Say cheese at the Bistro du Vin, Soho
Bistro du Vin is rapidly expanding their empire and have now branched out to Soho. So you may think, another Bistro du Vin but this one has something the other two don’t – a dedicated walk-in cheese locker in the main dining room. You can’t miss it, a brightly lit glass room at the end of the bar.
Currently featuring over 50 cheeses from the hard to the runny soft, the cheeses all come from La Cave a Fromage in S. Kensington and are seasonal, as was explained to me by Cheese Master, Nicholas Broche of La Cave. I didn’t know this but cheese has a season much as fruit or veg. If you’re eating goats cheese in winter, it’s most likely not at it’s best. Interesting, I had no idea. Currently the cheeses at BdV are transitioning into winter, from light and fresh goat’s cheese to more substantial cheeses to warm you up in the coming cold winter days.
Nicholas and Head Sommelier Romain Audrerie were putting on a cheese and wine matching event that evening, pairing wines from the BdV list to their cheese list. Nicholas would give us a short bio of the cheese before Romain came forward. Both were interesting and entertaining fonts of cheese and wine wisdom.
We had 6 cheeses and 6 wines. Romain likes to go off the beaten path when it comes to wine and so we had a Franciacorta (Italian sparkling wine) with the first cheese, a brie from Chaource. Franciacorta seems to be all the rage at the moment but I am not a fan. Too dry for me and they always seem to have a particular bitter finish to them. The pairing though, was spot on as it softened the wine and cut through the salty fattiness of the cheese. Maybe Franciacorta is best drunk with food rather then on its own, at least for me at any rate.
All the wine choices were inspired. From a gooseberry and hay tinged Sauvignon Blanc from the Cotes de Duras to a fruity, raspberry scented Vin de Pay pinot noir from Franche-Comte, this was not your ordinary cheese and chardonnay wine tasting. I really enjoyed the matches and while not all of them were a hit with me, that’s what’s great about doing a tasting like this, it gives you the opportunity to explore your palate. At the end of the tasting Nicholas brought out some savoury macaroons – raspberry and parmesan, goat cheese and walnut and goat cheese and hazelnuts, that La Cave has recently started producing. They were all delightful combinations, savoury but sweet at the same time. I hope they add these to the BdV menu soon.
BdV in Soho is going to be hosting these wine and cheese matching classes monthly so check out their website for more info. You can also just pop down to check out the cheese room for yourself and if you’re too full after a meal to squeeze in a cheese plate, BdV does offer cheese to takeaway. Not sure about the wine but you can always ask…