Another English Wine Week special.
Following the marriage of Aldwick Estate’s Bacchus with Rachel goat’s cheese from Pylle, both from Somerset, the pairing of Aldwick Estate’s Mary’s Rose, a rosé made from Regent, Solaris and Pinot Noir grapes with a cheese had to be explored. Forget Tinder. This is Winder. And this time I have upped the cheese options to four so our fair maiden has plenty of suitors to choose from.
An attractive salmon pink still rosé with appetising defined aromas of fresh Somerset strawberries and red cherries, with a reviving crisp cranberry edge and a hint of fresh peach. The wine is dry, but juicy. Clean redcurrant and strawberry fruit flavours are balanced by a creamy mouthfeel and notes of oat biscuit. The finish is delicate but persistent. Not just a pink drink; this wine has both body and depth of flavour. 12.5% abv. Lovely back label tribute to Mary Watts by wordsmith and vineyard manager Elizabeth Laver.
The Four Cheeses:
An acidic textured cheese with lemony flavours made from unpasteurised cow’s milk near Cheddar by Trethowan’s dairy. The cheese made the wine taste fruitier with much more strawberry and peach coming through, while an extra nutty mushroomy dimension was added to the wine on the finish. However both the wine and the cheese are high in acidity so the overall effect might be too tart for some. Though I can tell you I enjoyed it!
A vegetarian pasteurised Cornish Brie-style cow’s milk cheese made luxurious by addition of double cream by Trevilley Farm. Sadly the wine and cheese combo was far from luxurious. The cheese was rendered briny and tasteless by the wine, which in turn became somewhat briny and seaweedy. Not good.
A brie-style unpasteurised goat’s cheese made by Lubborn Creamery, now owned by Lactalis McLelland. The rennet used is vegetarian. The milk is sourced from farms near Cricket St Thomas in south Somerset. The cheese smelt very oaty and tasted dreamily creamy, with hints of coffee, nuts and forest floor. It had a slight sweetness to it. Initially, after the cheese, I could not taste the wine. But on the second taste, after really coating my mouth with wine, although the cheese persisted, the wine now added a delicious fruity dimension to the cheese, while the wine acquired depth and nuttiness. The wine lingered longer. Overall, yummy!
Cornish hard cheese with nettle rind. The nettles attract moulds and impart mushroom flavours as the cheese matures. A refreshing creamy cheese with herbal savoury flavours. The cheese imparted a herbal mushroomy element to the wine, but there was slight bitterness on the finish, and neither the wine nor the yarg lingered. Fine, but not the best.
Although I had to taste quickly before Arthur moved in (!), and although it needed a second taste (the second taste is always better, trust me!), the winner was Capricorn goat’s cheese – so just as for the Bacchus match, the goat’s cheese won again. Not only did the wine and the cheese gain new flavours they lacked on their own, but also, the cheese lengthened the finish of the wine – which can only mean enhanced value for money. I daresay Rachel, the goat’s cheese from Pylle, would be a lush match as well.
But don’t forget the Gorwydd Caerphilly – it might be a bit lively on the acidity but the flavours are great. Caerphilly can be a tricky match so this was a happy find.
Both cheeses are from Somerset – so as with Bacchus, Mary’s Rose has not had to travel far to find her ideal matches. Indeed, these cheeses, as before, were all sourced from Lye Cross Farm Shop, up the road from Aldwick Estate (formerly Aldwick Court Farm & Vineyard, now rebranded).