It’s a well-known fact — especially in Quebec — that wine and cheese are awfully fond of each other. 

They go together like peanut butter and jelly or Milli and Vanilli. Finding the right pairing is sure to delight pallets at your next dinner party, plus it will make you feel fancy AF.  

In traditional French cuisine, the cheese plate is served after the meal as a kind of pre-dessert dessert and enjoyed with whatever wine is left in the bottle.

The French have been perfecting the art of haute cuisine since the first mustachioed French lord sat down to dinner at the manor house.  

Thanks to them, Quebec is cheese country. And we’ve got hundreds of artisanal cheesemakers who are obsessively crafting the creamiest and most fragrant smelling cheeses in the world, even as we speak.   

Some of these cheeses are made regionally, some are unique to specific farms, but each is influenced by the unique terroir of the region where they’re produced.  

That means a cheese adventure through the province is in order. Make sure to download the new Route Des Fromages app before you grab your foodie friends and hit the road.  

We’ve listed some of our favourite Quebec cheeses, where to find them, and suggested wine pairings to help you on your way.  


La Sauvagine  

Where: Alexis de Portneuf, Saint-Raymond, QC

Distance from Montreal: Two hours and 45 minutes  

This is a triple cream, a family of cheeses similar to brie but not quite — the cheese rabbit hole is so deep you can practically spend your entire life down there.   

La Sauvagine is runny, buttery and has a hint of mushroom. It has won many international awards.  

The SAQ recommends pairing it with something aromatic and mellow, such as chardonnay.  

Website


Baluchon  

Where: Fromagerie Baluchon, Sainte-Anne-de-la-Pérade, QC

Distance from Montreal: Two hours  

Head on down to Fromagerie Baluchon for its namesake cheese, Baluchon: semi-soft with an orange sticky rind.  

It’s got buttery, herby and earthy vibes with a slight aftertaste of clover.  

The SAQ recommends pairing it with something fruity and medium-bodied, such as pinot noir.

Website


Alfred le Fermier  

Where: Fromagerie La Station de Compton, Compton, QC

Distance from Montreal: Two hours  

Head on down to Fromagerie La Station de Compton for this firm, yet supple, cheese that has complex flavours of mushrooms, honey, wood, and fruit.  

It’s made with raw milk and ripened on wooden boards for up to 24 months.  

It is produced on the Bolduc family farm and is named after its founder, Alfred (the farmer) Bolduc.  

The SAQ recommends pairing it with something fruity and vibrant or aromatic and supple, specifically: Vignoble Rivière du Chêne William 2019 or Domaine Clos St-Bernard 2016.

Website


Allegretto  

Where: Fromagerie La Vache à Maillotte, La Sarre, QC

Distance from Montreal: Eight hours  

The next time you find yourself up in La Sarre, make sure to visit Fromagerie La Vache à Maillotte.  

The cooler climate in the Abitibi area results in higher sugar content in the fields, which means the sheep up there make sweeter milk.  

The cheese made from this milk is fresh, tangy and nutty. It’s firm enough to grate over pasta and also makes for a swell grilled cheese sandwich.  

The SAQ recommends pairing it with something aromatic and mellow, perhaps a bottle of champagne.   

Website


Le Napoléon

Where: Fromagerie Blackburn, Jonquière, QC

Distance from Montreal: Five hours

This firm cheese is produced at the family-owned Fromagerie Blackburn.

It’s named after the family patriarch Napoléon Blackburn, not to be confused with the guy who tried to conquer Europe — but it's just as bold and daring.  

Under the rind, this cheese has an orange colour and it has a fruity taste. It makes for a good quiche, soup or croque-monsieur.  

The SAQ recommends pairing it with something fruity and medium-bodied, such as shiraz or pinot noir.  

Website


Fleurs d’Ail

Where: Le Fromage au Village, Lorrainville, QC

Distance from Montreal: Seven hours  

This is a firm cheese with a mild garlicky flavour. The garlic is added during the cheese-making process.  

It makes for a nice snack, an interesting addition to your cheese plate or to enhance certain dishes. 

You can find it up at the Le Fromage au Village, which is a delightful place that produces handcrafted fresh cheese curds, raw milk cheddar and other fine dairy products.

Remember to say the magic words “I love cheese” and they'll take extra special care of you, states this online source.

The SAQ recommends pairing it with something delicate and light, such as a pinot grigio.  

Website


Le Maria Chapdelaine  

Where: Fromagerie La Normandinoise, Normandin, QC

Distance from Montreal: Five hours and 40 minutes

This soft, white, fluffy rind cheese is made from pasteurized milk and tastes a bit like almonds. It goes nice on bread with jam or jelly.  

They make it over at Fromagerie La Normandinoise along with a number of other delicious artisanal products.

The SAQ recommends pairing it with something aromatic and mellow, such as chardonnay.

Website


Le Ciel de Charlevoix

Where: La Maison d’affinage Maurice Dufour, Baie-Saint-Paul, QC

Distance from Montreal: Four hours  

If you’re looking for a nice introduction to the world of blue cheese that won’t leave you overwhelmed by pungent flavours, this is the one to start with.  

This artisan-made semi-soft cheese known for its blue veins is produced at the Maison d’affinage Maurice Dufour and has hints of mushroom and cream.  

The SAQ recommends pairing it with something fruity and sweet, such as rosé or prosecco.    

Website


OKA 

Where: Magasin de l’Abbaye d’Oka, Oka, QC

Distance from Montreal: One hour

This is perhaps the most well-known cheese in the province.

It was first produced by Trappist monks at Oka Abbey but the brothers have since closed it and moved to a smaller location called l'Abbaye Val Notre-Dame, where they’re still producing delicious artisanal food.  

The original recipe was sold to dairy giant Agropur in the '80s, which is carrying on the tradition.  

You can head over to the Magasin de l’Abbaye d’Oka for this pale-yellow cheese with an intense aroma and a semi-firm consistency.  

Oka melts down very nicely so it’s good for a croque-monsieur or croque-madame.

The SAQ recommends pairing it with a sparkling rosé.    

Website

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