Sunday, September 21, 2008

Skibbereen Food Festival Part 2

After a fantastic day with 'Stories from the sea and the soil' I had enough time to go to the Cheese & Wine Tasting in the Food & Wine Market. I was early (ensures the best seat and a chat with the host ;-) so I could have a snoop around. The shop itself is smallish but very well laid out. They open at 10am and offer fantastic homemade food and wines. Some tables in the centre make it easy to spend your lunchtime in there. Charlie was a perfect host and he knows his wine and he got a love for it and is not shy to share his knowledge.

The tasting was very well organised. Wines were matched to cheeses and laid out in the order they made the most sense. Tasting notes for the wine and cheese were to hand so that we all knew what to expect. The notes were very extensive and even the most novice could have passed as an expert.

The wines and cheeses are as follows in the order we tasted them:

  • Ardrahan cheese with Rossendale Sauvignon Blanc 2007 (perfect match)
  • Desmond cheese with Pinot Gris Domaine Mittnacht Freres 2006 (I only liked the wine with the cheese)
  • Brin d'Amour with Pouilly Fume Chateau de Tracy 2006 (quite flowery)
  • Milleens cheese with Cru Beaujolais Fleurie Domaine des Marrans 2007
  • Manchego cheese with Marques de Grinon Reserva Coleccion Personal Rioja 2001
  • Brie de Meaux with Gevrey-Chambertin Domaine Rossignol-Traplet Pinot Noir 2002
  • Le Petit Livarot with Cepa Gavilan Ribera Del Duero D.O. Tempranillo
  • Montgomery Cheddar with Chateau Lapelletrie St Emilion Grand Cru Merlot-Cabernet Franc (didn't like the cheddar at all. It tasted a bit too sour for my taste but apparently a much sought after cheese)
  • Colston-Bassett Stilton with Warre's Late bottled vintage port 1999 (do I have to say more???)
I loved most of the cheeses (apart from the cheddar) and found the wines perfectly matched against the cheeses. Charlie was generous with his offerings and we all had a big smile on our face. I was very lucky to have shared the table with 4 wonderful women (whose names disappeared in the nirvana of my brains) and we had a really good time. They all knew their wines and have travelled the planet to visit vineyards. I loved listening to their stories...

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