Please note that the tequila and cheeses were complimentary. However, the opinions expressed in my blog are 100% my own! The Tequila was provided by Casa Noble and the cheese by Cheeses of Europe.
January 20th is National Cheese Lover's Day. Yes, there is indeed a National Cheese Lover's Day and I think that it should be National Cheese Lover's Month as there are so many cheeses to try, each of them with their own taste and texture...and smell...
I asked people I know what they drink with cheese and most of them said red wine, stirring an interesting debate, especially when I mentioned that few sommeliers as well as Maitre Fromager Max McCalman, explained to me that the problem with red wine is that the tannins will change the taste of the cheese, and so white wine was better. The drink you are having with it should complement it. But, imagine their face when I told them that I liked cheese with Tequila! They looked at me as if I said that the best pairing for champagne was pizza. I discovered this interesting pairing that is tequila and cheese in an event last year, organized by Casa Noble, Cheeses of Europe and the French Cheese Board.
I am a neophyte when it comes to tequila and it was very interesting to listen to Jose Hermosillo, founder of Casa Noble Tequila describe each one of them, as well as Max McCalman who described perfectly the characteristics of each cheese and why it should be paired with this tequila or that one.
So, I was really excited when I received a package containing some bottles of Casa Noble Tequila and some French cheeses to celebrate National Cheese Lover's Day. The tequilas were Blanco, Reposado and Anejo, and the cheeses were Epoisse, Fourme D'Ambert, Comté and Mimolette. I played a little bit with the pairing (I said a little bit, so do not imagine that each time I had a full shot!), but, each time, went back to the same pairing described below.
Casa Noble Tequila Blanco and Mimolette or Comté:
This triple distilled tequila is made with fourteen years old agave that is an unusual level of maturity, most of the producers harvesting agave within five to seven years. The result is a clear liquor of superior quality, hence the other name of this tequila: crystal. Taste wise, it has a moderate agave intensity with a caramel finish that was perfect with the sharp, nutty and fruity taste of the mimolette, or the nutty, fruity and sweet flavors of the comté.
My favorite was definitely the comté that is a very popular cheese in France, that can be eaten simply with a piece of bread, or in various forms, like gratin or soufflé. It is for me one of the most addictive cheeses and I always try to have some when I compose a cheese platter.
The next pairing is the Reposado with Époisse.
Matured in French white Oak barrels for three hundred sixty four days, this tequila is full bodied and has also a moderate agave intensity, and a burnt caramel note that works perfectly with the pungent taste of the Époisse cheese.
I do not see that often Époisse in a cheese platter here; maybe it is because it is a "challenging" cheese, having a pungent smell and taste, with a very soft texture. It is definitely worth a try!
The last pairing is the Tequila Anejo with Fourme D'Ambert.
Also matured in French white Oak barrels, but this time for two years, this tequila has a fuller and richer mouth feel, complementing well the fruity flavor of the Fourme D'Ambert, a semi-hard creamy blue cheese from the region of Auvergne in France.
So this was definitely a fun and delicious pairing, going beyond the traditional wine and cheese. It is worth trying and the advantage of tequila over wine is that you can always have a bottle, even open, at home: it will not turn to vinegar after a few days...
Enjoy and do not forget to celebrate National Cheese Lover's Day on January 20th! I know that I will!
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