The Honorable Minister of Agriculture, Gerry Ritz (above), was among hundreds who gathered near Parliament Hill in Ottawa last night to celebrate Canadian cheese and wine with the terrific pairings below.
It was a privilege to meet the farmers and producers across this country who create these artisanal cheeses. It proved to me, once again, just how well our own food and drink pairs together, and the incredible range of styles and flavours we create.
The Blackburn Farm has been in the family for over 80 years. In 2006, 4 generations later, the family turned to cheese making. Le Mont-Jacob named for the mountain located in the area is a semi-soft washed rind cheese with flavour notes of fruit and nuts.
Winner, Washed-rind soft and semi-soft Cheese category, 2011 Canadian Cheese Grand Prix
Trius Dry Riesling V.Q.A., Niagara, Ontario
Love this style of riesling: bone-dry, mouth-watering acidity with some petrol notes (good thing) and white peach on the nose. Will whet your appetite with gushing juiciness. Love it! Pair with semi-soft and creamy cheeses, fresh seafood. 303792 11.50% $13.95 Score: 88/100
Kootenay Alpine Cheese Company
Creston, British Columbia
Using unpasteurized, organic milk from their own mixed herd, this cheese is only made with milk from the summer pastures. Translated Alpindon means “Gift of the Alpine” and is carefully modeled after French Beaufort d’Alpage. This firm cheese is hand-rubbed and cave-aged for a minimum of 90 days. It exhibits a smooth nut flavour, a complex finish, a rich golden interior and a dark textured rind.
Jackson-Triggs Reserve Black Series Sauvignon Blanc, V.Q.A., Niagara, Ontario
Peachy-melon pretty! Medium-bodied and soft with some floral notes. Pair with alpine cheeses, vegetarian dishes. 58438 12.30% $13.95 Score: 87/100.
Quality Cheese represents the fourth generation in a family tradition of cheese-making. Albert’s Leap is their newest creation. This soft bloomy rind cheese is a brie style made in the French tradition. The traditional rind is both tender and supple with a velvety texture. With an aroma of earth and mushroom, the interior is rich and smooth.
Inniskillin Wines Pinot Noir, VQA, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario
Loaded with rich cherry-berry flavour delivered on a satin texture with medium- to full-bodied weight. A blackberry-infused finish makes this wine go down slippery fast. This red wine that can be served slightly chilled. Pair with: salmon carpaccio, grilled tuna and sea bass, wild mushroom risotto, bee and past marinara. Pair with: traditional clove studded baked ham, roast turkey, grilled salmon and soft cheeses. Drink: 2012-2016. 261099 $13.95 Score: 89/100
Applewood Smoked Cheddar
Prince Edward Island
COWS Creamery has been making award-winning cheddars since 2006, based on a recipe from the remote Orkney Islands in the far north of Scotland. Their newest creation, Applewood Smoked 2 Year Old Cheddar, Is naturally smoked for 8 hours to create a rich cheese with a smooth creamy texture and smoky aroma. The distinctive PEI flavour of this unpasteurized milk cheese is derived from the proximity to salt water along with the iron-rich red soil of the island.
Jackson-Triggs Reserve Cabernet Franc Cabernet Sauvignon, V.Q.A., Ontario
Mocha rich, blackberry nose on this full-bodied, supple, smooth red. It’s perfect for grilled meats, steak and hard cheeses. Drink: 2012-2015. 560680 13% XD 750 mL $12.95 Score: 87/100.
You also might enjoy this Google + video wine and cheese tasting via social media.