Cheese and wine tasting is a delightful and sophisticated culinary experience that involves pairing different types of cheeses with various wines to explore how their flavours complement and enhance each other. It’s a popular request from food and wine enthusiasts on Hunter Valley Wine Tours. Following are some tips before you join a cheese and wine pairing session.
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Types of cheese produced by cheese shops in Hunter Valley
Hunter Valley, located in New South Wales, Australia, is not traditionally known for its cheese production, but you can still find a variety of cheeses produced and available in the region. These may include:
Cow’s Milk Cheeses: While not as famous as other Australian cheese regions, some dairies in Hunter Valley produce cow’s milk cheeses. These might include cheddar, gouda, and other semi-hard varieties.
Goat’s Milk Cheeses: Some local farms in Hunter Valley may produce goat’s milk cheeses, which can be creamy and have a distinct flavour.
Blue Cheeses: You might also find blue cheeses in the region. These are often made from cow’s milk and can have a strong, tangy flavour.
Soft Cheeses: Soft, creamy cheeses like brie and camembert might be produced by local artisan cheesemakers.
Speciality Cheeses: Hunter Valley’s cheese producers might experiment with speciality cheeses, so you could come across unique and innovative options.
Keep in mind that the types and availability of cheese in Hunter Valley can vary, and it’s a good idea to visit local cheese shops, and markets to explore the cheese offerings in the area. Following are the popular cheese shops you can visit during a Hunter Valley day trip.
Local Artisan Cheese Shops in Hunter Valley
Binnorie Dairy stands as a leading artisanal soft cheese producer in Australia. Experience our cutting-edge cheese-making facility and boutique retail outlet to savor and acquire our delightful cheese offerings.
Hunter Valley Smelly Cheese Shop
Established in 2004, Hunter Valley Smelly Cheese operates two retail outlets in New South Wales: the Hunter Valley Smelly Cheese Shop – Hall of Food and the Smelly Deli.
The Hunter Valley Smelly Cheese Shop is a haven for cheese enthusiasts, offering an array of local, Australian, and imported artisan cheeses, along with gourmet treats like cured meats and complementary accompaniments, including their exclusive “Smelly” product line. It’s your one-stop destination for all things local and delicious.
While you’re there, you can indulge in a cup of coffee and savour a slice of their delectable, homemade baked cheesecake while taking in the lovely scenery outdoors. Alternatively, you can choose from a diverse menu featuring baguettes, burgers, or monthly specials, pairing your meal with a glass of local wine, beer, or coffee.
Additionally, Hunter Valley Cheese Shop is home to the Hunter Valley Gelato Company, where traditional Italian Gelato is crafted on-site using imported Italian ingredients and a 200-year-old recipe. They also offer sorbet options. With 32 flavours of Gelato and Sorbet to choose from in-store, you can take home packs, Gelato Cakes, or even hire a Gelato Cart.
Hunter Valley Cheese Factory Co PL
Peter Curtis and Rosalia (Rose) Lambert co-founded the Hunter Valley Cheese Company and commenced their operations in April 1995. Their vision was to craft a range of speciality cheeses, inspired by both Australian and European traditions, tailored to complement the fruit-driven wines of the renowned Hunter Valley. Relocating from Melbourne, along with their five-year-old daughter Riley, after pursuing careers in Physical Education and Property Renovation in inner-city Carlton Fitzroy, their aspiration was to build a future around a country lifestyle and strong family values in a creative food and wine region. Through serendipity and good fortune, Fay and Brian McGuigan approached them to establish a cheese factory at their newly established Winery and Cellar Door in Central Pokolbin.
Wine and Cheese Pairing Guide
Sémillon and cheese pairing
Cheese Pairing: Dry Sémillon wines often have a crisp and citrusy character. They pair well with lighter cheeses like goat cheese or fresh mozzarella. A classic pairing is Sémillon with chèvre (goat cheese) as the wine’s acidity complements the creaminess and tang of the cheese.
Cheese Pairing: Sweet Sémillon wines have rich, honeyed, and apricot-like flavours. They go wonderfully with blue cheeses, particularly Roquefort or Gorgonzola. The sweetness of the wine contrasts with the saltiness of the cheese, creating a delightful balance.
Late-Harvest Sémillon and Botrytis-Affected Sémillon:
Cheese Pairing: These wines are incredibly sweet and often have flavours of honey, marmalade, and tropical fruits. Pair them with creamy, nutty cheeses like a triple cream Brie or a nutty Comté. The richness of the cheese complements the sweetness of the wine.
Cheese Pairing: Barrel-aged Sémillon often has complex flavours, including toastiness and nuttiness. Aged Gouda or Parmesan can be an excellent match, as their nutty notes can harmonize with the oak-influenced characteristics of the wine.
Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blends
Cheese Pairing: These blends often have a good balance of fruity and grassy notes. Try pairing them with semi-soft cheeses like a young Cheddar or a Swiss Emmental. The cheeses won’t overpower the wine’s delicate flavours.
Chardonnay and cheese pairing
Chardonnays that are unoaked (which is a common style in Hunter Valley) or have bright acidity work well with lighter, fresher cheeses. Consider:
Goat Cheese: The acidity of goat cheese balances the wine’s crispness.
Mozzarella: Fresh mozzarella or burrata pairs nicely with a clean Chardonnay.
Gruyère: The nutty, slightly sweet notes of Gruyère complement the wine.
Shiraz and cheese pairing
When pairing Shiraz with cheese, consider the wine’s specific characteristics, such as its fruitiness, spiciness, and tannins. Experiment with different combinations to find the ones that you enjoy the most. Additionally, you can add accompaniments like crusty bread, dried fruits, nuts, or honey to enhance the experience and provide further balance to the pairing.
Verdelho and cheese pairing
Brie: The creamy and buttery texture of Brie complements the crisp acidity of Verdelho. The wine’s tropical fruit notes can also work well with the richness of Brie.
Fresh Goat Cheese (Chevre): The bright acidity of Verdelho complements the tartness of fresh goat cheese. The wine’s fruitiness can enhance the cheese’s creaminess.
Cellar doors offer Cheese and wine pairing
Ivanhoe Wines – In 1855, the initial vines found their roots in the fertile volcanic soil that graced the steep slopes of Ivanhoe Hill. These lush vineyards extended gracefully across the foothills of the majestic Brokenback Mountain range, creating the Ivanhoe Estate, a mesmerizing patchwork of vineyards that soon earned its place as one of the most revered and widely discussed Hunter Valley wineries. They offer a wine and cheese pairing experience for A$30.00pp that includes some selection of their premium range.
Capercaillie Wines – Capercaillie Wines, founded in the Hunter Valley by Alasdair Sutherland in late 1995, emerged when he established a modern, compact winery on a well-established 20-year-old vineyard. Book an A$15pp wine and cheese pairing session in which you will be able to pair 7 premium wines with locally made cheese by Binnorie Dairy.
Call (+61) 0498507873 Hunter Valley Wine Tours to book a cheese and wine tour for you or your loved ones.