Do as the French: Serve the Cheese After the Meal #Winophiles

A cheese course makes a fitting end to a nice meal

French Wine & Cheese with the #Winophiles

This month, our French #Winophiles group is returning to one of our favorite topics: French wine and cheese. Join us as we explore a bunch of ways to enjoy two of our favorite French products

Wine & Cheese, Yes. But When?
Wine and Cheese is a well known favorite combination in many parts of the world. In the US, we generally enjoy the combination as an appetizer, or while socializing before a meal. Only one problem: cheese is rich and filling, not really something to whet your appetite, it may just sate your appetite!

(click on any photo in the following collages to see full size, hit escape to return to the post)

In Europe, cheese usually comes after the meal, often in lieu of dessert. Pairing needn’t be fussy, as you may get the chance to choose your cheeses from the cheese cart (sigh!), and you’ll often just choose to finish up the wines you enjoyed at the meal. If you want to finish with a dessert wine, no problem. The sweet wine becomes your dessert and the cheeses still provide a rich, delicious pairing. Voila!

On long intercontinental flights, I’ve put the sweet wine with cheese as dessert to good test. Great combination every time!

Post Meal Wine and Cheese
Wine and cheese after the meal has much to recommend it. Finishing with a few rich, savory bites is as satisfying as sweets, and even better with the addition of a bit of fruit. When dreaming up your cheese board, think of a combination of different milks, different textures, and a range of intensities.

Pairing is perhaps less important for the after dinner cheese course, as you’ll be finishing up the wine from dinner unless you decide on opening a dessert wine. As we’re in early summer, we were enjoying a Cru Beaujolais with the meal. Moulin-a-Vent is typically a serious wine, not to be confused with Nouveau Beaujolais!

I’ve written previously about Château du Moulin-à-Vent, as a winery in one of the ten Beaujolais Crus. They are very serious about their vineyard and cellar work, crafting a wine closer in style to their cousins north in Burgundy than their Beaujolais cousins farther south.

Cru Beaujolais wines age beautifully!

Château du Moulin-à-Vent Clos de Londres Moulin-a-Vent AOC 2011 (sample from the winery, online here) 13% abv
Eye: Clear, medium ruby with a garnet edge.
Nose: Clean, medium intensity nose. Dark fruit – ripe, fresh blackberries, blueberries. A touch of clean earth and leather, a bit of violet.
Mouth: Dry, medium+ intensity. Medium body, medium alcohol, medium acidity with medium tannins – showing the cru. Deep blackberries, blueberries, with earthy notes and violets. Nice medium length finish, with lingering deep fruit and a bit of tannic astringency.

Wine and Cheese Pairing Results
I was pleasantly surprised with the success of the Château du Moulin-à-Vent Beaujolais with the cheeses.  I knew it would be good with both the Comte and the Langres washed rind cheese. However, that Persille de Chevre goat cheese blue was very sharp and steely; I thought it may not work at all. To my surprise, the combination of the acidity in the wine with the sharp cheese was a real win! Blue cheese isn’t my normal favorite, but this pairing was delightful.

Other French Wine and Cheese Ideas from the French Winophiles

Take a look below at all the great French wine and cheese ideas from my fellow French Winophiles. Have an opinion? Join our chat on Twitter! We meet on Saturday June 15 from 10-11am CDT, simply search on #Winophiles and you’re in.  We love visitors, so come and chat!



19 Responses to “Do as the French: Serve the Cheese After the Meal #Winophiles”
  1. Ok really, I need to know what airline that is as it doesn’t look like a first class seat but it definitely looks like first class rations!

  2. Yes, indeed! Pierre never got the cheese as appetizer thing. And oh, “in lieu of dessert”?! Surely it’s possible just before dessert too 🙂

  3. Penny says:

    Nice information and pairing suggestions. Like your photos too!

  4. Pinny Tam says:

    Good idea to have the sweet wine and cheese as dessert!

  5. asiantestkitchen says:

    How true that cheese is often served before the meal in America. It is also often mixed into the main dish itself, but I am a proponent of enjoying the cheese by itself, especially with a nice French one.

  6. Loving everything about your post Jeff. A bit off topic,but when we visited Bordeaux last fall one of the best meals of our trip was at Logis de la Cadene! Hmmm…don’t recall being offered a cheese board though

  7. At home I do tend to have cheese more as a before meal thing. But at restaurants that offer a cheese course I do like that as a dessert, especially as there is some wine from dinner to finish!

  8. Yes, I am with you, cheese after a meal instead of dessert. Very nice wine and cheese pairings!

  9. Penny Sadler says:

    Great photos Jeff. I’m not usually one for cheese as dessert but I have tried it. You’ve made it sound much more appealing.

  10. All of these cheeses look delightful, but the washed rind Langres…I really would like to try that!

  11. Payal Vora says:

    Delish pairings and I love the summery photos!

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