Wine and Cheese Pairings from our December 7th Camembert-Making Workshop

Posted on Saturday, December 14, 2019 | By Nicole Easterday |

 Below are pairings from our November 9th Brie-Making with Sommelier-Led Wine-Pairing Workshop.

Wine, selected by sommelier Christina Means is listed first and then the non-alcoholic beverage options and the cheese, both selected by Nicole Easterday, our founder and American Cheese Society Certified Cheese Professional.
  • 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, Xarel-lo, 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.
    • Brillat Savarin - It's almost cliché to serve this sweetheart of cheese-lovers but it really is the silk underpants of cheese. Named for the famous gastronome who said "Tell me what you eat and I will tell you who you are", the tripe crème richness leaves no doubt as to who you are. Cow's milk with 75% butterfat and a thin, edible snowy white rind, it's all lactic sweetness with the slightest of bloomy mushroom. It's made to be paired with bubbles!

      Why this works: Bubbles and cheese are a classic pairing for a reason. The acid and yeasty flavors balance the creaminess of bloomy-rinded cheeses. Both are delicious on their own but together they shine, the complexity of the wine and cheese are fully realized when enjoyed together.
    • 2016 Bio Vio Marene Pigato - Riviera Ligure di Ponente, Italy

      BIO VIO is a family-run winery located in the town of Albenga with vines that are over 30 years old. The winemaker, Aimone Giobatta Vio, and his daughters focus on producing three classic varietals biodynamically and with minimal intervention.

      This classic Pigato is crisp, aromatic, and full bodied from Liguria comes from a winery that has been 100% biodynamic for over 10 years. This wine region is particularly harsh and unhospitable making wine production challenging and labor-intensive but also creating a superior product. Everything is done by hand, everything is extremely old-school farming. If you come across a wine from this region, snatch it up! Everything is hand-produced often leading to a delicious and unique product.

      • Locarno by Nicasio Valley - A gorgeous brie-style cheese from the 100-year-old farm run by the Lafranchi brothers. Luscious and oozing, this milky fresh cheese really shined.
    • 2017 Wente Small Lot Pinot Noir Rosé - Wente is so lovable for its history and commitment to sustainability. They are the oldest continuously run family winery in the US and the current winemaker is 4th generation. In 2010 they were one of the first wineries to be certified CA Sustainable Vineyard and have since certified every aspect of the business. We love them for all these reasons BUT when it comes down to it the reason I continue to come back to their wines, they are SPECTACULAR! This Rose is a beautiful subtle pink color with a beautiful nose of strawberry, tropical fruits, and florals. The taste and mouthfeel are crisp and clean with a slightly acidic finish, lots of green apple and grapefruit. 
          • Wabash Cannonball by Capriole - Made by Judy Schad, an American goat cheese making legend, this fantastic cheese is considered one of the few 'American Originals', created with originality, rather than by copying an existing Eurpoean recipe. Round and wrinkly with a delicate rich cream-line and firmer cheese in the center, it's a delight to behold!
        • Vinifera, Gamay, Henry Marionnet, Touraine, Louire, France 2013

          If you are looking for a wine that is just "so" in all the ways this is it! This 100% Gamay that is French through and through due to winemaker Henry Marionnet. In the 90's phylloxera was killing off much of French rootstock so many winemakers brought in American vines. Marionnet would have nothing of the sort and has come out on the other side. 

          This wine is hand-harvested then fermented in stainless steel using carbonic maceration. This light body wine is won over on the nose - floral with red fresh fruits and subtle earthiness, the taste is tart red fruits and a nice earthy finish. The gentle production and mild climate come through in this subtle, yet delicious, wine.     

          • Camember du Pommier - a collaboration between Peterson cheese and French affineur Hervé Mons to develop the Le Pommier cheeses including this lovely camembert. The milk is sourced from herds of the classic Normande cow, a traditional breed that produces rich, grassy milk high in proteins.

            This beautifully aromatic cheese is everything you want in a classic camembert with it's purely vegetal flavor - I pick up aromas of broccoli and cabbage with a light overlay of mushroom. It's funky in the best way and absolutely dreamy with the gamay

            For a lighter-flavored version, try the brie, which is made with the same recipe but in a larger format.
        • Fondo Bozzole “Incantabiss” Lambrusco - Oltrepo’ Mantovano, Italy

          This wine is unique and yet so easy to love! Lively bubbles with a dry and bright fruit taste are enhanced with a charming history. This is produced by brothers Franco and Mario Accorsi on their organic family farm that also cultivated pears, apples, and other orchard fruits. They focus on near-lost indigenous varieties of Lambrusco. The wine is produced using natural yeast with minimal sulfur. This wine is from the Pò River Valley area and is the only appellation outside of Emilia-Romagna that produces true lambrusco.

          This wine has a bright, fruity, red currant nose and a stunning purple-red color. This wine has a good balance of being tart yet still sweet and lactic. It would make a great end of meal palette cleanser that can stand up to high fat creamy foods.

          • 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.
            • Why this works- If you are seeing a trend of acid its not by accident. The acidity and brightness of this wine (and many good French Gamays) is perfect for food. 
          • 2017 Wente GSM, Livermore Valley, CA - I taste luscious violets and blackberries in this wine and it's my new all-around favorite from Wente. Somehow it manages to go beautifully with our fresh goat cheese with herbes de provence, yet manages to stand up well to Harbison, our final cheese from the selection. From the Vintner: "Our 2017 GSM is a beautifully balanced blend opening with warm baking spices and white pepper while counter-balanced by rich blackberry compote and notes of earth. This wine has a round mouthfeel and a smooth finish."
            • Truffle Tremor by Cypress Grove - If you love Humboldt Fog and truffles, this is your cheese! The creamy, dreamy combination of the two is a match made in heaven!