We itch for soft cheeses. But we hold strong and only buy two. Each is a French, triple crème cheese: Delin’s Le Crémeux de Bourgogne and Saint Angel’s cheese (I won’t go into why I can’t call them Brie, just know they are over 75% butter fat and magic). A range of wines from Champagne, Cava, to Alsatian whites all would work. Why? Acidity will zip the magic fat away, while flavors will be similarly delicate. But I don’t feel like being very creative.
I already have a Chardonnay open. And not just any Chardonnay: a 2014 Premiere Cru Meursault-Charmes ($80) from the similarly named Château de Meursault. The Château began making wine in the 11th century. After a millennium of familial swaps, the Halley’s recently purchased the estate.
This 2014 is extremely young. Tart granny smith apple, lemon peel, salinity and chalk dominate a subtler layer of brioche from the oak. It is very good (4 of 5) but should really show its cards in five years. How will the cheeses tame it?
Saint Angel tastes nutty, fatty, and garlicky. It brings out a softer melon, almost apricot finish to the Meursault-Charmes. It is a pairing of loveliness and expanse, breadth and luxury.
Delin’s chalkier, white mushroom, saline, high-toned, tart Bourgogne cheese softens the wine’s acidity but melds with its flavors emphasizing lime peel, anise, and lemon zest. Together they are quickness and light.
We realize there are no perfect pairings. Each cheese works wonders in its own way. Like a Choose Your Own Adventure book, a handful of paths will work but each will be different. Just avoid the creepy forest. As long as each element shares a modicum of quality and does not overpower the other, at least the pairing will be interesting. It does not hurt that everything here is French.