Huge fromage festival set to celebrate all things cheese in Australia

Australia’s biggest cheese festival is back and will be celebrating the much-loved food by touring the east coast providing visitors with more than 50 variations to get their taste buds tingling.

The Mould festival is on again, after a hugely successful year in 2019, offering a new-look ‘Covid-safe’ experience for cheese lovers in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.

The festivals kick off in the sunshine state on March 26 with three days of cheese-related activities and tastings planned.

The Mould festival was a huge success in 2019 – but will look a little different this year

Organisers promise over 50 samples of Australian cheese will be on display at the festival

The Sydney event will kick off at Carriageworks on Friday, May 21 and run through to Saturday evening

Organisers promise over 50 samples of Australian cheese will be on display at the festival

The Sydney event will kick off at Carriageworks on Friday, May 21 and run through to Saturday evening.

In Melbourne the big cheese will role into town on Friday, June 25 and run for two days.

The events have been tweaked by organisers – there will be four sessions per day – with a strict number of tickets allocated for each time slot.

Wine, whiskey and beer will also be available to buy so real connoisseurs can pair their favourite beverage with their preferred bite.

When is the MOULD cheese festival coming to my city?

BRISBANE

WHEN? March 26 – 28

WHERE? John Reid Pavilion, Brisbane Show Ground

SYDNEY

WHEN? May 21 and 22

WHERE? Carriageworks, Bay 25

MELBOURNE

WHEN? June 25 – 26

WHERE? Magdalen Laundry, Abbotsford Convent, Abbotsford

HOW DOES IT WORK In order to be Covid-safe even organisers have split the day into four sessions. Session numbers are strictly limited.

Tickets from the previously cancelled event will be transferred to the new date and time. Ticket holders who can’t make the new dates can contact event organisers.

A wine glass comes with the ticket to the event and is free to take home.

The organisers revealed they are relieved, excited and fueled with ‘pure happiness’ to be able to bring the event back this year.

‘Thank you so much for your on-going patience, the cheesemakers and us at Revel are bubbling with excitement to see you and celebrate Australian cheese once more,’ they said.

'Thank you so much for your on-going patience, the cheesemakers and us at Revel are bubbling with excitement to see you and celebrate Australian cheese once more,' organisers said

‘Thank you so much for your on-going patience, the cheesemakers and us at Revel are bubbling with excitement to see you and celebrate Australian cheese once more,’ organisers said

Tickets to the event cost $48.60. People who had tickets to the previously cancelled event are able to attend their city's new dates

A wine glass comes with the ticket to the event and is free to take home

Tickets to the event cost $48.60. People who had tickets to the previously cancelled event are able to attend their city’s new dates

Tickets to the event cost $48.60. People who had tickets to the previously cancelled event are able to attend their city’s new dates.

The event will also include ‘cheese talks’, a full food program and cheese demonstrations.

Last year a cheesemaker shared her ultimate guide to cheese and wine pairings – and the simple rules to follow to get the perfect match every time.

Marly Badia, from Sydney, explained that cheese and red or white wine should be complementary based on flavour intensity, acidity, creaminess, weight and texture.

She said hard cheeses goes well with ‘big bold’ wines such as Cabernet Sauvignon while the soft varieties pair perfectly with a Pinot Noir.

Ms Badia and My Kitchen Rules 2015 winner Will Stewart (right) will be hosting a one-night-only burrata making and wine tasting workshop on Wednesday, August 26

Ms Badia and My Kitchen Rules 2015 winner Will Stewart (right) will be hosting a one-night-only burrata making and wine tasting workshop on Wednesday, August 26

‘There’s really no ‘wrong’ or ‘right’ way to cheese and wine matching as it’s all subjective to your personal preferences, but here’s what I tend to avoid when matching wine with cheeses,’ Ms Badia told Daily Mail Australia.

To find the best pairings, the founder of Omnom Cheese Making said the more intense the cheese is, the more intense the wine should be.

‘Like all things in life, it’s about balance. Pairing an intense cheese to a subtle wine will only accentuate and overpower the wine’s delicacy. Big, ripe cheeses need a strong match to ensure the flavours stack up to one another,’ she said.

She said you should never pair ‘super creamy cheese’ such as Brie and Camembert with ‘low acid wine’ like Chardonnay or Merlot.

A beginner’s guide to cheese and wine pairing

Hard cheese (cheddar, Gouda, Parmigiano Reggiano and Pecorino Romano): Big bold flavours deserve big bold wines – Clare Valley Cabernet Sauvignon would be a winner here.

