Unforgettable Wine & Cheese: The Fondue

Photos by Ian McCausland

In our 26th issue of The Cellar Door, we partnered with our favourite local cheese mongers, Courtney Dhaliwal and Meg Gifford of The Cheesemongers Fromagerie, to bring you the ultimate wine and cheese board pairings. And boy, did they deliver!

A read through their tutorial of building the perfect cheese board gives us a hint as to why The Cheesemongers Fromagerie has been making its mark in our fair city. Their passion for cheese was matched by that of our wine experts from Banville & Jones, which led me to draw parallels between the wine sommelier and the cheese monger.

As many people do, I initially (and erroneously) thought a cheese monger was someone who makes cheese. So in order to avoid embarrassing myself, I asked Courtney straight out: What is a cheesemonger, and why do I need one? Her answer: “Your Cheesemonger is the liaison between you and the cheesemaker. There is never more than one degree of separation between us and the maker, which means we offer solid quality assurance and in-depth knowledge of each cheese we carry. Think of a cheesemonger as a sommelier of cheeses. We don’t make the cheese, but we know how to choose them. We connect you with the cheese you didn’t even know you needed. We do our best to listen to what you look for in a cheese and help you explore which varieties will make you happiest.”

Not only can they choose your cheeses, these cheese mongers have a talent for presentation (photo: Ian McCausland)

In addition to the spectacular cheese board, Courtney and Meg shared their favourite classic recipe for the perfect fondue.

Classic Cheese Fondue

1 garlic clove, peeled and cut in half
400 g Challerhocker cheese
400 g Raclette cheese (Riemme Haut Jura)
Pinch fresh grated nutmeg
Pinch fresh ground pepper
1 tbsp cornstarch
1-1/2 tbsp kirsch
1 tsp lemon juice
400 ml white wine
Bread for serving

Rub inside of heavy fondue pot with cut sides of garlic. Remove any pieces of garlic that stick—you only want the flavour. Warm white wine in pot on low heat. Add cheese a handful at a time, stirring with a wooden spoon, in one direction only, to keep a smooth consistency. Keep adding cheese until it is uniformly melted. Add nutmeg, pepper, and lemon juice. Dissolve cornstarch in kirch and add. Once the cheese is melted, add more wine or cornstarch to adjust to your desired consistency.

Our favourite wine pairing with the fondue: Marcel Vezien nv Brut Tradition Champagne, FR $44.99

The wines (photo: Ian McCausland)

For the full article about wine and cheese pairing, see The Loire Valley issue of The Cellar Door online or pick up a complimentary copy at Banville & Jones Wine Co.


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