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Monday, September 24, 2007

Slow Cheese Taste Workshop LC31

France: Champagne and Cheese

The wines of Champagne, like the cheeses of the region, are the fruit of their terroir and the know-how of the people who produce them. Tasting of six cheeses-Brie de Melun, Chaource, Gratte Paille, Langres, Maroilles and Boulette d'Avesnes-matched with four Steinbruck Champagnes: Blanc de Blancs, Cuvée Brut, Blanc de Noirs and Cuvée Brut Premier Cru.



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We start at the cheese marked with a flat - the first three have white mould rinds, the next three are washed rinds. They are all soft, uncooked cheese.

They have been cured by Herve Mons - they are all cows milk and one is a fermier (farmhouse) cheese.


Champagne #1: Steinbruck Cuvee Brut Blanc de Blancs
100% chardonnay, this wines ages the slowest. Blended from 30 wines and 3 different vintages; has spent 4 years on lees
deep yellow with green hues (typical of chardonnay), fruit noise, apple and citrus; slightly toasty notes. The palette confirms the bouquet with an enjoyable level of acidity indicating it will age well, elegantly structured.


Cheese #1: Brie de Melun
grassy and mouldy nose; maturation starts at rind and goes in and is clearly shown by the colour change in this piece. This is at an advanced stage of ripening with a hazelnut scent, it melts in the mouth with a strong finish


Champagne #2: Steinbruck Cuvee Brut SA in Magnum
Blended from 100 different wines - 60% pinot meunier, 30% pinot noir and 10% chardonnay
soft and balanced, straw yellow colour with no green hues; fruity nose with citrus notes and a taste of white flesh fruit.


Cheese #2: Chaource
scent of sweet soil and white mushroom; at optimum ripening, soft body and sticky. The cheese rests on straw for 20 days and absorbs the straw aromas; inside citrus nuance combined with fresh hazelnuts


Champagne #3: Stenbruck Cuvee Brut Premier Cru
Classed Premier Cru; blend of 20 wines, 60% chardonnay and 40% pinot with minimum 3 years on lees; yellow colour with green hues, the chardonnay again exerting itself in the appearance. Floral nose, with mineral notes. Very little dosage used.

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Cheese #3: Gratte Paille
very buttery cheese

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Cheese #4: Langres
aromatic with mushroom and undergrowth on the nose; also bread and yeast scents; there's some acid which will make it tasten fresh


Champagne #4: Steinbruck Cuvee Brut Blanc de Noirs
blended from 80 wines from 3-4 vintages sourced from all areas of Champagne; yelow with golden and red hues, exotic fruit combined with high carbon dioxide


Cheese #5: Maroilles
the fermier (raw milk) cheese; full fat milk used; reflects the scent of the barnyard with the flavours sinking in from the rind



Cheese #6: Boulette d'Avesnes
once the curds have formed they are rubbed together along with a blend of herbs and spices then formed into a pear shape. Washed with beer then rubbed in spice giving it the red colour.


  1. You are making me quite desperate for another holiday! Mouthwatering photos. I am so impressed you've managed to keep up with blogging while over there.

  2. Thanks Truffle - I'm not quite as up to date as I should be but I'm getting there.

  3. These pictures are fabulous! And the location looks awesome. Thanks for sharing these.

  4. Thanks Kaykat - it was a fabulous experience.

  5. The fotos are great - compliments!!

    greetings from Turin, Julia


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