Wine and cheese masterclass at Galvin Brasserie Deluxe

It’s always a treat to visit Galvin Brasserie Deluxe. Over the years, Edinburgh Foodies have vistied for Sunday lunch and to learn about seafood. Last month I went to a cheese and wine tasting. This was not just any wine and cheese tasting but matching aromatic wines and washed rind cheeses. Talk about ticking my boxes.

The tasting is about to start: cheese and wine waiting to be tasted.

The tasting is about to start: cheese and wine waiting to be tasted.

Possibly it’s because I was weaned on salmiak, or because I once smoked and killed my tastebuds, but I like big flavours. That makes the combination of aromatic wines and cheese a very tempting one.


Knowing what to drink with what can be difficult and tastings give you a chance to try something new and learn what goes together. A good pairing improves both items, adding new characteristics to food and drink.

First, we were introduced to the cheeses. Washed rind cheeses come in many shapes and sizes though they tend to share a smelly shell. The combination of pungent rind and creamy, delicately flavoured insides is what makes washed rind cheese so intriguing. Some make you reel back when you sniff them; I enjoy hints of farmyard and feet (as long as those notes don’t carry through to the palate).

There were both British and French cheeses on the plate, the two French marc de champagne-washed cheeses were my favourites (the époisses was amazing), but the Somerset washed rind was good too. The ash-covered goats cheese was mild and tangy – a palate cleanser in this collection. There was a whisky-washed cheese too. I liked the smell but wasn’t keen on the clying texture. The blue cheese – the only unwashed rind in the collection – was my companion’s favourite. (He is a photographer. As the picture above and below shows, I’m not. To give you a fair picture of the event, I’ve borrowed Chris’ tweet from the evening.)

With our many cheeses we tried three different wines. A great way to try different combinations.


My new best friend.

My new best friend: Rieffel Gesetz Gewurztraminer.

Aromatic wines can be dry but still pack a big fruity punch.

The first wine was a Marlborough pinot gris. I’ve drunk a lot of pinot grigio and must admit that I’m not a huge fan. The ones on offer in bars are often acid and thin; dry, yes, but lacking in body and depth. This was nothing like that. It made me think of raisins and honesuckle, elderflower and dried apples, not lemons.

The second wine was Oremus Mandolas Tokaij Dry 2011. It was full of delicious fruit flavour but without the sometimes cloying sweetness of sweet tokaiy.

The third was my favourite. I have a bit of a thing about gewurztraminer. There used to be a dry, pretty cheap Chilean gewurztraminer that I loved. I haven’t seen it for years, and miss it. Rieffel Gesetz Gewurztraminer 2013 is the Platonic ideal of that wine. Clean, fruity, lipsmackingly gorgeous, this is something I want to drink a lot of over Christmas and new year.

The tasting was informative and fun, expertise delivered with a smile. I’m delighted to have found a new favourite wine. If you want an adventure, why not try a masterclass? (Note: it’s not gluttony, it’s a tasting, so you might need dinner after.)

Galvin Brasserie Deluxe

Tastings are themed, the next one pairs Madeira with cheese. Tickets are £29.00 per head and you get 10% off food and drink if you stay for dinner.

See the tasting schedule.

Book online or call on 0131 222 8988.

Caroline ate and drank on the invitation of Galvin Brasserie Deluxe.

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About Caroline von Schmalensee

Cooking, eating and drinking is fun as well as necessary. I do food for fun and I write for a living. Good food makes the world a more delicious and satisfying place. Good writing, meanwhile, can make the world a less confusing place.

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  1. Pingback: Wine and cheese masterclass at Galvin Brasserie Deluxe – UK Food and Drink News – Nosh Online

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