Wednesday, September 27, 2017

A Curated List: Wines and Cheese from France #MadeinFrance #Sponsored

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Whole Foods Market in conjunction with their #MadeinFrance event.
Compensation for this post was provided and this page may contain affiliate links.

As part of The French Winophiles group, I was offered the chance to participate in a #MadeinFrance online event. Mais oui! 

Whole Foods Market Global Buyers Devon Broglie and Cathy Strange have curated a selection of French wines and French cheeses; they will host a lively conversation on Facebook that should demystify French wines and make them more approachable. I'm in!

Join us for a Facebook Live event on Thursday, October 5, 2017 at 2:30pm Pacific time. Come to the Whole Foods Facebook Page! It'll be a short - just 30 minutes! - online chat. If you can't be live with us, follow the hashtag at your leisure.

The Cheeses

The event sponsors sent us a list of cheeses and asked that we try, at least, two of them. We could pick from...

  • Mons St. Nuage
  • Mons St. Epoisse
  • Mons Camembert
  • 1924
  • Comte
  • Saint Angel
  • Fourme d'Ambert
  • Bonhomme Brie
  • Mimolette
  • P'tit Basque
  • Ossau Iraty

I headed out to my local Whole Foods Market to see what they had on-hand. I wanted to obtain a few new-to-us cheeses and was successful. Of course, I purchased some family favorites, too, and we made a dinner out of the cheese pairings.

I picked up Mons St. Nuage...

P'tit Basque...
and Saint Angel.

The Wines
The event sponsors shipped us twelve bottles of French wine to taste and pair. Twelve bottles!
photo courtesy Jill Barth of L'Occasion
I'll be posting tasting notes of these wines in the coming weeks. Several of the other bloggers who received their shipments, ahead of me, shared photos of the entire line-up. I can't wait to pour, taste, and share thoughts about these bottles.

Whole Foods selected the following French wines for this event...

  • Jacques Bardelot, Champagne Brut (suggested retail value $29.99)
  • Criterion, Chablis (suggested retail value $19.99)
  • Domaine de la Fruitiere, Muscadet Gneiss de Bel Abord Sur Lie (suggested retail value $13.99)
  • Domaine Paul Buisse, Touraine Sauvignon (suggested retail value $12.99)
  • Trimbach, Pinot Gris Reserve (suggested retail value $22.99)
  • Château D'Esclans, Whispering Angel Rosé (suggested retail value $21.99)
  • Vignobles des Roches, Morgon (suggested retail value $16.99)
  • Alain de la Treille (Famille Bougrier), Chinon (suggested retail value $19.99)
  • Paul Jaboulet Ainé, Cotes du Rhône (suggested retail value $14.99)
  • Château de Lascaux, Coteaux de Languedoc Rouge (suggested retail value $17.99)
  • Château Haut-Cadet, Saint-Émilion Grand Cru 2015 (suggested retail value  $24.99)
  • Clos Siguier, Cahors (suggested retail value $14.99)  

A Match Made in Heaven
Nuage Whispering Angel Rosé 

Sold exclusively through Whole Foods, St. Nuage is a triple-crème cheese made with cow's milk and 
affinaged in the famous Mons tunnels. Perhaps it's that time underground that renders this cheese simultaneously decadent and earthy with a nice salty balance. 'Nuage' in French means 'cloud. And it really was a pillowy cloud of cheesy magic. To complement the cheese's earthiness, I decided to served it with crisped mushrooms and toasted baguette.

  • mushrooms (I used mini portabella mushrooms), brushed clean and thickly sliced
  • butter
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper

Melt butter in a large, flat-bottom pan. When the butter begins to brown, lay your mushrooms in the pan. Make sure that you can see the bottom between the mushrooms and that the mushrooms aren't touching.

Let the mushrooms brown and crisp. Flip the mushrooms and crisp them on the other side. Only after they are crisp should you season them. Adding salt when they are cooking will lead to soggy mushrooms. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

In the Glass
I paired it with Château D'Esclans' Whispering Angel Rosé. Okay, don't laugh: I picked the wine for the name. If the cheese was named after clouds, I figured the wine should be named after angels. That sounded like a match made in heaven, right?! It was.

Other Combinations
Comte with Pâté

P'tit Basque with Salted Watermelon Jelly
While I typically serve P'tit Basque with quince paste, I had a jar of a locally-made salted watermelon jelly and decided to try that. It was fantastic! The jelly had a sweet-tart quality that countered the creamy richness of the cheese well.

Mimolette + Malbec (Clos Siguier, Cahors)

Mimolette is a long-time favorite. The story goes that King Louis XIV was searching for a native French product to replace the very popular Dutch Edam. To differentiate it from Edam, he had it colored orange with annatto seeds. Made with cow's milk, it has a grey crust which is the result of cheese mites intentionally introduced to the surface of the cheese! As it ages, its taste changes. I prefer it aged a bit with a harder texture and a stronger flavor. For a pop of sweetness, I served the mimolette with dates and a crisp fig cracker.

In the glass, I opted for the Clos Siguier, Cahors, made with Malbec grapes. Though I typically think of Malbec in association with Argentinian wines, the grape was originally grown in Frace. In fact, as far back as the 1300s, the Brits praised the 'Black Wine of Cahors.' This wine was rich, but approachable. I got herbs on the nose and some hints of black tea on the tongue. This added some pleasant savory quality to the cheese pairing with the dates and fig crackers. And, at its price point, it's a great value!

The Official Pairings
Next week, Devon and Cathy will be discussing the following matches. I can't wait to see what information they share with us. And, because I didn't pair any of the wines and cheeses this way, I will get my paws on some more bottles and give these official pairings a try. I hope you'll follow along on this #MadeinFrance series. Cheers!

  • Jaques Bardelot (Wine) + Mons St. Nuage (Cheese)
  • Domaine de la Fruitiere Muscadet (Wine) + P'tit Basque (Cheese)
  • Alan Treille Chinon (Wine) + Mimolette (Cheese)
  • Biographie Cotes du Rhone (Wine) + Saint Angel (Cheese)

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*Disclosure: I received compensation for recipe development and generating social media traction. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the organizer and sponsors of this event.


  1. I traveled 40 miles each way to the nearest whole foods. I was able to get 2 cheeses and one of them isn't being discussed on the 5th....oh, well.....we still enjoyed the pairings very much and am anxious to blog about them.

    1. Wow. 40 miles, Wendy? I'm impressed. Can't wait to read your pairings.