(a.k.a. KrÃ¼mmenswiler FÃ¶rsterkÃ¤se, a.k.a. Bergfichte)
Weâ€™ve seen a cheese on the market that goes by this name â€“ FÃ¶rsterkÃ¤se. It is a nice cheese but it is not a great cheese. The Bergfichte we carry is the one that counts. It is absolutely spectacular, chock full of umami, and voluptuous. Some people canâ€™t get past the aroma but to me it is an endearing one.
One problem that fans of these softer wash-rind cheeses have with their favorite red wines is the limited pairing successes they seem to have. This can especially true for the Pinot Noir fans. They may crave those soft stinky cheeses but whether or not their Pinot will pair well with those cheeses is a bit iffy. These wines generally do better with natural-rind cow or sheep milk cheeses, pressed but not cooked types, rarely the goats or the blues.
Years ago when I was looking for the most-likely-to-succeed varietals for the cheeses that are featured in my second book â€“ Cheese, a Connoisseurâ€™s Guide to the Worldâ€™s Best â€“ I hesitated to try Pinot Noirs with the KrÃ¼mmenswiler FÃ¶rsterkÃ¤se (as it was then known). I recalled how often these types of cheeses can destroy that noble grape. To my amazement, not only did the wine and cheese complement each other, they elevated one another! Layers and layers of flavors came through, out of the cheese as well as the wine.
Granted, not all Pinot Noirs are the same. So what might happen with another?
Fortunately, I had the same great successes with just about every Pinot that I tried. Again, not everyone cares for the type of funky aroma that the Bergfichte exudes. Yet if you are looking for one of those drop-dead gorgeous matches between cheeses and wines, I recommend that you try this one.
Because the name FÃ¶rsterkÃ¤se (meaning â€œforest cheeseâ€) is a little easier to pronounce than its original full name, and because many people began to abbreviate the name without the KrÃ¼mmenswiler in front, we continue to call the cheese FÃ¶rsterkÃ¤se, even though the new name for the cheese is actually Bergfichte, that is if you want to get the great one.