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French cheese

Waitrose Brie le grand rustique

Although now made from cow's milk, this cheese paper still bears the signature of famous cheesemaker Jean Verrier, who developed it using unpasteurised milk. The flavour is very full and long, with hints of mushroom and even garlic on occasion. The paste should be soft and sticky and the rind has a slight bite, but no bitterness. Primarily a table cheese, it is also great when melted and scooped onto crusty bread or celery.

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Waitrose Chablis, Cave des Vignerons de Chablis 2006.

Waitrose Saint Agur French

This cheese is made from the milk of cows that graze on the rich volcanic pastures of the Haute-Loire. It is produced in the Auvergne region of central France - an area renowned for its centuries old tradition of blue cheese making - and offers a perfectly balanced rich blue taste and smooth, creamy texture that literally melts in the mouth. St. Agur can grace any cheeseboard, but because of its texture, can be easily spread. It also has a fantastic melting quality, which makes it a versatile cheese for cooking.

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Champteloup Vieux Vauvert 2006/07 Vouvray.

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Président Brie

The traditional recipe used to make this cheese means that it ripens throughout its life maturing from a mild cheese with a clean lactic taste and a crumbly core to a more full-flavoured cheese, with a soft creamy core. It is a soft, unpressed, naturally drained cow's milk cheese with a white rind flora, that is a 'must-have' for any cheeseboard. It is great for cooking, in a sandwich or as a snack. Serve it at room temperature with a red wine.

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Chat-en-Oeuf 2005 Côtes du Ventoux.

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Vignotte French

This cheese has a light, but firm texture with a pale body and a white velvet crust. This Brie-style semi-soft cheese is made in the Champagne region from pasteurised cows' milk. Vignotte has a very light lemon backnote and the added cream creates a smooth, fresh taste experience. It goes wonderfully with fruit or as part of a light salad.

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La Baume La Grande Olivette Sauvignon Blanc 2006 Vin de Pays d'Oc.

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Président Brie de Caractere

This rich, refined and full-flavoured soft cheese is covered with a thin ivory rind reminiscent of a Brie de Meaux. Made from pasteurised cow's milk, when cut, the past has a buttermilk colour and a thin core that disappears when the cheese is maturing. This Brie de Charactere is creamy and buttery with a slightly stronger after taste. It is an exciting addition to any cheeseboard, or it can be eaten on its own with French bread. It is also great for cooking or just served in a sandwich.

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Waitrose Blanc de Noirs NV

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Organic Comte

Comte is the most famous hard cheese in France, which is consumed by half the population. It is produced from unpasteurised cow's milk and originated in the Jura mountains where local farmers would take their milk to small fruitieres. The cheese is made in large wheels (it takes over 500 litres of milk to make one cheese) and matured for up to 12 months. During this time it develops a firm texture and a brown hard rind. The paste is supple and melts in the mouth. The flavour is bold and long-characterised by sweet nutty notes. It is a very versatile cheese that can be cooked in most ways, but still stands out as a classic table cheese.

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Blason de Bourgogne NV Crémant de Bourgogne Rosé.

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Raclette French

Produced in the Savoie region by Fromagerie RichesMont Raclette, this cheese is famous for being eaten hot. The name comes from the racler, which means 'to scrape', and describes the way that the face of the cut cheese is traditionally melted and scraped away. It is a firm cheese produced from cow's milk, with a sweet and musty aroma and a milky, full flavour. It is usually served with potatoes and pickles and is known to skiers on both sides of the Alps and Pyrenees.

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Cave de Beblenheim Pinot Gris Reserve 2005.

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Organic Papillon Roquefort

Papillon is one of the oldest Roquefort producers and this cheese is produced to AOC rules, which includes three months maturation in the famous Roquefort caves in the village of the same name. The texture is firm, but smooth, and almost spreadable. It has an aroma of milk and spice with the occasional hint of nuts. The flavour should be sharp and tangy with spicy overtones and a salty finish. It is a great accompaniment for salads and an ideal cooking cheese for use in sauces, pastas and soufflés.

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Château La Caussade.

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Roquefort Papillon Revelation

Papillion Revelation is a milder, creamier alternative to Roquefort that has some of the blue flavour but without the harsher backnotes or saltiness. Made using unpasteurised ewe's milk, it is firm, smooth and almost spreadable. It has a rich and spicy flavour with a complex tangy finish with a much lower salt content than Roquefort, and has an a aroma of milk, mould and nuts or fruits. It is a great one for people who are just trying blue cheeses and makes a good meal accompaniment for sauces, pasta soufflés and salads.

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Château La Caussade.

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Mountain cantal AOC 12 month

A well-ripened cantal has a deep, buttery taste, whereas a young cheese will have a sweetness that comes through from the milk. The cantal is a semi-hard farmhouse cheese made with unpasteurised cows' milk and is one of the oldest French cheeses dating back to the time of the Gauls. It is often called The Grandfather of the cheeses from the Auvergne region. Cantal is great for cooking and can be grated into soups and sauces. It can also be sliced and melted into pies and gratins.

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Guigal 2004/05 Côtes du Rhône Blanc.

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What does AOC mean?
Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC), is a system that guarantees certified French cheeses and wines are made in a specified region using agreed production methods.