This is Round 3, and my final Round, of pairing up Evolve Cellars wines with a selection of cheeses for the holidays. This is my sparkling wine Round. How will bubbles affect the pairing with cheese? Again I have again a brie, an aged cheddar, and gouda for the comparison. Both wines are made with the Charmat method (e.g. how Prosecco is made), which makes a sparkling wine available on the market faster, with fresh fruit flavours, and at a great price point.
Let me tell you about these two wines before moving on to the cheese pairings.
My Tasting Notes
Evolve Cellars Elan Effervescence, NV (BC $19.99) – This sparkling wine blend is quite unusual. It is a blend of Gewurztraminer and Ortega. This wine has a lighter straw colour. It has a medium intensity nose showing orange, peach and floral; sweet aromas. A medium-dry level of sweetness and higher acidity, body and flavour intensity. Very creamy tiny bubbles. Flavours of orange, citrus rind, and light touches of peach, floral and crisp red apple. A medium plus length finishing off-dry, a bit peppery and some bubble to the very end.
Rating: This wine has a mixture of orange, peach and floral on the nose and palate. A bit sweeter than off-dry. Nice creamy small bubbles.
Evolve Cellars Pink Effervescence, NV (BC $19.99) – This sparkler is a blend of 97% Pinot Blanc and 3% Merlot. It has a lighter colour that is a blend between watermelon and peach. A medium intensity nose, with fresh inviting aromas of red fruits, strawberries, and crisp red apples. This sparkling wine is off-dry with light tannins and medium plus acidity body and flavour intensity. Medium sized creamy bubbles that have a biting edge. This wine has a mix of tart flavours and sweetness. Red apples, red fruits, and a touch of peach and roses on the palate. There is some pepperiness from the mid-palate to the finish. A medium length finishing with mainly red apples, but also apple skin. Bubbles stay creamy till the finish.
Rating: – Inviting red fruits and crisp apple aromas and flavours. Off dry. Quite peppery from the mid palate to the finish.
My Wine and Cheese Pairings
As I outlined in my previous article, the first cheese I picked was the Balderson Old Cheddar. The next cheese is the Paysan Breton Le Brie. And my final cheese, a Gouda, comes from Bergeron, out of Quebec. For more details on these cheeses, here is the link to my previous article.
Evolve Cellars Elan Effervescence, NV
The bubbles come alive when paired with the brie. The mushroomy flavour of the brie diminishes and you get some lime flavour, which I found interesting. The sweetness of the wine still is strong. An OK pairing. My third choice.
With the cheddar, I get first the sweetness of the wine, then the cheddar flavour comes through and finally some light peach from the wine. Another OK pairing.
Lastly for the gouda, the bubbles again became alive. I get the crisp apple flavour from the wine, but the creamy texture and nuttiness from the gouda is diminished. The best of the three cheese pairings with this wine.
Overall no pairing was great, and I think it was due in part to the level of sweetness of this sparkling wine. That being said, I think a better pairing for this wine would be fresh fruit. Make a plate with some grapes, and slices of peaches and apples, and I think you will have something quite enjoyable. My other suggestion is to try a blue cheese. Sweet does pair with salty; blue cheese and port is a classic pairing.
Evolve Cellars Pink Effervescence, NV
With the brie, the bubbles from this wine come forth. You get the red apple flavour from the wine and the creaminess from the cheese, and together this is a nice pairing. My first choice for these 3 cheeses.
The cheddar is denser and so the bubbles from the wine collapses fairly quickly. You do get some apple flavour from the wine at the end. Not a good pairing.
For the gouda the creaminess of the cheese plus the bubble and tart fruit flavours from the wine worked well together, just a little less than the brie. My second choice.
Summarizing the Cheese and Wine Pairings
From the three rounds, I tasted a Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, Pinot Gris, Shiraz, and Elan Effervescence and Pink Effervescence sparkling wines. Overall the gouda scored the best with the wines, followed by the cheddar, and lastly by the brie cheese. So you may want a cheese plate with gouda and cheddar, then add some fresh fruit. I find that grapes tend to work nicely with white wines. I hope this information helps you in your holiday, COVID-safe, plans.
Where Can I Buy These Wines?
You can purchase these wines through their Five Vines Cellars wines purchases web page. These wines may also be available at your local wine shop, but need to ask.