Wine & Bloomy-Rinded Cheese Pairings from our January 26, 2019 Workshop

Posted on Wednesday, January 30, 2019 | By Nicole Easterday |

Cheesemaking and Wine-Tasting with FARMcurious

Thanks to my bloomy-rinded cheese-making class and the wine expertise of my favorite sommelier Melissa Smith from Enotrias, I've once again had the opportunity to select a collection of incredible bloomy-rinded cheeses and taste them with Melissa's amazingly curated collection of wines.

Below are pairings from our January 26th Brie-Making with Sommelier-Led Wine-Pairing Workshop:

Wine listed first and then the cheeses (selected by Nicole at FARMcurious) with which Melissa paired them:
  • M. Chevalier Cava, Spain - This is the magic little cava Melissa describes in her How to be a Wine Baller on a Budget class at Stanford. For only about $6 at Trader Joe's, you'll be hard-pressed to find another more drinkable and affordable cava!
  • 2017 Grüner Veltliner, Berger, Austria - Grüner Veltliner is Austria’s signature white grape (and the country’s most planted variety), and Berger’s GV, as Grüner is known, is about as far from generic as you’ll find in a bottle at this price. The nose reveals the pretty, ripe fruit of a strong vintage — green apple and tropical fruit, with touches of wet stone and saline. This un-oaked wine is delightfully crisp on the palate, with more green apple (and skins), white flowers, honeysuckle, a touch of grapefruit, and more than a hint of the white pepper that GV is known for
    • Camembert di Bufala, La Casera, Lombardy, Italy - This cheese is a lovely example of the trend in Lombardy to mix traditional cheesemaking with the accessibility of local buffalo milk. In the style of French Camembert, the butterfat-rich Buffalo milk gives the cheese a lush texture and slightly fruity flavor in a  soft-ripened cheese. Rich, runny, earthy, creamy, with a nice hint of sweetness. 
    • 2015 Valtellina Superiore "Costa Bassa", Sandro Fay, Lombardy, Italy - I tasted pure cherry when we paired this one with the cheese, reminiscent of the cherries atop a cherry cheesecake. "A gorgeous and immediately accessible expression of Nebbiolo. Carries the freshness and vitality of youth with the complexity and depth often revealed by age. One of Valtellina’s most “Barolo-like” wines in profile but not power. Aromas bring to mind classic Nebbiolo notes: deep, dark cherry; roses; licorice and a faint trace of cinnamon bark and leather. Somewhat stemmy on the edges, although it does not appear to be whole-cluster fermented. Elegant and energetic. Feels natural and unadulterated by oak. Short finish by Nebbiolo standards." - Kevin Day, Opening A
        • Kunik, Nettle Meadow, New York, USA- A triple crème bloomy rind with a tangy, buttery flavor, made from goat’s milk and cow cream. 

          This cheese has won the 2010 Triple Crème Blue Ribbon at the American Cheese Society’s annual North American Cheese Contest,  a Gold Medal at the 2016 World Cheese Championship and a gold medal at the New York State Fair in 2016.

        • Little Hosmer, The Cellars at Jasper Hill, Vermont, USA -

          An approachable and nuanced soft ripened cheese. Beneath its thin, bloomy-rind lies a gooey, milky core showing a complex array of flavors at peak ripeness: cauliflower, crème fraiche, and toasted nuts.  A bright, clean finish with a hint of white mushroom aroma follows the rich flavors of the paste. Litte Hosmer was the Winner of 'Super Gold' Award 2017 at the World Cheese Awards

    • 2016 Prima Materia Barbera Winery, Lake County, CA - An absolutely smooth and decadent Barbara with hints of black cherries and cocoa. "Tasting notes: Boysenberry, blackberry and pomegranate tones in a round, medium-weight package with characteristic good acidity and low but slight tannin. Good minerality. No new oak."
      • Sappy Ewe,  Nettle Meadow, New York, USA –

        Sheep and cow curds coated with an Adirondack maple reduction, formed into a crotin-sized mold. The cheese is aged to perfection then patted with edible pine black ash for a dramatic finish, creating a symphony of traditional Adirondack flavors. Sappy Ewe won Second Place at the 2017 U.S. Cheese Championships for mixed milk bloomy rinds.

    • 2016 Petite Sirah, Concannon Vineyards, Livermore Valley, CA - "Fantastic depth and character. It exhibits a rich nose of fresh berry fruit, and the flavorful palate shows blackberries, chocolate, mocha and plums. Subtle notes of molasses, cedarwood, and ripe mulberries are complemented by soft, creamy oak tones and a smooth, silky finish." - Napa Cabs
        • Brie with Truffles, Maison de Truffe, France -

          A wheel of the buttery PDO cheese Brie de Meaux is sliced horizontally and stuffed with a thick layer of creamy, black truffle-studded mascarpone to create a delectable, three-layer sandwich of rich, silky cheese. Immense truffle flavor in every mouthful, this decadent creation shows hints of olive oil and mushroom. The fudgey, truffled center is as decadent as a cheese comes. 

        • Harbison by The Cellars at Jasper Hill - Made 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.

        Cheesemaking and Wine-Pairing with FARMcurious

        For any questions about the wine pairings or information on wine cellar evaluations, feel free to reach out to Melissa Smith at Enotrias.

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