It might be a Christmas tradition for some or the setting of a long overdue catch up for others, but every time cheese and wine is consumed it evokes a very specific emotion.
Comfort, familiarity and contentment – a practice that’s seemingly been around for centuries, as historians have traced the yin yang pairing back to the early winemaking days of France, where the adage of matching the richness or body of a wine with the heaviness of a given food was a well-practised tradition.
Clearly, communities have been sophisticatedly socialising with family and friends over a cheese board packed full of fine ferments for years, and now you can enjoy an evening like no other at Homage, Wood’s intimate cheese and wine tasting experience.
Situated on the mezzanine floor, Homage embodies the comfort of home, a laid back environment accentuated with armchairs that were made for slouching and gold decor that’s nothing short of luxurious.
The space is where cheese is cherished, through menus that combine some of the best, locally sourced cheeses with wines, beers and spirits from around the world.
You can choose from either the ‘Taste of Homage’ ever-changing set menu of 5 cheeses with paired wines and chutneys, or dabble in various cheeses of your choosing, a la carte style. Each one is expertly paired with wines, beers or spirits chosen by Wood’s sommelier team.
Our evening was led by Operations Manager and cheese and wine enthusiast, Michael, whose knowledge is as vast as it is broad, with intriguing facts that bring you right into the conversation without making you feel like you’re being lectured.
The experience is entirely sociable, it encourages conversation between friends that’s extended over a few hours, something that’s sometimes missed from a quick dash to a restaurant for an after work catch up.
The ‘Taste of Homage’ menu starts off with a Brillant Savarin au Truffle, a smooth, soft cheese that’s accentuated with just the right amount of truffle for strength – it’s not overpowering at all. It’s a light enough cheese that goes perfectly with the Riesling wine and English Sparkling Wine that it’s paired with.
The menu then takes you on an expertly crafted journey with cheese sourced from Manchester’s infamous Crafty Cheese Man and Aubrey Allen, a meat wholesaler based in Leamington Spa where the restaurant also sources most of its premium meat produce.
The cheeses range from an Alp Blossom – a semi-hard cheese that’s wrapped in herbs and flowers during its fermentation – to a Lypiatt cheese made from Jersey cow’s milk. A firm favourite of the menu is the Driftwood Goat’s cheese, a creamy delight when paired with the restaurant’s handmade Roasted Red Pepper and Chilli Chutney. This cheese is also accompanied by two, bold red wines including the Domaine des Sables Verts Samur Champigny – full of refreshing dark berry notes.
It’s clear to see the time and thought process the team at Wood have put into this menu. They’ve captured the essence of fine-dining without intimidation. Homage is a relaxed, informal experience that’s made for lovers of cheese and wine, especially those willing to learn a little more.
In an era where a standard, run of the mill cheese and wine restaurant would no doubt get people talking across social media, Wood have instead crafted Homage – an experience that’s reminiscent of memorable evenings around the family dinner table – now elevated to be something much more rewarding.
The two set menus available are the ‘A Taste of Homage and the Favourites’, which comes in at £40 per person and is available Wednesday to Friday or the ‘A Taste of Homage and the Classics’, which is £60 and available Wednesday to Saturday.
Homage, WOOD Restaurant, Jack Rosenthal St, Manchester M15 4RA