oil
To make the dressing, blitz all the ingredients, except the oil, in a food processor; then, with the motor still running, drizzle in the oil.
Trim off either end of the Aubergines and discard ends. Slice the Aubergines lengthways into 16 slices in total. Over a barbecue (or on a hot griddle pan), heavily mark the Aubergine slices on each side to soften, then lift into a dish. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and season.
Next, build little stacks of mozzarella slices, tomato slices and basil leaves. Wrap each stack in a grilled Aubergine slice, then again with a second slice in the other direction to try to cover the gaps, making a little bundle. Secure each parcel with a couple of cocktail sticks. You can keep it in the fridge overnight.
Place the parcels on the barbecue and continue to char on each side until the Cheese starts to ooze out. Lift onto a platter, drizzle with the pesto dressing and serve - with a chilled glass of Pinot Grigio from the Veneto region in the North-East part of Italy.
We have selected a Pinot Grigio from Pasqua's second-tier range of Cecilia Beretta.
2. Feta and Riesling
Feta is usually quite rich, spicy and salty cheese, and it would go well with a high-acid aromatic white such as a nice Riesling
What do you think about a Greek Salad? But this time, we are going to add a little twist; let's use some sweet Italian frying peppers!
we will need:
- 6 tbsp extra-virgin olive
- 1 tbsp roughly crushed coriander seeds
- 650g mixed, halved seasonal cherry tomatoes
- Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon and 1 orange
- 2 tbsp runny honey
- 1 sliced cucumber
- 3 large handfuls of lettuce leaves
- 180g olives with rosemary and black pepper
- 100g crumbled feta
- 4 sweet Italian peppers cut into slices
Heat 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil in a frying pan with a lid over medium heat. Add the coriander seeds and cherry tomatoes and cook for 3 minutes. Turn the heat down to low, add the peppers, season with salt and pepper, cover and cook for 5 minutes more.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer the tomatoes and the peppers to a serving dish. Add the finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon and 1 orange, another 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil and the honey to the pan. Mix well to make a dressing, then leave to cool slightly.
In a bowl, toss the cucumber (halve it lengthways, scoop out the seeds, then cut into half-moons), lettuce leaves and olives with rosemary and black pepper with the feta and put in the tomato/peppers. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the dressing from the pan and drizzle it over the salad, then serve with warm crusty bread or pitta.
3. Manchego and Tempranillo
I love Manchego!! One of my favourites! Manchego works amazingly with Chorizo and piquillos (red peppers), two of my favourites things in the world. To only better this, all you need to do is add a stunning Tempranillo.
For this dish, If you are looking for a more modern style Rioja such as Quinta Milu's La Bicicleta from the small village in Rioja Oriental called Voladora, Made under the guidance of German Blanco of Quinta Milu, their first vintage was in 2015. His wines are about the grapes and how to get the fruit character expressed to the full and see the freshness and brightness come through on the smooth body and silky tannins.
So, here is my recipe for a delicious Tapas with Manchego, Chorizo and Piquillos (you can use only piquillos if you want a lighter snack, or just the Chorizo if you are feeling more ... olé!!!
We will need (for ten servings)
- 80g Manchego
- 100g Chorizo sausage
- 3 Piquillos
- 1 Garlic Clove
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp smooth parsley for decoration
This Tapas works well, warm or cold.
First, we have to cut our Manchego indices and put them to the side.
Then, cut the Chorizo into slices. Throw them in a pan with the tbsp of olive oil and sauté briefly.
Cut the Garlic and Piquillos into thin pieces, add to the Chorizo and fry it all together lightly.
Once lightly fried, pop the Chorizo, Piquillos and Manchego into a small bowl and place the Parsley on the top as decoration; serve with toothpicks. (you can also do it with thinly sliced bread).
Finally, and of course, most importantly, pour yourself a glass of Tempranillo:
For this dish, we are pairing a modern style of Rioja, Quinta Milu's La Bicicleta, from the small village in Rioja Oriental called Voladora. Made under the guidance of German Blanco of Quinta Milu, their first vintage was in 2015. His wines are about the grapes and how to get the fruit character expressed to the full and see the freshness and brightness come through on the smooth body and silky tannins, a perfect match for Tapas. Try chilling a little, this will allow a little structure to go through and freshness to wake the palate.
Voila, my top 3 favourites are easy and lovely cheese and wine pairings.
Always remember that everything's fine when you have cheese and wine :)
Have a great summer!