Canadian cheese and sake: A surprising affinity

Sake, declares the old Japanese proverb, reveals the true heart. Our curious palate was seduced: could sake reveal the true heart of cheese? Brewed simply from rice, spring water, yeast and its signature mould, koji, sake boasts qualities and food affinities that wine may find tough to beat. Discover this exceptional match and learn how sake can elevate your favourite Canadian cheeses. Kanpai!

Canadian washed-rind cheese

This cheese family with its signature orange sticky rind is usually milder than the nose suggests. Intensely nutty, creamy and buttery, some vegetal and fermented fruit notes are common. Look for an aromatic sake with a livelier, gentler, fruitier flavour, as it brings out the orchard fruit suggestions in the rind, and together they elevate each other’s flavours.

Canadian Aged Cheddar

The sharp acidity in Aged Cheddar is harnessed by the round flavour of the sake. This sharpness can take on the higher alcohol level of sake, and neither cheese nor sake is suppressed by the assertive character of the other. As with all cheese companions, residual sweetness should be sought in a sake, thus bringing forth the Cheddar’s own lactic sweetness as well as some startling new dimensions.

Canadian Blue cheese

Gentle, salty, peppery and buttery, Canadian Blues are an approachable lot. All the sakes we tried with Blue were brilliant even before the nectar touched our lips. The sheer aroma of sake was enough to make the cheese more savoury. Together, they create fresh coffee and tobacco-leaf notes, enrobed in sweetness with a clean but substantial finish.

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