Match of the Week: St Jude and Cremant de Bourgogne
St Jude and Patriarche's Leonce Bocquet Cremant de Bourgogne Brut Rose
Maybe I like this match because I enjoy saying the wine’s name in my head over and over again in my inner voice’s superb French accent. A better reason would be that I love sparkling wines with soft mould ripened cheeses like St Jude. It’s all about the mouthfeel - the way the mousse of the wine combines with the moussy softness of the cheese to create a luxuriant mouthful of boozy cheesy cream dessert. This is one of those toasted brioche wines: open a few bottles of it (aren’t I a lucky boy) and the whole room fills with the aroma of freshly baked bread. That flavour matches beautifully with a slight yeastiness on the rind of St Jude and the hint of barnyard in the main body of the cheese. There’s also a bit of red summer fruit in the Cremant, probably from the Gamay grapes in the blend, which perfectly compliments the creamy texture and slight acidity of the cheese. Think raspberry compote and creme fraiche.
You can’t make a really smashing cheese without a level of devotion to your craft that would put Chippendale to shame. Julie, who makes St Jude, is no exception to this, getting up at midnight every night to ladle the set curd into cheese moulds. Having had a go at this, I can tell you that when you’re not used to it, ladling curd is painful and knackering and that doing it at midnight is oddly discombobulating. It took days for my head to recover from the experience. I’m not going to tell you why Julie ladles late at night, I think you should earn the right to find out by doing it yourselves.