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Le Fou and Fine Fromage

Described as having an off-the-wall zinginess that scorches across the palate like the mind of a mad man, Gibbston Valley Le Fou isn’t your typical Riesling.

Most people think of Rieslings as being sweet or a dessert wine, but the Le Fou is made in an off-dry style, meaning it has just a touch of sweetness to prevent it from being classified as dry. With a balanced combination of citrus and a hint of sweet, this Riesling has a compelling finish that’s anything but what its name defines. Le Fou or “the fool” must be referring to those who don’t try this wine.

The Le Fou’s pure profile and fine acidity are the perfect complement to foods with rich texture, especially cheeses. Knowing which types of cheeses will best compliment this or any wine is a key component to an enjoyable drinking experience, and we decided to do the legwork for you by consulting with our winemaker Sascha Herbert.

Without sounding too cheesey, here are three types of fine fromage Herbert recommended as being perfectly suited for drinking Le Fou. 

Ash-covered Goat Cheese

Many goat cheeses, especially aged ones, are covered in ash. Covering goat cheese with ash serves many purposes. It prevents the cheese from drying out and keeps its surface fresh. The ash also helps reduce the acid in the cheese to create a more mellow flavour, aids in the aging process and makes the cheese surface more conducive to the growth of molds that enhance the complexity of the cheese’s flavour. Hmmm ash…

Cheese suggestions: Valencay, Humboldt Fog and Chèvre

History: Goat cheese has been made for thousands of years and is thought to be one of the earliest dairy products. It comes in various shapes and textures and can v In general it’s made by allowing raw milk to naturally curdle and later draining and pressing the curds. Often aged goat cheese is covered in edible ash to prevent it from drying out and to keep its surface fresh. Covering goat cheese in ash also help to reduce the acid in the cheese.

Washed-Rind Cheese

Washed-rind cheeses are soft, ripen inwards and are characterised by their firm rind and pungent aromas. They are some of the stinkiest cheeses around.

Washed rind cheeses have a well-developed flavours and are especially good when paired with smooth and balanced flavours like the Le Fou.

Cheese suggestions: Epoisses, Limburger, Livarot and Stinking Bishop.

History: The firm rind that this cheese is characterised for, is a result of the cheese being bathed in a wash of saltwater and/or other mold-bearing agents that may include beer, wine, brandy and spices. The wash breaks down the curd from the outside of the cheese and imparts pungent odours, distinct flavours and texture to create a firm and flavourful rind around the cheese. This process originated in the monasteries of Europe during the Middle Ages when Monks found that washing cheeses in alcohol helped protect the cheeses, prevented cracking in the rind and created a more distinct flavour that could substitute as a heartier dish during religious fasting.

Soft Bleu Vein Cheese

Like its name suggests, this cheese is easy to recognise by its green, grey, blue or black veins. These veins are the result of cheese being injected or stirred with mold spores which give the cheese its pungent and distinct flavour. Bleu cheese is salty and sharp with a creamy texture and full aroma.

Cheese suggestions: Gorgonzola dulce, Lanark bleu and oxford bleu

History: It’s believed that bleu cheese was discovered by accident, when cheeses were stored in caves, which were prime environments for many varieties of mold to grown in. Roquefort and Gorgonzola are thought to be some of the oldest bleu cheeses with the later having been created sometime around 879 AD.

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