Cheese & Wine Pairings from our March 12, 2022 ClassPosted on Monday, March 14, 2022 | By Nicole Easterday |
1. M. Chevalier, Cava, Spain
Cava is Spain’s response to Champagne and is produced in the same manner so some characteristics overlap. It has a similar mouthfeel, medium-bodied with pleasant big bubbles and a nice bit of acid on the finish that cuts through the creaminess of brie. Cava is a blend of 3 Spanish grapes - Macabeau, a simple grape with floral notes and slightly bitter lemon and green almond finish, Xarello, aromatic with a rich floral nose and a sweet pear and melon taste, and Paralleda- a high acid grape blended in to add zesty citrus notes.
- Brebirousse d'Argental - This bright orange French sheep's milk cheese may look like it's going to deliver a punch but it's all sheepy creaminess and goopy brie goodness. Rather than being washed, as its appearance would suggest, this cheese's exterior is rubbed with annatto, offering a bright pop to your cheese plate. The sheep's milk, which is higher in milkfat, delivers luscious goodness and creamy, rich texture. This one is so easy to love!
- Fromager D'affinois Plain Brie - This is the most exported cheese out of France and with good reason! With it's very slightly mushroomy rind and truly smooth and creamy paste, it's a real crowd-pleaser. D'affinois tends to be a top seller at most cheese counters, whether artisanal or more of a grocery setting. An easy-to-find cheese, this little brie gets its ooey-gooey texture not by adding additional cream, but by using a patented method of ultra-filtration, which breaks up and dispersed the fat throughout the cheese. While it stands well on its own, try wrapping this one in phylllo dough and baking it with some jam this holiday season.
L'Original Paysan-Breton -This traditional Brie from Brittany in France is one of the few that is truly a "lactic set", which means it uses less rennet and takes a longer time to mature. This process results in a stronger flavor due to longer ripening time, resulting in a very traditionally ‘French’ flavor. You’ll find it quite unlike most bries you’ll find in the US. The textured boasts a silky, creamy yet supple paste with a full, cooked cabbage and mushroomy flavor.
While you won’t find AOC Brie in the US, this cheese is about as close as you’ll get flavor-wise. Pair it with a nice, full-bodied, full flavored earthy old-world-style wine and pretend you’re in Paris.
Couronne de Fontenay - One of the several French cheeses coming from master affineur Rodolphe Le Meunier. The name of this elegant cheese means "crown" as it shaped in a small crown-shaped ring. We playfully call it "The doughnut". This French cheese made with a pasteurized milk has a bright, lactic flavor and is coated with vegetable ash a classic Loire Valley appearance. After a 1-month aging period, Couronne de Fontenay grows a bloomy geotrichum rind. The longer it's allowed to age, the drier the inner paste becomes while creating a creamy paste closest to the rind – bright, lactic flavors.
This was my favorite cheese of the day as well as my favorite pairing! I could see by all the 9's and 10's that many of you liked this one the best as well.
This wine comes from one of the smallest DOC regions of Italy with only 10 winemakers and about 45 acres of vines dedicated to the rare Pelaverga grape. Giovan Battista Burlotto, the Commander to friends and Family, started making wine and bottling (at this time wine was usually in Casks) in the mid 1800’s. When he died in 1927 the winery all but disappeared. Today the estate is run by the Commander’s great-great grandson Fabio. He has done a phenomenal job of both revitalizing this estate and establishing a name for himself as one of the leading winemakers utilizing traditional processes and grapes. This wine has the color of dark cherries (opposed to the rust color of most wines from the surrounding areas), a red berry nose with a peppery finish, and fruit driven taste with a subtle earthy finish. It is naturally produced and a wonderful food wine and perfect for the fall, still light in body but offers some complexity.
- Harbison by The Cellars at Jasper Hill - Made by one of the best cheesemakers in the country - Mateo Keuhler and the team at Jasper Hill Farms - from cow's milk and wrapped in spruce bark. This big, bold cheese is a show-stopper. People claim to taste everything from cheeseburgers to bacon to hot dogs in this smoky, delectable cheese. It's often served with the top cut off so you can dip right into its gooey interior like fondue.
- Blue Brain by Jumi - Coined the "Moldiest Cheese in the World" when it's aged up to 6 months, our bite was a young, fresh and lactic version which hadn't come anywhere near it's most moldiest potential. Like our brie/camembert in class, this cheese is inoculated with Geotricum candidum, creating that lovely frosty looking surface. This was one of my favorite pairings of the day - the slight effervescence in the wine really elevated the big flavor of the cheese and I tasted a pleasing black licorice sort of finish in my mouth well after the cheese and wine was gone.