The festive season is all about extravagance and celebration amongst family and friends and the cheeses below lend their support perfectly to such an occasion. From a local champion of rich summer goat’s milk, to a king of alpine cheeses that is as rare as it is noble, and a sheep’s milk cheese from the Basque region that is being made with a 2000-year-old recipe, you’ve just got to taste everything.
Holy Goat Organic Brigid’s Well – Sutton Grange, Victoria
Goat’s Milk Geotrichum Mould
Every year this amazing goat’s cheese producer from central Victoria is recognised as one of Australia’s best. Their milking goats from the Saanen and British Alpine breeds graze-amazing native pastures and produce beautiful milk that starts the cheese making process. Like all lactic fermented cheeses, the flavour begins instantly at the front of your palate and is quite mild and gentle in the lactic goat’s milk flavours with a texture that is both soft and gooey without being runny. Perfectly paired with a Loire Valley Sauvignon Blanc, or try slices of the Brigid’s Well grilled on a baguette and served with freshly made pesto.
Brillat Savarin – Ile de France, France
Cow’s milk Triple Cream Brie
A celebration without a triple cream is like a beautiful woman with only one eye – I think that’s the famous Brillat-Savarin aphorism… From the hometown of Brie, this rich and creamy cheese has a soft and velvety texture that glides through the palate leaving an incredible mouthfeel and beautiful tangy notes of fermented milk. Perfect pairing with sparkling wines and for the ultimate cheese experience; spoon the interior onto a freshly cut peach or apricot with a drizzle of Rooftop Honey.
Agour Ossau Iraty - Basque Country, France
Ewe’s Milk Semi Hard
Named the best of show at the 2012 World Cheese Awards, and rightly so. This traditional ewe's milk semi hard is a sensory delight that exudes amazing richness in texture, sweet and savoury flavours and a lingering nuttiness. Traditionally paired with black cherry jam on the beaches of San Sebastian, it is the perfect cheese for Australian Christmas paired with fresh cherries that we all love at this time of year.
L'Etivaz - Fribourg, Switzerland
Raw Cow’s milk Alpine
This iconic Swiss raw milk cheese has a small, highly sought after annual production, is perfectly ripe at 15 months old and is a true sensory explosion. Lingering intense flavours of smoky bacon allied to sweeter lactic notes come from the milk of Alpine cows that have grazed on fresh alpine grasses and flowers at a minimum of 1500m above sea level during the height of spring and summer. L’Etivaz is well worth searching for as this is the ‘king’ of alpine cheeses and its flavour lingers for hours!
Will Studd Selected Colston Bassett Stilton - Nottinghamshire, England
Cow’s Milk Blue Mould
It can't be Christmas without Stilton and we have the best farmhouse variety available in Australia. Colston Bassett Stilton made for Neal’s Yard Dairy are the only traditionally made Stilton of the eight producers left. They use animal rennet to set the curds, hand ladling of the curds and maturing the cheese for 12 weeks before allowing the blue mould to develop. This results in a mineral tang, buttery texture and deep savoury notes and there is nothing better to cap off a fantastic festive feast than Stilton washed down with your favourite fortified wine from the Rutherglen and a plate of fresh figs.