It pays to be choosy—

I’m often asked what Food Heaven and Hell I’d choose to face on Saturday Kitchen. At this time of the year, I’m tempted to say fondue for Heaven. Molten cheese, especially after a day’s skiing, is anti-freeze for the soul. And going off piste when pairing wine and cheese can be just as heart-warming.

With a fondue, an ethereally light Savoyard white is as silky as slalom and my Wine Of The Week, made from little-known Jacquère, is the perfect parallel. But it pays to make specific cheeses the centrepiece of a pairing – and it’s often white wine that flourishes with the flavours of the cheese, where reds may be more dominant. Mozzarella wows with Prosecco and goat’s cheese is lovely with Grillo. Light reds such as Beaujolais are spot on with creamy Camembert. And while Cheddar can indeed be scrumptious with Cabernet, pour a glass of Chenin Blanc for a revelation.

OLLY’S PICK OF THE BUNCH

CHEDDAR GORGEOUS: Extra Special Chenin Blanc 2017 (14%) £6 Asda. A steal for a rich barrel-fermented white to pour with a slab of mature Cheddar for a change.

MOZZA MASTER: Extra Dry Prosecco (11%) £10 M&S. Fragrant, fruity and full of flavour, this is excellent quality and delicious with fresh Mozzarella.

I’LL GET MY GOAT: Colomba Bianca, Kore, Grillo 2017 (13%) £10.84* greatwinesdirect.co.uk. Spring comes early in this Sicilian citrus stunner that’s gorgeous with goat’s cheese. *On offer until end Feb.

CAMEMBERT FEEL THE NOISE: Jean-Paul Brun, Terres Dorees Beaujolais L’Ancien 2017 (12.5%) £11.95 The Wine Society. Gorgeous and juicy as raspberry – cracking with Camembert.

WINE OF THE WEEK

Domaine de l’Idylle Vieilles Vignes Blanc 2017 (11.5%) £12.95 yapp.co.uk. Like liquid skiing. Think Chablis meets Sancerre in a luminous icicle. Fab with fondue!

This column was originally published in EVENT Magazine, Mail on Sunday, 17th February 2019

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