Epoisses Berthaut AOC
Gooey, pungent and full of character, Époisses is French cheese royalty. Originating with monks in the sixteenth century, its popularity has endured for centuries, only faltering during the rise of World War Two and its drastic diversion of labour. Thankfully, it was saved from possible extinction by farmers Robert and Simone Berthaut, who re-started production by seeking out the traditional skills of those who still knew how to make this classic cheese. While there are four producers of Époisses today, Berthaut Époisses remains the most well-known and the cheese was awarded AOC status in 1991.
The cow's milk used for its manufacture comes from the three historic breeds who enjoy the terroir of local meadows. Year-round, no less than 85% of their food comes from the appellation area. In the cellar, the wheels are washed regularly with a brine mixed with Marc de Bourgogne for at least five weeks. The result is a dusky-orange classic just begging to reveal its secrets. There's a reason Époisses ships in a wooden box - once cut into, its custard-y, golden paste reveals itself, full of flavours that are equal parts bacony and sweet.
Perfect for dunking into with a crusty baguette, pair your Époisses with a fine red Burgundy wine or rich buttery Chardonnay.