I have a serious question for you: is there anything better than wine and cheese? Yeah, I didn’t think so.
One of favorite things about visiting France is enjoying the fresh bread and local cheeses that are usually served with seasonal fruit and a delicious glass of wine. France does a few things exceptionally well, and I have to say, cheese and wine are two of them.
Fortunately, we don’t have to travel to France to enjoy some of their best products, these agricultural products are shipped all over the world!
For this post I have partnered with the French Ministry of Agriculture to pair some of my favorite French cheeses with a selection of wines they have introduced me to. I never cease to be surprised with the quality of French wine, and unsurprisingly, these wines are no different – complex, drinkable, and all wines that pair beautifully with cheese.
For this post I wanted to create a few decadent scenes that embody the French joie de vivre with references to French art and architecture throughout the ages. I hope you enjoy.
Champagne Guilleminot Brut Prestige with Saint-André
In my opinion, one of the most decadent and delicious cheeses out there are triple crème cheeses, which are a more intense version of a brie. Saint-André is a perfect triple crème cow’s milk cheese that pairs beautifully with the Champagne Guilleminot, which has flavors of toasted brioche, spices, and candied nuts. Serve with seasonal fresh fruit, such as plums, pulots, and currants and fresh baguettes.
Château Bonnet Red with Président Unsalted Butter
Another one of my favorite things about France is the butter. Oh, my the butter! I always overdo it with the bread and butter when I’m there, because it’s so delicious! I’m a salt addict so I like to sprinkle salt on my buttered bread, which pairs beautifully with a glass of red wine from Bordeaux. Château Bonnet might become my new house wine because it is so drinkable – it is light and refreshing while at the same time, full of complex flavors of vanilla, ripe fruit, and a slight smokiness. Food helps bring out the flavors in this wine (like most European wines), the creamier the better. The Château Bonnet Red is made from a blend of 50% Merlot and 50% Cabernet Sauvignon and is harvested from 17 year old vineyards with clay-limestone and clay-siliceous soil that gives this wine a nice acidity and minerality.
Château Bonnet White with St. Agur Blue Cheese
It is unsurprising to learn that St. Agur is the number 1 blue cheese in France, as it is hands down one of the most delicious and memorable cheeses. I often refer to St. Agur as a gateway cheese: its creaminess helps people learn to love the spiciness of blue cheese, a first love for many. As they say, the first cut is the deepest. St. Agur pairs well with many different styles of wine, but lately I have been loving it with the Château Bonnet White, a crisp and refreshing wine that is perfect for summer. The wine is made from 55% Sauvignon Blanc, 30% Sémillon, and 15% Muscadelle, and has flavors of peach, meyer lemon, with a gorgeous floral note.
Of course, the true pleasure of cheese is putting out a gorgeous spread of a variety of cheeses, different types of breads and fruit and tasting each one with a different wine. The possibilities are endless, and they are all delicious.