On 25 July, we celebrate the perfect combination: Wine & Cheese.
National Wine and Cheese Day provides an excellent opportunity to try some of your favourites together. This combo has been a worldwide tradition for hundreds of years which we intend to keep alive by recommending some excellent pairings that you will find at various restaurant hot spots you can visit across the South West. Nowadays, it’s not all just about Port & Stilton or your traditional cheeseboard (although these are yummy). From Cornwall to the Cotswolds here’s your guide for the ultimate taste sensation…
Located on the north coast of Cornwall, Padstow is a charming fishing harbour that is a popular tourist destination, not just because of it’s picturesque beauty, but also because it is thriving with restaurants that would satisfy any foodie’s needs. Nestled on the backstreets is the Old Ship Hotel whose menu has a bit of everything on it! For a lunchtime treat try the Grilled Goats Cheese Wrap with Cucumber, Rocket and Onion Marmalade.
The usual rule of thumb is what grows together goes together: as goats cheese originates from the Loire Valley in France, we would pair this with Sancerre Domaine Neveu which can only be bought by the bottle here but hey…treat yourself! Experience the traditional French Sauvignon Blanc acidity, minerality and citrussy flavours from the wine that brings the goats cheese to life.
Known as ‘Britain’s Ocean City’, Plymouth is full to the brim with maritime heritage and breathtaking views. The Lord High Admiral is a popular pub in this city with the building dating back to at least 1812. It was constructed using wood from decommissioned ships which ties perfectly in with the maritime heritage of Plymouth! Don’t worry, the food isn’t so much in the dark ages, here you can have the Garlic Gnocci with Roasted Sweet Potato, Mixed Leaves, Sun-dried Tomatoes, Pesto, Feta and Pine Nuts.
There are an abundance of different flavours in this meal including feta which is a very versatile cheese so this needs to be paired with a versatile yet elegant wine. Provence rosé is THE summer trend right now so the Sables d’Azur Rosé would be perfect!
Still in Devon territory but back on the north coast, there is a little village called Georgeham. Here you will find the 17th century built Rock Inn. It boasts character and cosyness with a food menu to prove it! Although temperatures are soaring across the country at the moment, Baked Camembert is still an all round favourite amongst us (to share or not, completely up to you and no judgement made here!). The Rock Inn serves a Garlic & Thyme Baked Camembert with Chutney and Melba Toasts.
Creamy cheeses are a match made in heaven for sparkling wines which break down their creamy core and give a contrast of textures. The Prosecco Spumante Ca’Vescovo can be enjoyed with this scrumptious dish as it is delicate yet fruity.
Need to walk it off? The popular surfing town of Croyde is 5 minutes down the road where you can breathe in that fresh sea air.
Perched on the beautiful West Dart River, you will discover the Two Bridges Hotel. Located within the Dartmoor National Park you will experience jaw-dropping countryside views and bracing walks in every direction. What could make this better? Something to eat and drink of course! 50 minutes south-east of the hotel, you will find Sharpham Winery who produce their own English wine as well as cheese. The Two Bridges Hotel are all about supporting their local businesses and this is expressed in their menu. You can tantalise your taste buds with their Truffle Brie Tempura (using Sharpham Rustic Cheese) that is served with a Summer Vegetable Salad.
Keeping it local, you can partner this with the Dart Valley Reserve from Sharpham – the creamy, buttery texture from the cheese not only helps to emphasise the aromatic character of the wine but it also reveals a new ripe fruit and pear drop personality within the cheese itself. Delicious!
Set in the heart of Minchinhampton Common, well away from main roads and with unrivalled views of the Cotswolds, The Old Lodge is the perfect place to take it easy. With floor to ceiling windows, you can sit back, relax and take in the scenery hiding from the hustle and bustle of every day life. With the sun shining, there’s nothing better than their good old Upton Smokery Caesar Salad with Amberely streaky bacon, anchovies, Parmesan and garlic croutons.