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Wine and Cheese Pairing: Tour de Vin, Stage 3

I’m running a bit behind the Tour de France race with my wine tasting tour. The cyclists are on Stage 12 and I’m still puttering along on my third French wine review, but I’m not far behind in location. Today’s wine and cheese combo features an affordable red from Côtes du Roussillon, at the southwest edge of France near the Spanish border. The riders climbed the Pyrenees here a few days ago en route to Barcelona. The appellation’s dry, hot summers can produce some equally dry and spicy wines, but the Château de Jau 2006 ($15 Cdn) is an uncharacteristically lightweight red with a bit a thin taste. It does have the advantage of being it approachable, but this bland blend of Syrah, Mourdevre and Grenache Noir didn’t do much for me.

I paired the Jau up with a Chaumes cheese, which is also from the southwest of France. My four-year-old daughter went crazy for this cheese, saying “Mmm, it’s like goo.” Chaumes is a very soft – and yes, gooey – cow’s milk cheese with a distinctive orange rind. The delicious fattiness of the Chaumes combined well with the dry Roussillon. The wine and cheese were both somewhat blah on their own, but together they brought out the good aspects of each. The cheese improved the finish of the wine and the wine injected some flavor to the cheese's creamy texture.

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“Wine and Cheese Pairing: Tour de Vin, Stage 3”