Earlier this year, I was invited to participate in the Women and Wine of the World International Competition 2012 (Femmes et Vins du Monde Concours International) in Monaco. It was an amazing experience, and you can read about it by clicking on this link.
I mentioned that as the appointed ‘god mother’ I would be preparing some dishes to pair with the winning wines. I received the wines last month and set about testing, tasting and testing again.
GOLD 86.2 CHATEAU LA VARIERE COTEAUX DE L’AUBANCE 2011 WHITE SCA JACQUES BEAUJEAU France
This French sweet wine is rich with notes of honey, apricot and citrus. I was a little stumped about finding a perfect food pairing for this and I turned to the twitter hive-mind for discussion.
Friends Di Procter and Christian Smit had a number of suggestions. Of all of them, making a savoury cheesecake or a mini ‘cake’ made from layers of cheese really appealed to me.
Mine isn’t a cheesecake in the traditional sense, but rather layers of cheese – a creamy blue from my local cheesemonger and a neutral cream cheese, with dates and walnuts in between. A wonderful alternative to all the rich puddings and cakes we eat during the holidays. And if you were wondering what to serve on a festive or celebratory cheese board, this would be my top pick. It’s also so easy to put together.
I am rather pleased with this pairing In fact, I could not stop myself from devouring both the cheesecake and goblets of the wine, immediately after I shot the images. A perfect pairing and I do hope you enjoy it if you try it.
The tasting notes, as provided:
” One very clear pale yellow color, this wine exudes notes of acacia honey and mead. The start is elegant and fresh. Mouth, meanwhile, remains sweet and delicious, with aromas of citrus, pomelos, including grapefruit and orange zest. The finish is fresh and aromatic. ”
I am not prescribing exact quantities, it depends on how many you are going to serve.
I used a ring mold, about 8 cm in diameter and layered the ingredients starting with the blue cheese and ending with the fig compote. I removed the ring mold and served the cake with the wine.
- creamy blue cheese
- dates, sliced finely
- cream cheese (plain) , or cottage cheese for a lower fat option
- fig compote with pine nuts (use preserved green figs, preserved sweet ginger or even lemon marmalade)
I started with a thin layer of blue cheese (pat down bits to meld together if you can’t cut the exact size to fit mould). Then I layered the sliced dates over, followed by a thick layer of the cream cheese, the walnuts, another layer of blue cheese and finally the compote.
I think this savoury layered cheese ‘cake’ is the perfect way to ring in the new year. I hope it’s a delectable one!