FRENCH CHEESE AND WINE- Dine Like a French man

French people have always known cheese and wine are made for each other. A major element of the French diet for countless of years, a staple vastly produced, consumed and loved by the French.

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Cheese, or as the French call it ‘fromage’ is largely produced in France. There’s an estimate of between 1000 to 1600 distinct type of French cheeses. Further grouped into eight categories ” Les huit families de fromage “. However, there are three main families; Pressed cheeses similar to British cheeses ,Soft cheeses like Camembert – one of the most famous French cheeses and Blue cheeses. These ‘fromage’ are made from cow milk, goat milk and sheep (ewe’s) milk. Most originate from farmhouses ‘fromage fermers’ while others are industrially manufactured cheeses.

“How can you govern a country which has two hundred and forty six variety of cheese?” 

French President Charles de Gaulle 1962.

French Wine and Cheese Etiquette 

They observe certain etiquette while dining. For instance, one should wait to refill their wine glass until someone else does so. Although, for cheese, you take whichever cheeses you would like to eat and place it on your plate.

French Cheese and Wine Balancing

Inasmuch as cheese and wine are great pairings. There are certain factors French people consider to ensure a balance of textures and flavors for the best experience. Moreover, correct pairings will give your tongue a little burst of heaven and get a better taste feel of both the cheese and wine. Intensity, fat, texture, age and tannins, are some of the various factors that will influence the cheese and wine pairings.

• Intensity

Essential for balance . Strong cheese can and will overpower a delicate wine. Similarly, a statement red wine can be overbearing for a mild cheese. It is thus advisable to pair cheese and wine of equal intensity for a great and balanced taste.

•Fat

 Highly dependent on the type of cheese; either sheep, goat or cow milk cheese. It is important to note that fat varies across all three. Acid likes fat. In this regard, acidic, cold wine cuts through the fatty nature of cheese such as Camembert.

•Texture

Cheese vary in texture based on the type of milk and how long it’s aged. Young ,soft and endless cheese will most likely melt and become gooey at room temperature. Suitably pair well with dry rosé, light- reds and other lighter wines. Bordeaux blends and other substantial wines pair well with hard cheeses.

•Age and Tannins

Similar to aged reds, cheese become more complex and bolder as they age as well as adopt concentrated flavors. An aged cheese will have a richness that requires wine with an equal amount of depth. Robust tannins will counter the fattiness and balance the flavor profile.

A little French knowledge and tips to help you navigate our French Cheese and Wine event this Friday 30th Sept 2022. ‘It’s better to know than to not know’ someone once said. Just like the French, good cheese and wine should be a staple for everyone. Many believe that the low mortality rates of the French is because of their red wine consumption. A secret we should steal.

“Nothing makes the future look so rosy as to contemplate it through a glass of Chambertin”

Napoleon Bonaparte
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The Most Popular French Cheeses

Courtesy of Gippsland cheese

Comté– richly flavored cheese with a flat -ocher colored rind. A firm interior that melts in the mouth with a sweet aftertaste. Also universal, used in foods and salads across the world.

Courtesy of The Independent

 Camembert–  famous cheese from Normandy. Has a slightly moldy aroma with a full bodied, salty taste and is loved by many around the globe.

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