Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Woolworths launches third annual cheese makers' challenge

For a Fromage fan and self-proclaimed turophile (“a connoisseur of cheese” – I learnt a new word ☺) I was delighted to be invited to the Woolworths Cheese Maker’s Challenge Launch. We indulged in an array of tantalising award winning cheeses and top notch vintages all stocked exclusively by Woolworths and paired perfectly with some stunning wines. Woolworths have been supporting local cheeses for years now 60% of their cheeses are from local markets. Local is lekker indeed!

There are some spectacular cheeses being made locally among them - Kilimanjaro, produced by Belnori Boutique Cheesery in Gauteng -  a delightful nutty goat’s milk cheese which not only was the winner of the 2012 Cheese Makers Challenge but also won a silver medal at the 2012 World Cheese Awards. From strong and creamy Blue Rock – a blue-veined “Roquefort style” cheese with a full creamy texture, to melt-in-the-mouth Cambozola Camembert – a traditional fully ripened cheese with a blue vein adding a subtle deep buttery texture and nutty flavour the variety on offer at Woolworths is astounding.

My personal favorite was the Fig and Pecan Nut Duetto – a decadent fresh mascarpone – interlayered with figs and pecan nut. The buttery melt in your mouth cheese with the sweetness from the fig and crunch from the nut is food heaven! The Brie de Roche and Franschoek White with Truffle Butter were also delicious and go perfectly with the Weltevrede Vanilla Chardonnay – the sweet vanilla from the wine lingers and accentuates the flavour of the cheese without overpowering it.  But another favorite was the Taleggio – a buttery delicate semi-soft Italian cheese with a rough crust hiding sweetness.

The Royal Ashton and Woolworths Vintage Cheddar were enjoyable dry strong cheeses with depth of flavour and a smokiness which brought out the spices of the Laibach Ladybird Red – a multi award winning wine named after the ladybirds that live in a fennel bushes surrounding the vineyards

The cheeses were served with platters filled with Woolworths green fig preserve, exotic fruit chutney and onion marmalade as well as crackers, olives and fresh fruit like grapes and strawberries which when combined with the cheese added to the tastes experience .

The cheeses were paired perfectly with some multi award winning wines. There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to wine and cheese pairings . You should let your palate guide you and find a harmony and balance between the flavours. The wine should not dominate the flavour of the cheese and vice versa. As a general rule white wines pair well with softer, milder creamier cheeses and red wine with the richer harder cheeses.

Go out and try some of  Woolworths' delectable South African cheeses and the wonderful variety they have on offer.

Peace out,


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