WHITE wines are better with cheese, as opposed to reds. But most times, people tend to have cheese with reds as it is more convenient to have it that way.

Sommelier Sebastien Philippe Lefrancois said people usually graduate from white to red wines during the course of a meal, and most times cheese was served last.

“It is odd to go back to a white then so people just stick to the red that they are having when the cheese arrives,” he said while hosting media representatives at the Mezze Lounge in Jalan Kasah in Kuala Lumpur last month.

Bringing out a selection of cheese with wines, Lefrancois, who is currently serving as a sommelier at the lounge, said the lounge served a good range of wines from all over the world.

With wines ranging from RM80 to RM5,000 per bottle, customers can find wines at retail price at the restaurant.

For the media sampling, Lefrancois brought out some Brie, Stilton, Brigante and San Simon cheese.

The Brie is a soft cows’ cheese named after Brie, the French province from which it originated. It is pale in colour with a slight greyish tinge and it is very soft and savoury with a hint of ammonia.

Stilton is a type of English cheese, known for its characteristic strong smell and taste while the Brigante is a mild cheese from Italy that is bright and clean.

San Simon is a popular smoked Spanish cheese. It is made from cow’s milk in the region of Galicia in the northwest of the country. The gourmet San Simon cheese has a delicious, creamy buttery texture. The cheese has a thin chestnut-orange rind, a soft inside and is mild but full of flavour.

For the wines, we had the Chateau de Preneaux Nuits – Saint Gorges (red) and Rene Mure Gewurztraminer 2008 Signature (white).

97F3189CF1464ED69478F2536EF956F1Good stuff: Lefrancois with Chateau de Preneaux Nuits – Saint Gorges (red) and Rene Mure Gewurztraminer 2008 Signature (white).

Lefrancois said red wines were traditionally not chilled when served in Europe.

“In Europe, reds are served at room temperature but our room temperature here is not 16 degrees. So you can chill a heavy red and leave it out for about 45 minutes before serving. A white wine is best kept between eight degrees and 12 degrees,” he said.

Performing during the evening were also multi-talented Joanna Bessey and renowned pianist Michael Veerapen, who has been performing there since December 2010.

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