Classic cheese and wine pairing advice suggests it’s Bordeaux reds and expensive sweet Sauternes when cheese is on the menu. But home winemakers can expand the wine list to include wines made with flowers and fruits – and even go one step further and make their own cheese too.
The Mad Millie cheese making kits suggest using unhomogenised milk for making cheese. This is the type of milk that used to come with the cream floating on the top where we all scrambled to pour the top-of-the-milk on our breakfast cereals. It’s harder to find now as the majority of milk sold is homogenised with the cream mixed up into the main body of the milk, but unhomogenised can be found in supermarkets – look for milk from Jersey cows, Yeo Valley, Waitrose Duchy Organic, Morrisons Yorkshire milk and local dairies who deliver.
Plant-based cheese can also be made using the all-in-one kits, but after that the choice of cheese is down to you – although making softer styles of cheese is easier with harder Cheddar cheese for those ready for the next step.
But what wines match my cheese?
As we eat cheese it coats the inside of our mouths, making the flavour of accompanying wine difficult to get through to our taste buds.
The solution lies in choosing wines with enough lemony sharpness to cut through the richness of the cheese that also have a residual sweetness to cope with any robust flavours from our choice of milk in the cheese making process.
So lighter styles of red wine or medium-sweet white wines with a distinct fruitiness are ideal cheese matchers. Don’t forget country-style wines made with seasonal fresh fruits or flowers – see the blogs on Make Your Own Summer Strawberry Rosé and LoNo Elderflower Sparkling for ideas.
What cheese kits?
Mad Millie Italian Cheese Kit (£19.99) Use 4-litres of your choice of full-fat milk – unhomogenised for mozzarella and homogenised (standard milk) to make ricotta and mascarpone. All the other ingredients and equipment are provided to make up to 10 batches of cheese. Use the MadMillie handy step-by-step How To Guide to show you how.
Mad Millie Vegan Cheese Kit (£32.99) So you know exactly what’s going into your vegan cheese, rather than use shop-bought plant-based milks start with the raw ingredients – nuts – and soak and blend these to make your own milks (see The Mad Millie How To Guide). You can also use oat milk, soy and coconut milks too.
What wine kits?
Cellar 7 Peach and Mango (£35) The tropical fruit flavours in this wine are a great match to the stronger flavours of fresh goats cheese or a ham and pineapple topped Hawaiian pizza made using your homemade Mozzarella.
Cantina Pieselberg 5-day kit (£33.95) Similar in style to German white wines, the Pieselberg is a great match to the richer tasting vegan cheeses made with nuts or fresh cream cheese. Try stirring your cheese into just-cooked pasta with some smoked salmon pieces or a handful of freshly chopped chives.
Magnum Dry Red (£19) or the Solomon Grundy 7-day Platinum Rosé (£34.99) lighter flavours won’t overwhelm your lighter styles of cheeses like ricotta, feta and quark. Try matching with warm weather and fresh bread for a cheese and wine picnic.