Gavin Monery, and wine and cheese specialist Dan Belmont, offered a sneak peek of their’Pairing Tour’ scheduled as part of Battersea Bites tent this weekend for We Love Cheese Festival.


Now in its third year, the festival has paired with Vagabond Wines to offer a free festival for wine and cheese lovers.

We started the evening on the Thames Clipper which, if you haven’t been on already, is a great way to travel around London in the spring. 

We were greeted with Vagabonds wine, I had heard a lot about Vagabond since being introduced to the English wine scene.

Vagabond started as a little shop in Fulham in late 2010, and their mission is to provide great wine at great prices – to be experienced by all.

You can buy from a glass to a 25ml to taste of 100+ wines via a machine, which I personally found to be a gorgeous concept. I loved being able to dip between a 2011 Hugel Riesling Alcase and a spicy’shiner’ red.

Additionally, in their Battersea location, you are surrounded by barrels of their personal wine being made. Gavin expressed that England is an interesting place to grow and produce wine and the Vagabond collection did not disappoint.

Tasting is subjective and objective as it has a lot to do with personal memory. For me, the pairing tour tasting was an exercise in self-control.

Dan Belmont took us through The’secrets of pairing perfection’, which wasn’t just cheese and wine but gin and beer too.

We went from mild to wild, starting with a Pecorino and Vagabonds white wine, then a’sweaty’ Manchego – no the sweat is good!- and Sacred gin then finished with the most unusual and my personal favourite – beer and smoked ricotta.

Belmont’s knowledge of cheese caves and affinage (to age cheese) is fascinating and incomparable.

He uses his knowledge of the artisan cheese and a set of five tried-and-true universal principles to marry up ideal pairings – but you will have to go to him to find out what they are.