Cheese (cooked)

Jukes Wine And Food Cauliflower Cheese

There is a groaning cheese-board section at the end of this hedonistic chapter, so flick on for non-cooked cheese joy. Cauliflower cheese (leek Mornays, cheesy pasta dishes etc.) and straight cheese sauces, depending on the strength of cheese used, need medium- to full-bodied whites such as New World Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc and Semillon. For reds, you must join the quest for fresh acidity coupled with pure berry fruit. This hunt should lead you to the delicious wines from the Loire (Saumur-Champigny, Chinon or Bourgueil) or Chilean Merlot, Italian Cabernet Franc, Lagrein, Dolcetto or Freisa, or youthful Rioja, Navarra, Cariñena, Somontano or Campo de Borja reds from Spain. Fondue needs bone-dry whites (or pints of bloody good lager!) to cut through the waxy, stringy, molten cheese. If you are a perfectionist then you’d be trekking off, crampons and silly hat ahoy, in search of the inoffensive and, frankly, frighteningly dull, skinny wines from Savoie – Chignin-Bergeron, Abymes, Crépy or Apremont. However, if you are keen on rewarding your palate with pleasant-tasting, accurate wines, then well-balanced, fully ripe (as opposed to upsettingly lean and enamel-challengingly acidic) styles like Alsatian Pinot Blanc, Riesling and Sylvaner, and fresh Loire Sauvignon Blanc or dry Chenin Blanc would be ideal. You could even try racy Portuguese whites and various north-eastern Italian single varietals like Pinot Grigio, Friulano or Pinot Bianco. Raclette would love to be partnered with light red Burgundies or juicy Beaujolais-Villages. With cheese soufflé, one of the true gems in the cooked cheese repertoire, you can go out on a limb. Argentinean Torrontés, or any aromatic dry whites like Muscat (Alsace), Riesling (from Alsace or Clare Valley/Eden Valley/Frankland/Tasmania in Australia) or even lighter Gewürztraminer (Tasmania or Alto Adige in Italy are worth a punt) would all be delicious. If the soufflé has any other hidden ingredients inside remember to consider them before plumping for a bottle – with smoked haddock soufflé you’d be wise to follow the fish – punchy, lemony whites, like dry Semillon from the Hunter Valley (New South Wales, Australia) or Riesling (GGs from Germany or legions of epic wines from Australia). Mozzarella, with its unusual milky flavour and play-doh texture, is well suited to Italian Pinot Bianco, Pinot Grigio, good Vernaccia, Arneis, Gavi and Verdicchio. Yes, these are all Italians! Grilled goats’ cheese is equally at home with Sancerre (remember the famous goats’ cheeses from Chavignol, Sancerre’s finest village), Pouilly-Fumé and all other Sauvignon Blancs from around the world (South Africa would be my first choice if your Loire fridge is empty). Lighter reds also work, particularly if you are tucking into a salad with some ham joining in the fun. Goats’ cheese is pretty forgiving when it comes down to it but avoid oaked whites and tannic or heavy reds.