le tasting room

Loire wine tours, tastings, day trips from Paris & short breaks organised by experienced English wine trade professionals.

Monday, 18 April 2011

Pascal Beillevaire Maitre Fromager à Angers

When it comes to cheese, we always buy from specialist suppliers or the markets in Angers, Saumur and Gennes. I know you can buy pretty good cheese from the supermarket but if you are looking for real quality, those who make it their living provide the best.

We provide a simple yet tasty lunch as part of our Loire wine tours and tastings and the cheeseboard is central to this. We normally serve 4 or 5 cheeses, all different in style (hard, soft, blue, goat, sheep, cow, young, old, fresh) and take advice from the fromager as to what is tasting at its best when we purchase. Like fruit and vegetables, many cheeses are seasonal so it makes sense to buy them when they are at their peak. Good cheese doesn't come cheap (I'd say on average we spend 20-25 Euros per cheeseboard) but it's worth every penny.

This is the shop in Angers that we use on a regular basis. Friendly unstuffy service and a fantastic range.

Place de la Visitation in Angers where the shop is located - just a short hop across from the station, it also has a great fishmonger and a superb boulangerie.

Local goats cheese always makes an appearance

View across from the station towards Place de la Visitation.

And did you know that in many cases, a white wine goes better with cheese than a red? A crisp Sauvignon from Touraine or Quincy brings out the best in goat's cheese, the acidity in the cheese marrying perfectly with the freshness in the wine. A sweet Chenin Blanc from the Coteaux du Layon is heavenly with a salty blue such as Roquefort. Save the chunky red for a morsel of aged Comté or Gruyère Suisse 18 mois. The hard almost crytalline character of the cheese just melts away those tannins.

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