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Mature Successful Type with Excellent Taste and Great Body Seeks the Same

13 March 2007

Jan Walter receives her award from Neal Ibbotson, Managing Director Saint Clair Estate Wines Wine and cheese are a popular combination, but when an award-winning wine is paired with a champion cheese, it is the perfect marriage. This was showcased when the Saint Clair Champion of Champions Cheese was announced at the 2007 Cuisine NZ Champion Cheese Awards on 6 March.

Crescent Dairy Goats won with its cheese “Old Gold”. With a herd of just 17 goats on their Albany farm, 15 minutes north of Auckland, this husband and wife team are creating outstanding cheese.

Jan and John Walter, farmers and guardians of the goats comment, “This started as a hobby and the response we have received since we began has allowed us to devote increased time to making cheese. We are delighted to receive this award and have enjoyed meeting Neal and Judy from Saint Clair – another family-owned business that has succeeded on the basis of its quality products.”

Saint Clair Estate Wines and Crescent Dairy Goats share many synergies. Both are; family-owned businesses, boutique producers with a focus on hand-crafting their product and, both companies pride themselves on producing the best quality New Zealand products they can. They are now both regarded as award-winners and experts in their field.

Saint Clair owner Neal Ibbotson, says “We are pleased to be associated with Crescent Dairy Goats. They are a true cottage-industry producer and share such similar product values and quality aspirations to ourselves.”

As for the best wine match to Crescent Dairy Goats “Old Gold”, Neal recommends the Saint Clair Godfrey's Creek Reserve Pinot Gris 2006. The mildly acidic flavour of aromatic goat’s milk is ideally complemented by the ripe pear and stone fruit flavours and fresh, clean acidity of this Pinot Gris.

To help consumers create their own wine and cheese match, Saint Clair has created a neck tag with matching guidelines available on Saint Clair’s wine at retail stores nationwide. A handy wine and cheese matching chart is also available by visiting

“Of course the best way to match is to sit down, relax and enjoy! First sample the wine, try the cheese, and then finish with another taste of wine,” says Neal.

Wine and Cheese Matching Tips

•Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Riesling and Gewurztraminer are best matched with fresh cheeses, such as Ricotta, Feta, Mozzarella, Bocconicini, Chevre (goat’s cheese) or cottage cheese. The match of young, lively aromatic white wines complements the mild acidity of the cheese.

•White mould cheeses, such as Brie and Camembert have a delicious, soft, creamy, golden centre and the rind has developed a stronger flavour to match perfectly with the rich Chardonnay or a medium-bodied Pinot Noir.

•More robust washed rind cheeses, such as Brick, Raclette and Tilsit need intensely flavoured wines. Try a full-bodied Pinot Noir or an aged Merlot.

•For milder blue cheeses, the best match is a sweet wine like a dessert wine. Stronger blue cheeses require a fortified wine, like a port.

•Semi-hard cheeses, such as Edam, Gruyere and Harvarti need a fuller- bodied red wine like a Merlot or Merlot Cabernet, to bring out their best flavours.

•Hard cheeses, like Parmesan, Percorino, Aged Cheddar or Aged Gouda are best matched with a complex, richly flavoured Chardonnay or aged red wines.

Prepared on behalf of Saint Clair Estate Wines by the pr shop. For further information please contact Pippa Lekner on (09) 368 1078, 021 500 760 or email