Like Hong Kong Phooey, La Cave à Fromage leads a double life. By day it is a shop, but by night it becomes a bar-restaurant. It’s the perfect place to spend an evening sampling French cheeses and wines.
Which is precisely how we spent our night on Saturday.
We met up with four friends at the Hove branch of La Cave à Fromage. Sat at a high table, we had a clear view into the walk-in chiller cabinet where the cheeses are stored. It made for a great backdrop, tantalising us with some of its highly distinctive content.
We opted for a tasting: three cheeses paired with three meats and three wines, all for £20 a head.
First up was a gooey, double cream cheese, which was served with a truffle honey and a malbec rosé from Lot. The second was munster, a washed-rind cheese, which came with a gewürztraminer from Alsace. The third was a blue cheese from near Roquefort-sur-Soulzon in Aveyron that was subtler and smoother than its more famous neighbour. With it came a red wine that had been fortified with brandy.
The selection couldn’t have been better – uncommon cheeses served with unusual wines.
We stayed on for drinks: a bottle of the 2007 Château la Renaudie pécharmant, harvested from old vines. It was a pricey choice, but a good one.
Damon and I were catapulted back to Bergerac. The wine comes from just north-east of the Dordogne town and is probably the most well regarded appellation from the area.
“First up was a gooey, double cream cheese, which was served with a truffle honey and a malbec rosé from Lot”
However, the Vivino app on my phone revealed that the wine retails for an average of £10 – less than a quarter of what we were being charged for it. That left us with a slightly bad taste in our mouths.
However, it is certainly not enough to stop us wanting to go back for another cheese and wine pairing in the future.