Okay I didn’t actually have cheese and fizz with the Queen, but I did get a chance to hear one more story about the Royal taste and preferences.
More importantly, I got to try bubblies and cheeses that just make you want to break protocol, wipe off boards and lick the little bits left in your fingers.
A few days ago I was invited by Christopher Walkey, founder of Glass of Bubbly, to attend a tasting of a special selection of cheese and sparkling wine at the Paxton & Whitfield temple.
It is almost a privilege to be a newcomer in London and feel that sparkle rush when hearing legendary stories of their flavours and passions.
Paxton & Whitfield is one of the oldest cheese shop in London going back to 1896, while the cheesemongers brand has been established since 1797. Naturally they are a favourite at the British Kingdom, with Royal Warrants.
One of the tales from the close relationship with the Majesty describes their staff walking freely to the Buckingham Palace two or three times with a branded bag. ‘Oh, yes, it’s from Paxton & Whitfield? Go on’, or something similar to that.
Let’s cut to the cheese and bubbles
The invited group tasted 5 sparkling wines from different places around the world and 7 cheeses. 5 of the cheeses were previously paired on purpose, and 2 of them were called ‘wild card’.
The first and last bottles were a bit of noble outsiders.
The mission to find the perfect pairing was a bit difficult, but not too much. The fruitiness of the English Halfpenny with the velvety texture of the raw goat mil from East Sussex, Golden Cross, made a heavenly combination right from the beginning, making it hard to match.
I especially fell in love with the Medot Brut 48, from Slovenia, for the complex and deliciously fruity combination.
“Here is a reason to explore Slovenian sparkling wines, Medot gives such a tremendous example of the flavours that can be gained from this somewhat yet undiscovered sparkling wine region. The biscuit and ripe yellow stone fruit aromas draw you in to the smooth and in depth flavours of the wine that reaches out at you with creamy, toasty, fruity notes”, says Christopher Walkey, from Glass of Bubbly.
To finish the night, a bit of fun with the Villarnau cava from Spain and the cheese that stole my heart, the Gorgonzola Dolce. So many layers of flavours that just a relaxed cava can do the job.
|Halfpenny Green Estate, Brut, 2014, England||Golden Cross *Top match*|
|Pierre Trichet, Champagne, L’Heritage, France||Langres|
|La Montina, Millesimato Brut, 2011, Italy||Parmesan|
|No.1 Family Estate, Assemble, New Zealand||La Tur *Top match*|
|Medot Brut 48, Slovenia||Beaufort (Caerphilly as well but the Beaufort worked better)|
|Villarnau, Brut reserva, Cava, Spain||Gorgonzola Dolce|
Well, now my next job is to be a judge at the Glass of Bubbly Awards 2018 next week.
You know that song from Lorde, Royals? Video clip here. Well, you can call me Queen B.
More tasting stories:
The best of the non-alcoholic scene: Bundaberg
To the depths of a day tasting wine