Last Thursday (9/19), a Cheese and Cognac pairing event took place at the French Cheese Board. Ms. Franky Marshall, a cognac specialist, got the party started with a tonic and cognac cocktail along with a small selection of French cheeses.
After introducing the guests to the French Cheese Board and Cognac, the pairing session started with Cognac Frapin 1270 VS and two cheeses: Comté and Jouvenceau. Comté is a hard cooked pressed cheese made with unpasteurized cow’s milk from Franche-Comté. An aged Comté has slight bits of crunch in its texture and nutty, floral flavors. It complements the smoothness of 1270 VS and brings out its vanilla notes. A goats milk cheese from Ile de France, Le Jouvenceau is a goat Camembert with a creamy, white paste. Its goat tang and sweetness pair well with the richness, originality, and sweetness of the 1270 VS.
The second pairing combined a Courvoisier VSOP Cognac, Mimolette and Tomme Grand-Mère Adrienne. This is a bloomy rind goat’s milk cheese from the Loire Valley. Its fudgy center has notes of buttermilk and lemon is a good counterbalance to the ripe peach and almond flavors in the Courvosier VSOP. A hard cheese from Lille, Mimolette is has a bright orange color due to annato. It has flavors hints of caramel, fruit, and nut that works well with all the flavors in the cognac.
The last associations were Hardy XO, Langres and Triple Cream. Langres is semi-softed washed rind cow’s milk cheese from Champagne-Ardenne. Slightly salty and strong in smell, with a lactic, sour milk flavor, with a long finish which complements the long finish of the XO. Triple Cream is a bloomy rind ripened cow’s milk. It has a rich, creamy texture that melts on the tongue with delicate creamy and buttery flavors. It is a good balance with the fat creaminess of XO.
After the pairing session, the guests learnt how to create their own cocktail with cognac.