Anthony Gismondi on Wine
Thursday, August 22 2019

Bleu des Basques

By: Allison Spurrell
The Basques - and many others - are passionate about this special blue

Blue cheese fans are everywhere and none are more passionate than those who love to imbibe in Bleu des Basques.

Origin: The village of Macaye, near Espelette at the foot of the French Pyerénées

Milk Type: Pasteurized sheep milk collected from ewes from over 250 local farmers. The traditional sheep breeds of the area are used: Black Faced Manech, Red-Faced Manech, and Basco-Bearnaise.

Style: This is a firm blue with a natural rind, aged in ancient cellars in the village. The natural yeasts and molds of the cellars are an integral part of the ageing and ripening of the cheese

Description: The paste of the cheese is firm and veined with blue-green coloured mold. The natural crust tends to be greyish in colour, dry, and slightly powdery. The wheels are either two kilos or five kilos.

Tasting Notes: Bleu des Basques is very different from most other French blues. It isn’t brined so it's far less salty, although it does still have a tiny salty kick at the end. Typical of Basque sheep’s cheese, it has a lovely fruity taste, with a tangy finish. The blue veining is distinctive but not strong, and it doesn’t take away from the delicate nature of the sheep milk.

Pairing: A match we love is the typical Basque accompaniment to sheep cheese - black cherry jam. 

From the GOW site, we found three wines that should be a perfect fit.

Written By: Allison Spurrell
Allison Spurrell
Allison Spurrell

les amis du FROMAGE is a family owned and operated specialty cheese store with two locations in Vancouver. With a carefully curated selection of local and imported cheeses, charcuterie and accompaniments, they also specialize in frozen soups and meals, all made in house using top quality ingredients. Founded in 1985 by the mother and daughter team of Alice and Allison Spurrell, les amis du FROMAGE is proud to still remain a family owned and operated Vancouver company after over 30 years in business. Current owners Allison Spurrell and Joe Chaput have come a long way since the original shoe-box sized store opened in Vancouver’s Point Grey neighborhood. You can rest assured that their mission is to continue the company’s reputation of offering the highest quality cheeses, cut to order, along with one-to-one customer service. Vancouver - 1752 West 2nd Avenue, BC V6J H6 Tel (604) 732-4218; Strathcona 843 East Hastings Street.V6A 1R8 Tel 604-253-4218. www.buycheese.com.