It was as if I had died and gone to cheese heaven.
While other cafe’s may serve cheese platters, nothing is remotely close to what The Cheese Barrel does. This is about cheese and matching wines. It’s about enjoying the Australian outdoors in a casual environment with friends. It’s such a simple (and good) idea and yet this is the first one in Perth. Fortunately as well, The Cheese Barrel has executed the idea superbly.
You’re given the option of picking and choosing wines and cheeses, or you can opt for one of their cheese platters, offered by region; Australia, France, Italy and Spain. We went for the Spanish cheese platter($38.50) and also selected the *OFW Wine Flight for $10.00 per person, which gives you rather hefty samples of each wine (in other words, make sure you aren’t a 5’3″ lightweight (ehm, moi!) and driving (friends that can handle their drink come in handy here) ), which is paired to a particular cheese in front of you.
*Olive Farm Wines is the winery on the same property. Well worth popping in to sample more of their wines!
On a quick side note, gluten free crackers can be purchased as well for a few dollars, so we don’t have to miss out.
Served on black slate, the waitress shows you where to start and which wine you begin pairing it with–which is brought out on the coolest ‘rack’.
She also hands you an information sheet giving you more details on what exactly you’re tasting. ‘Cause, let’s face it, I doubt many of us are going to recognise the herbaceous nutty flavours and citrus finishes without being told. Our brains will just be going ‘yum! Give me more!’ .
And then off you go!
The Spanish platter consisted of
*Queso Garrotxa, a semi hard goat’s milk.
*Manchego, a semi hard sheep’s milk
*Queso San Simon, a semi hard cow’s milk (and my absolute favourite. Smoked cheese is one of my must-have weekly foods and I had to buy some to bring home)
and * Queso Valdeon, a blue mould cow’s milk. And before you scrunch your nose up at blue mould cheese, you need to try this one. And you also need to try it with the Liqueur Shiraz. It will blow your mind.
The Queso Garrotxa was teamed with a 2011 Verdelho, Manchego with 2009 Tempranillo, Queso San Simon with 2009 Shiraz, and Queso Valdeon with Liqueur Shiraz.
I’m curious about the building design. Nothing seems to have been left to chance, and nothing seems to have been overlooked. Modern and edgy, it seems to allow for a nice morning light, and yet block the customers from the afternoon glare. While I can’t be sure, it also seemed to have sliding wall panels to allow for altering of the outdoor area in bad weather.
Their placement of the building was also well thought out, having been placed further down the property, away from the buzzing of Great Northern Highway. That combined with the overlooking views of the treed area makes you feel like you’re a million miles away from Perth. That with the wooden barrels for tables and plastic crates with cushions for seats, makes for a cool afternoon.
Having just opened this week, I was expecting some teething problems, and yet there’s nothing that you could fault.
Overall, I loved being there. The location, the idea, the food, the drink. Everything has been well thought out. I loved it so much, in fact, that I’m planning on coming back next weekend with others.