An informal, informative cheese and wine pairing night
In the beginning there was cheese, then someone decided to pair it with wine and the world as we know it was born. It is fair to say many of the human race's greatest achievements, from the building of the Great Pyramids to the birth of democracy, were accompanied with a fine selection of cheese and the best alcoholic orchid nectar.
The above is definitely an accurate portrayal of how our existence came to be, and it is in this spirit that Fraser's Restaurant in Kings Park holds its Taste & Terroir evenings, a foray into the wonderful world of cheese and wine pairings in a sophisticated yet fun setting for novice and expert alike.
Hosted by Blue Cow Cheese Company cheese expert Nicholas Bath and aided by Fraser's in-house sommelier William Roser, guests were seated around the exclusive and private boardroom table overlooking the Perth city skyline.
On this particular occasion we were focusing on the differences between the new world and the old world. In front of guests was a selection of six cheeses, three from Australia and three from Europe, and six wines, again a mix of homegrown and imported.
Guests were humorously informed Shiraz is an Australian mis-spelling of Syrah
Having worked at a gourmet deli for seven years previously, my eyes instantly lit up at the sight of such high quality offerings. The plates were not stocked with your run-of-the-mill bries and cheddars found at every party ever.
Instead, in front of us we had D'argental Lingot (France), Blue Cow's triple cream brie (Victoria), Tallegio (Italy), Old Telegraph Road fire engine red (Victoria), Tarago River shadows of blue (Victoria) and Gorgonzola piccante (Italy).
Working our way up from brie to blue, sauv blanc to muscat, Bath and Roser made the passion for their chosen subjects obvious in their in-depth descriptions of not only the taste of their offerings but the texture, the origins, the history and the failures and successes that culminated in what we had sitting before us.
Guests were guided through reasons behind pairing particular cheeses with their chosen wine and not only encouraged to give feedback and air their thoughts on the expert pairings, but to break the mould and pair all of the cheeses with the whole wine selection. The atmosphere encouraged guests to speak up and it did not take long for everyone to chip in, their own thoughts held with the same regard as the experts at the head of the table.
Fraser's Restaurant has three more Taste & Terroir evenings on the cards for this year, pairing hard cheese, blues and bries in a similar setting with wines hand-picked by their sommelier. Information for these nights can be found on their website. For all lovers of cheese, whether you're a self-described aficionado or a casual eater, these evenings are a well-priced and light-hearted look into the world of cheese and wine pairing.