Mofo guide to pairing | Raw milk cheeses
This Saturday 21st October is Raw Milk Cheese Appreciation Day - a celebration that our mates at MOULD collective get behind, and when a day in the calendar is this delicious we just have to find a way to get involved too. Can you blame us?
If you didn’t already know about raw milk cheese, Saturday’s the day to get to learn more. Raw milk cheese is at the rebellious frontier of everything that’s soft, semi-hard, hard or stinky in the cheese world. Almost banned completely by the FSANZ board in 1999, it’s only in the last 15 years that producers in Australia have been given greater freedom to work with raw milk. And with those rules being relaxed, flavour has come to party. We’re now seeing more makers on the market that are increasingly focused on raw milk to bring cheese lovers a product that speaks more than ever to the season and place it was made.
In celebration, this month MOULD have curated a selection of stellar raw milk cheeses sourced from some of the best Australia has to offer, and whaddya know, we’ve got a few wine suggestions to pair too.
Fresh styles of raw milk cheeses (chèvre, feta) - Riesling, sauvignon blanc
Fresh styles of cheese demand an equally fresh wine. We’d be looking for a drop that offers a zing to vibe with that tangy lactic acid of the cheese, whilst bringing fresh citrus and florals over the top to offer bright contrast against the salt. A well-chilled sauvignon blanc - especially one that offers a cut grass or green capsicum note - will work wonders here, as will a bright Aussie riesling.
The MOULD Cheese: Pecora Dairy - Raw Milk Feta
The wine we’d pair: Petaluma Hanlin Hill Riesling 2022
Semi-hard raw milk cheeses - Pinot noir, chardonnay
Your semi-hard cow’s milk cheeses are where you’ll find textural and flavour complexity aplenty. Sweet notes, nutty notes, savoury notes, creamy notes - a veritable cheese symphony, and our bet would be to find a wine that offers similar layers, without sacrificing harmony. Enter stage left - pinot noir and chardonnay. Both wines are capable of running that fruit-to-savoury spectrum, fresh and uncomplex when young becoming more nuanced and layered with age. Both wines will contrast and compliment the cheese in all the right ways, and if you’re feeling like something sparkling you can’t go wrong with traditional method bubbles or a Champagne.
The MOULD Cheese -
The wine we’d pair -
Hard raw milk cheeses - Sangiovese, tempranillo
For a hard raw cow’s milk cheese, we’re gunning for a wine that has a bit of tannin to match that more structured texture - but not so much that it rips it apart. For that reason we’re looking for a red that’s got a bit of body about it, along with tannin, but is still bright and young with a clean line of acid. Sangiovese/Chianti or tempranillo/Rioja (think Joven or Crianza levels) are an awesome shout - full of red fruits to contrast the salt and tang of the cheese, but with tannin to provide the back up to that more solid cheesy protein.
The MOULD Cheese: Bruny Island - C2
The wine we’d pair: Bodegas Altanza Capitoso Rioja 2020
Aged hard, raw milk cheeses - Shiraz, cabernet sauvignon
You know the drill. Big flavours and textures need a wine to match, something that can go toe-to-toe, look huge flavours in the eye and say “I’m packing my own, too”. We’re not talking huge wines for the sake of it either, we’re wanting some silk and finesse that’s going to embrace that creamy texture of the cheese and deliver a smooth finish with it. Barossa shiraz? Tick. Coonawarra cab? Tick. Port or fortifieds? Boom. Full-bodied, full-flavoured, yum is the order of the day here - just remember to wear something with a loose-fitting waist.
The wines we’d pair - Halliday Duo - Reds Edition (2pk)
Remember - you know you and your palate, so never be afraid to explore with pairings. You never know what you might discover!
If you’re keen for some raw, unpasteurised cheese action head to the MOULD site and shop the selection.
Got the cheese, need the wine? Over here to shop our latest arrivals.