Soft cheese (brie, Camembert, ricotta and Gorgonzola): Bright wines with lots of acidity to cut through the gooey creamy texture, so a Pinot Noir would be delicious here

Feta: When I think of feta I think of the Mediterranean, so varieties like Pinot Grigio or Vermentino suit these cheeses perfectly.

Parmesan: Depending on the season you could have parmesan with sparkling or in the cooler months, I’d have it with a glass of Tempranillo.

Blue cheese: A surprising pairing for complex blue cheese is a sweet wine, like an off dry Riesling or even a tawny port. If sweet wines aren’t your style, a fruity rosé will also go down nicely.

Washed-rind cheese (Gruyère and Pont-l’Eveque): It’s all about matching aromatics here as washed-rind cheeses have bold aroma personalities! Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling and Pinot Gris varieties work well here.

Melted cheese (mozzarella, cheddar and provolone): Gooey melted cheese can be challenging for a wine match, but considering the creamy, fatty texture, a bright, acidic Riesling would be delicious here.

‘Acid in wine is like a good cheese knife, it cuts through the smooth texture with ease,’ Ms Badia explained.

‘Some wines, like Chardonnay or Merlot, can be lower in acid, so pairing them with a creamy Brie or Camembert won’t have the same flavour effect as pairing it with a Riesling.’

She said hard cheeses such as cheddar and Gouda have ‘big bold flavours’ that ‘deserve big bold wines’.

‘Clare Valley Cabernet Sauvignon would be a winner here,’ Ms Badia said.

Soft cheeses like Brie, Camembert, ricotta and Gorgonzola match with a Pinot Noir.

‘Bright wines with lots of acidity to cut through the gooey creamy texture, so a Pinot Noir would be delicious here,’ she said.

Ms Badia is the founder of Omnom Cheese Making where she teaches home cooks how to make their own cheese from scratch

Ms Badia is the founder of Omnom Cheese Making where she teaches home cooks how to make their own cheese from scratch

The cheese expert explained how cheese and wine should be complementary based on flavour intensity, acidity, creaminess, weight and texture (stock image)

The cheese expert explained how cheese and wine should be complementary based on flavour intensity, acidity, creaminess, weight and texture (stock image)

She said varieties like Pinot Grigio or Vermentino suit feta perfectly while parmesan cheese can pair with a lot of different wine matches.

‘Parmesan is surprisingly versatile. Depending on the season you could have parmesan with sparkling or in the cooler months, I’d have it with a glass of Tempranillo,’ she said.

When it comes to washed-rind cheese, Ms Badia said it’s all about ‘matching aromatics’.

‘Washed-rind cheeses have bold aroma personalities so Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling and Pinot Gris varieties work well here,’ Ms Badia said.

She said a ‘surprising pairing’ for ‘complex’ blue cheese is a sweet wine.

‘Like an off dry Riesling or even a tawny port. If sweet wines aren’t your style, a fruity rosé will also go down nicely,’ she said.

For melted cheese, she said a crisp and lightly fruity, Riesling pairs perfectly.

The dos and don’ts of making a cheese board

Do remove the cheeses from the fridge one hour before serving. Firstly, cold mutes flavour. To get the best flavours possible, the cheese needs to have warmed up slightly. Also, this is really important – as the cheeses warm up (depending on the cheese type) – their texture becomes much softer and deliciously oozy!

Do have a separate knife for each cheese. It’s particularly relevant for soft varieties that stick to the knife. For example you might cut a piece of blue and then use that same sticky blue cheese covered blade for a subtle chèvre, so you definitely won’t be tasting the chèvre.

Do label your cheeses.

Do extend the spread to avoid congestion around one small cheese board.

Don’t put a stinky washed-rind next to a delicate triple cream Brie. It’s best to separate strong smelling cheeses from their delicate counterparts.

‘Gooey melted cheese can be challenging for a wine match, but considering the creamy, fatty texture, a bright, acidic Riesling would be delicious here,’ she said.

Ms Badia and My Kitchen Rules 2015 winner Will Stewart will be hosting a one-night-only burrata making and wine tasting workshop on Wednesday, August 26 at 6pm via Taylors Made’s Facebook page.

Omnom Cheese Making has teamed up with Taylor Made to launch a virtual session where artisanal cheese and wine lovers can make their own burrata by purchasing a limited edition Mediterranean Cheese Making Kit.

The kit includes specific tools and ingredients to make a mix of Mediterranean inspired cheeses along with a select varietal from the Taylor Made Wines portfolio – Chardonnay, Rosé or Pinot Noir.

Orders for the limited edition Taylor Made x Omnom Mediterranean Cheese Making Kit ($40 + booking fee) will be available until August 18 or while stocks last.

For more information visit the website.

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