Cider and Cheese are a true match made in heaven. Whether an unctuous salty cheddar with a large pint of barrel aged cider or a sweet and complex apple desert wine with a slither of tasty stilton, as the old country kitchen saying tells us: what goes together, grows together.
Of course the counties we strongly associate cider with here in the UK are the those in the West. Herefordshire and Somerset undoubtedly being the most famous cider producing counties in the country. Likewise Herefordshire cows are pretty famous amongst dairy farmers and are known for the quality of milk and cheese they produce. And so we have neighbouring fields and farms, orchards and dairies, side by side across the West Country producing some of the finest cheeses and ciders in the land.
So let’s get a little deeper into how you match your cider with your cheese. Of course if you’d rather have us do it for you then you can pop down to our bar any Friday till Christmas and we’ll be matching ciders to our bottomless cheeseboard complete with tasting notes.
Light and international cheeses, your Gouda, Edam or Neufchâtel will generally go best with a lighter sparkling and international cider. If we go back to the old kitchen proverb again –Neufchâtel comes from dairies in the Normandy region in the north of France where, surprise surprise, you’ll find a lot of sparkling cider being made in the orchards. I recommend you give something like the L’inimitable Cidre Sassy a go.
If we are to look towards cheeses with a richer heavier flavour, perhaps the famous Saint Agur, a Stilton or a Cheddar we need something that will match and stand up to the flavour. A barrel aged cider with complexity, perhaps something so bold as Oliver’s Pomona or even a Severn Perry – Perry typically associated with being very sweet but in this context a little dryer giving the complexity needed to stand up to a chunk of cheddar.
An alternative approach is to look at what complements the traditional ploughman’s lunch or cheeseboard. Condiments such as quince jelly, apple chutney, sliced apples or grapes are commonplace but even dried berries or apricots are certain to accompany a crumbly Wensleydale. So don’t rule out a fruit cider to accompany your cheese with plum, damson, rhubarb amongst many others this could be a great choice.
A personal favourite is something more of a Keeved French cider to go alongside. The sweeter taste of a Cidre Breton or a Pilton Keeved cuts through the savoury Brie or Chèvre and with some excellent crusty French bread it’s hard to beat.
Individual Cider links are included where possible as we know you like to visit our shop. We hope to see you at our Fromage Friday 6pm-8pm for bottomless cheese at our Bar and Shop