Sparkling up the Cheese
Canadian cheeses, especially those made with outstanding milk from Dairy Farmers of Canada, have long been recognized for their incredible taste and the wines of British Columbia are of course renowned for their high quality and variety.
So it makes sense that one of the newest signature events on the 2015 Fall Okanagan Wine Festival, Sparkling up the Cheese in Your Life, being held Tuesday October 6 at the Okanagan College Atrium in Kelowna, celebrates the range of those cheeses by pairing them up with some spectacular British Columbia sparkling wines.
“We tested this idea at the Summer Mile High Wine & Music weekend at Silver Star which was run by the Okanagan Wine Festivals” said noted cheese expert and entertainer, David Beaudoin, of the pairing of wine and cheese. Beaudoin, along with Judie Barta, proprietor of Kelowna’s Meadow Vista Winery, will be hosting the fun evening and he speaks from experience.
“It was fantastic actually,” he added. “People were amazed to see so many different cheeses paired with sparkling wines. When you think of sparkling wines, you don’t necessarily think of so many different tastes, but when you have them all side-by-side, and then you have the cheeses, that’s when things shine.”
Among the delicious cheeses Beaudoin has selected are such delicacies as Cows Creamery Extra Old Cheddar, from the celebrated Prince Edward Island producer.
Said Beaudoin, “It’s one of the best cheddar’s in the world.”
As well, he’s picked out a tasty Boursin from Bel Cheese of Quebec. Made in the French traditional way, it comes in five different flavours, including garlic and fine herbs, shallot and chive, pepper, cranberry and pepper, and red chili pepper.
Add to those two, the Bella Casara Ricotta, from Quality Cheese, which made history at the 8th edition of the Canadian Cheese Grand Prix as the first fresh cheese to earn the title of Grand Champion. And if that’s not enough, closer to home, Beaudoin has also included a tasty locally sourced Formagella from Lumby producer, Bella Stella Cheese, as well as Harvest Moon from Penticton’s Poplar Grove Cheese.
But as delicious as these cheeses are, they’re made even better with the pairings of six outstanding sparkling British Columbia wines.
“It’s not always obvious, but it’s always a pleasure,” said Beaudoin of the new twist on the pairings of wines and cheeses.
“It’s quite interesting all the flavours that happen with the sparkling wines and the fat’s in the cheeses; it’s really nice.”
While the tastings and pairing will no doubt be the highlight of this event, visitors will also walk away having furthered their knowledge of both wine and cheese, courtesy of Beaudoin, who’s as entertaining and passionate about cheese as he is informative.
“Everyone’s palate is different and taste is such a personal matter. You don’t want to have it too overpowering,” he said. “Mild, creamy cheeses are always a good fit, depending also on the sparkling wine. The creaminess is what makes you happy, and there’s one thing for sure, it’s taste and flavor that makes people smile.”
No matter your experience level with wines, or cheese for that matter, there’s sure to be plenty to tempt your palate at this tasty, informal event and it’s the perfect way to enjoy a great Fall Okanagan Wine Festival evening.
Sparkling up the Cheese in Your Life will be held Oct. 6, from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. at the Okanagan College Centre for Learning atrium. Tickets are $45 each, plus fees, and are available online at selectyourtickets.com, or by calling 250-717-5304.