Sunday, 22 August 2010

Wine and Cheese Tasting in France

Two products which are inextricably linked to France with respect to cuisine are wine and cheese.

The Massif Central, Midi-Pyrenees and Languedoc Roussillon cater for some wonderful cheeses and wines respectively. Two of the most famous cheeses from the Massif Central are the wonderful Roquefort blue cheese and the Perial cheese. In the Pyrenees you would be looking at Brebis, Brebis Chevre, Vache et Chevre and Vache. None of these are particularly difficult to find in the local shops or food markets that operate on a weekly basis (Castelnaudary on Monday mornings and Revel on Saturday mornings).

So if you wanted to carry out your own wine and cheese pairing party using local produce, all you would need to do is select a few of the wines from the Languedoc Roussillon region to go with a few choice local cheeses and you would be all set. Three favortites of mine are Corbieres, Minervois and Fitou again all readily available in the local area with selections of white, red and rose available.

Of course you don't have to stick to local wines or cheeses either for that matter, a favorite cheese which is readily available in the locality is Cantal. Similar in taste and texture to our own very popular chedder cheese. Plus of course you will be able to find the classic favorites such as Camembert and Brie, which are made with cows milk, rather than goats milk or ewe's milk. So a much safer and more familiar option for many.

Actually finding new cheeses,tastes, and texture is all part of the fun, much the same as experiencing the taste of some locally produced wine. Cabardes wine is one of our nearest appelations, which resides just north of Carcassonne. You could visit the Chateau de Pennautier (by appointment) for a wine tasting event to help choose a few varieties for your experiments.

For some reason as well the cheese never seems to taste better than when bought and eaten straight from the market stall at the local food markets. Trust me, that is so true.

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