As many of you may well know, I am rather passionate about wine and I never go very long without completing another course to find out more about this hobby of mine.
For if it were of interest to any of you, today I am going to talk about the most recent course that I did which was quite attractively named: Cheese, wine and foie gras, a marriage made in heaven. Furthermore, if it interests you, you yourselves can take part in this course, starting from the 23rd April 2012 onwards, taking place on Mondays from 6.30pm-8pm. The course lasts 6 weeks and costs around 60€!
‘La Casa Elizalde’ is a large community centre situated in the heart of the Eixample district of Barcelona and where they organize all manner of courses which are open to everyone. For example they offer cookery courses, yoga, wine courses, general training courses, art, city tours, music and much more… there is something to be had for everyone at the Elizalde centre. It is a unique, cheap and easy way to learn and to get to know other people who share the same interests as you.
As I personally am interested in fine wine and good food, in particular cheese, this course proved to be an excellent way to spend my Monday afternoons learning something new and tasting along the way. They explained to us during the course the basic differences between red, white and rose wine and cava too, so that we could then start to understand these products better. We later tasted various different flavors of wine for example: sweet, sour, savoury and acid. For me, this was the most interesting and useful part because I didn’t previously have any knowledge of how to differentiate between these basic differences in taste.
After quite a lot of wine and cava tasting (and the feel-good sensation that we had now acquired ) I finally felt like I had learnt to understand everything a lot better. This knowledge and appreciation of each of the flavors is fundamental in being able to choose the right cheese to go with each wine and to therefore best bring out each of their individual flavors and characteristics. Here is a small summary of the basic principles which will help you to better experience and understand the wines you drink:
- Young red wine: Best combined with soft and blue cheeses with a strong flavor (goats cheese, camembert, stilton, Roquefort..)
- Crianza red wines (Oaky flavors): Goes well with smoked cheeses and soft cow’s milk based cheeses (Smoked Tetilla or mild cheeses)
- White wine: Generally goes well with more salty and strong mature cheeses such as Manchego
- Dessert wine: Is perfect with Foie Gras if it is not too sweet and also goes well with more mature cheese for example ‘Maó’
- Cava: Is the king of perfect combinations, is doubles the taste of the majority of cheese and goes well with all types.
So therefore the best advice is; if in doubt, go for a cava and always try to choose one that is a Brut o Brut nature (without added sugar) and where possible a Reserva. You can find some excellent cava´s for around 8/10€ that will do wonders for your cheese!
There’s no need to spend lots of money to find a good cheese or good wine, just ask me for recommendations.
First photo taken from www.hogarutil.com
Second photo taken from www.drinknectar.com