Wine and cheese

The most popular wines and cheeses from Lanzarote

Jul 21, 2023

The island of Lanzarote is one of the Canary Islands, famous for its rich cuisine, including unique and delicious wines and cheeses. Want to know more about these products? If the answer is yes, then keep on reading. We suggest taking an authentic Food & Wine Tour around Lanzarote to learn more about the most popular wines and cheeses of the island and also about its history.  

Artisan wines from Lanzarote 

The wines made in Lanzarote are very special due to the unique conditions in which the grapes are grown. The island is covered with volcanic ash, known as picón, which provides a natural cover, protecting the roots of the vines from the heat and dryness of the soil. In addition, the vines are grown in holes dug in the ground to protect them from the wind and the sea salt. 

  • Volcanic Malvasia. This is a white wine made from Malvasia grapes grown in La Geria, in the heart of the island. It has a smooth, fruity taste, with a mineral touch and a well-balanced acidity. Its history is said to date all the way back to the time of the ancient Phoenicians, who cultivated the Malvasia grape in Lanzarote. 

  • Muscatel. This is another type of white wine from Lanzarote, made from Muscat of Alexandria grapes. It is a sweet wine, with a tropical fruit aroma and a well-balanced acidity. It is usually served cold as a dessert or as an aperitif. Simply delicious! 

  • Red wine from Lanzarote. This red wine is elaborated with grapes of the Listán Negro variety, which is grown in La Geria. It has a smooth and balanced flavour, with notes of red fruits and a mineral touch. 

La Geria

Cheeses from Lanzarote 

The cheeses made in Lanzarote have a rich and unique history as well, as they are not only made with sheep’s milk, but also with goat’s milk, and sometimes even with a combination of both. As with the wines from Lanzarote, the cheeses also benefit from the unique conditions of the island's volcanic soil and climate. 

  • Queso de Flor. This is probably Lanzarote's most famous cheese. It is made from raw goat’s milk and left to age in natural caves for at least three months. During ripening, a layer of white mould forms on the surface of the cheese, known as a flor (which literally means flower). This layer protects the cheese from the air and gives it its characteristic strong, sour taste. 

  • Semi-Cured Cheese. It is made from goat’s and sheep's milk and is left to mature for at least two months. It has a smooth, creamy taste, with a hint of nuts and a slight salty touch. It is a very unique cheese that all cheese lovers should definitely try. 

  • Cured Cheese. It is one of the island’s most popular cheeses. It is made from raw goat’s and sheep’s milk and is left to age for at least six months. During ripening, the cheese acquires a strong, spicy flavour, with earthy notes and a hint of saltiness. 

Cheeses in Seaside Los Jameos

And while we are on the subject of cured cheeses, it is probably worth mentioning how this type of cheese is made. It all starts with collecting the goat’s and sheep’s milk, usually in the early hours of the morning, to ensure the freshness of the milk. Then, the milk is pasteurised, and natural rennet is added to coagulate the milk. The coagulated mass is then cut into small pieces and placed in cheese moulds. The moulds are then pressed to remove excess liquid. 

After removing the mould, salt is added to the cheese and then the cheese is placed in a ripening room at a temperature of around 15°C, with about 80% humidity. During the ripening process, cheeses are regularly turned and rubbed to prevent the growth of unwanted mould. At the end of the ripening process, the cheese acquires a dark yellow colour and a hard, grainy texture. 

Cheese and wine tasting and pairing 

Lanzarote’s cured cheeses can be enjoyed on their own or with other foods such as bread, olives and wine. They are also used in cooking to add flavour to a wide range of dishes, from salads to pasta to soups. 

In short, this type of cheese has a strong, sharp flavour and is made from raw goat’s and sheep’s milk and left to age for at least six months. It is a very popular product on the island and can be enjoyed on its own or with other foods. For example, it can be paired with one of the local wines. Surrender to the pleasures of the traditional cuisine of Lanzarote at Seaside Los Jameos. Enjoy an explosion of flavours, an incredible tasting of cheeses and wines right on the palate!