Cheese is easily one of my favourite things. There so many deliciously different types. Variety is a wonderful thing! You’ve got your soft, creamy cheeses like a decadent Brie or hard and crumbly like an aged cheddar or for the slightly more daring you have your blue cheese. It’s strong and pungent and can be an acquired taste, but once you love it, it’s a lifelong affair. So many cheeses, so little time. So if you are a bit of a fan, much like myself, then The Boulevard has something special for you!On a regular basis they now hold their ‘School of Cheese’ events, a tasty spin on a traditional Sunday session held for an hour or so on Sundays. You are seated at a nice long table in a group of around 20 or so and get to sample five different cheeses and matched drinks for $55 per person. I thought this was a very reasonable price…. Especially when I saw the generous pours!
Taking you through the process is Jonathon from Bottega Rotolo, a resident cheese aficionado and responsible for importing some lovely European cheeses into Western Australia.
At Bottega Rotolo we are committed to importing and distributing the world’s best food and wine with a specific focus on Europe and Australia.
Every aspect of our business has the primary aim of delivering the best product, ultimate service and education.
On my visit the theme was Italian cheeses and this was the impressive line up:
- Saporini di Landa – soft white mould; cow, sheep and goat with Pizzini Proscecco
- Taleggio DOP – semi soft washed rind, cow’ milk with Rusty Mutt Viognier
- Asiago – semi hard pasturised cows milk with La Capelle Chianti
- Testun al al Vino di Langhi (Hard ‘drunken cheese’) with Waywood Montelpuciano
- Gorgonzola Piccante with Innocent Bystander Moscato
As we journeyed from cheese to cheese, Jonathon explained some of the background to us and the reason that the matched wine had been chosen. All about enhancing flavours or looking for contrasts that may better showcase a particular feature of the cheese. It was actually really informative to learn how some cheeses need to be produced in specific regions or using specific techniques to be able to be branded with a certain name. Particularly in Europe, as we heard, there are regulations in place for what cheese producers can do or make. Almost sounded a bit restrictive, but it appears there is a certain pride in producing the ‘region specific’ cheeses that they are able to. Similar to the Champagne versus sparkling wine I guess!
Each cheese was unique and delicious, with the Saporini di Landa a clear favourite around the table. It is such an interesting cheese, contrasting flavours and textures that combine for some real cheese magic. The gorgonazola was a very close second though. I’m now very much a fan after many wasted years of thinking I didn’t like it. Glad my palate grew the hell up! As noted, wine pours were on the generous side and were interesting and considered selections. The atmosphere is jovial and you easily make new friends as you chat to those around you on the long table about which cheese or wine they enjoyed the best. It is a really pleasant afternoon and having held a few now, the team from The Boulevard has running them down to an art. Everything runs so smoothly from the moment you sit down to when they hand over any cheese purchases you’ve made at the end of the session. I really liked this feature! Hard when you try a great cheese but then have to trek somewhere to get it. Here it is literally as simple as filling out a form and having it delivered to your table. I’m actually quite surprised I didn’t order more…. Should have brought the trailer 😉
If you are keen to head along to the next one (which I’m told is on November 15th) then either sign up for The Boulevard newsletter here or keep an eye on their Facebook page for more details. It is Gouda fun! You’ll Brie happy you went!
My thanks to The Boulevard for the invitation.