Café Gray Deluxe Chef sommelier Yvonne Cheung on Cheese & Wine

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I’m cheating a little again, so I’m cross posting blog content I do for You’d be much better here, given the considerable time and effort that goes into it, it always deserves an extra plug or two!

cheese and wine tasting with Yvonne cheung

cheese and wine

Yvonne is one of my favourite people I work with, super knowledgeable, patient, always ever so obliging with crazy tight deadlines and fitting me into her busy schedule at short notice. Apart from that, she also has the most amazing pair of legs! :)

We had an interactive session with Yvonne as she introduced us to the basics of cheese and wine. While there are no hard and fast rules about pairings and is subjective given that it depends largely on different palates and what individuals like, a simple rule to go by is “if they grow together, they go together”.

yvonne cheung sommelier upper house
Some examples:
– Chevre, a goat’s cheese goes well with a Sancerre (which we tasted and did a pairing) One of my favourite cheeses from chef’s region in Tours (Loire Valley) and Sancerre from the same region and a really citrusy, grassy and lovely white.

– Epoisses and white/red Burgundy
-Fontina and Barolo
– Caource and Champagne
– Camembert and a white Burgundy
– Amontillado Sherry and Manchego

Another helpful tip and general rule is light, mild cheese goes with light easy wine and powerful aged cheese goes well with powerful wines.

Coming from the same terrior or region, the animals (cow, goat, sheep) and the cheeses produced from their milk tend to go well together with wines grown in the same area.

If you’re planning for a dinner party in Hong Kong, Pacific Gourmet, Monsieur Chatté, il Bel Paese and Castello del vino have some great choices of cold cuts and cheeses.

And if you’re in Beijing, don’t lose heart. Great cheeses are still available in the Chinese capital. My favourites include Liu Yang of Le Fromager de Pékin does good locally produced cheese and Cheese & Wine Beijing by Chaoyang Park West Gate.

There used to be a Dutch guy producing local Gouda under the label Yellow Valley and it was really good… but he’s since stopped producing cheese with the lack of demand. Such a pity. That was one of my favourites.


  1. Duncan
    Apr 03, 2012 @ 19:14:28

    Not the same Yvonne who was sommelier at Jean Georges on The Bund? She rememebered every bottle of wine I ever ordered there and always made me some darn nice cocktails.

    Happy days :-)


  2. baobabs
    Apr 04, 2012 @ 05:43:55

    Hey Duncan,

    am not sure if she worked in Shanghai before, but Yvonne is really awesome and she has an amazing memory too!

    we should definitely check it out when u’re next in town!


  3. Heidi Leon
    Apr 04, 2012 @ 22:16:29

    Sometimes pairing wine and cheese sounds intimidating but with simple rules like these it suddenly looks so easy.

    Thanks for sharing them!. xo


  4. dario
    Apr 15, 2012 @ 03:19:42

    JEan-Geroges. One of the place where the wine are more than over price. It’s crazy to charge 1200 RMB for a bottle of this wine call: LE Merle aux allouettes.


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