Wine & Cheese from our May 11th Bloomy-Rinded Cheesemaking Workshop

Posted on Tuesday, May 14, 2019 | By Nicole Easterday |


Below are pairings from our May 11th Brie-Making with Sommelier-Led Wine-Pairing Workshop:

Wine listed first and then the cheeses (selected by Nicole at FARMcurious) with which Christina paired them:
  • M. Chevalier Cava, Spain -Macabeu (Mauk-a-beao) is the primary grape used in Cava production. Despite its importance, Macabeu tastes somewhat simple. It has faint floral aromatics, a lemony flavor with a slightly bitter finish that tastes similar to green almonds. Xarel·lo (sounds like ‘Cheryl-ooh’) on the other hand, is much more aromatic with rich floral aromas and pear/melon-like notes. The last grape, Paralleda (Par-re-ya-da), is blended for its ripping high acidity and zesty citrus flavors. Together the three Spanish grapes create a balanced fruity sparkling wine that’s less sweet than Prosecco but not as nutty as Vintage Champagne.
This cava is a beautiful light golden color with a subtle nose of lemons, apples, butter, citrus, and a mineral finish. Meduim bodied, balanced acidity,  pleasant big bubbles. Its nice and dry (meaning not sweet but also not bitter) with subltle notes of citrus, green apple, pineapple, light yeastness, pears, and finishes with  almonds and lime.
This is a great example of cava, simple and balanced, with a nice mouth feel. It’s easy to sip on its on but shines with a bit of food. Its processed in the traditional methode, same as champagne, but for $6 it can’t be beat.
    • Bergamino di Bufala - From Bergamo, Lombardy, this soft-ripened buffalo milk cheese is reminiscent of frozen yogurt, without the freeze. Buttery in texture with a milky, tangy finish.The rind is light and milk, the paste smooth and custard-like.
    • Smith Story Sauvignon Blanc 2017 - Smith Story is known for making old world style wines from single vineyard sites in northern California. They produce balanced wine with minimal human intervention from family farmed vineyards in Sonoma County and the Anderson Valley.
    2014 was their first harvest and since then have produced had sold out of every single vintage produced. They now carry some of the highest scoring wines in California –particularly their Sonoma County Sauvignon Blanc
    This Sauvignon blanc is made with the Sauv blancs of of Sancerre and Pouilly Fumé in mind but very much a Sonoma County wine. Bright fresh aromatic of white fruits and citrus with subtle hints of chalky mineral (this comes from Knights Valley and Sonoma Mountain both that have that have rocky soil comes through and rounded out with dry farmed Russian River grapes) which fold into a wonderfully juicy structure which lingers into a long finish. Each sip makes me want another one.
    This wine is fermented for 6 months in stainless steel- creating a clean, crisp nose and taste. clean, juicy, vibrant, lemony-lime citrus and mineral-scented combination that has our trademark bright acidity and crispy fruit, balanced style on the palate.
      • Locarno from Nicasio Valley - Creamy around the edge with a chalky interior, this cheese is all fresh milk flavors. You can almost taste the rolling grassy hills of its birthplace on the Marin dairy farm that has been run by the Lafranchi family for 100 years.
    • Idlewild The Bee Flora & Fauna White 2016 - Vineyard- Flora and Fauna loosely means the collection of plant and animal life from a particular place. In this wine the winemaker intended for it be a collection of varietals from the cellar that make up the blend for the year. For 2016, The Bee compromises of roughly 53% Muscat Canelli (a.k.a Muscat Blanc, Moscato Bianco), 42% Arneis, and 5% Cortese. The Muscat Canelli comes from organically farmed, well drained volcanic soils on the southwest edge of Lake County. Most of the Arneis for this blend comes from the high altitude of Potter Valley in Northeast Mendocino. The remaining Arneis and the Cortese comes from Fox Hill Vineyard with soils that are well drained with high concentrations of gravel and sandstone. - collection of 3 diffrent grapes from 3 different climates and growing condition creating a beautifully complex wine.
    Intense floral and tropical notes from the Muscat front and center. There is an impression of sweetness, also from the Muscat, but the 2016 is crisp, dry and refreshing. Aromas of tree fruit, honey, hint of tea and straw. On the palate, citrus flavors are distinct with a bit of honey and melon. Positives: a dry, food-friendly wine even though predominant grapes of Muscat Canelli and Arneis often yield sweetness.
        • Mothais Sur Feuille - This is one of my all-time favorite cheeses! A farmhouse goat cheese from the Deux-Sèvres region of France, it is named for the town of Mothe-Saint-Héray where the cheese has been made and marketed since the 19th century. In 2002 it received AOC designation to maintain quality standards. The cheeses are aged 3-four weeks in a moister environment than most goat cheeses, giving it a moister, more unctuous quality. They are turned every four days. The cheese are then dried out by placing on a chestnut leaf.
      • 2016 Prima Materia Barbera, Lake County, CA 2016- 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."
      Prima Materia is a vineyard in Lake County planted at just over 1400 ft elevation and is a sweet little 12 acres. The area is known for its red volcanic soil- this is perfect for creating old world style wines in a new, fresh califorina way. The goal is to highlight the aspects that Lake County excels at, such as high structure, good ripeness through warm summers, evolving minerality with vine age and forward fruit while keeping all in check and referencing what each cultivar's history has shown us in the old country.
      They produce tiny amounts of wine- as in 2 to 10 barrels each. Each is processed by hand with almost no fancy macheriney.  wines are unsulfured for much of their lives, allowing them to evolve as living things and new oak is rarely used. The wines are unfined, unfiltered, hand harvested, and hand bottled, but clean, stable and ready for long aging.
      This Barbera combines 2 clones in a focused package that reflects the Lake county region while respecting it’s Italian heritage.
      This wine is deliciously fruity- I get cherry, Boysenberry, blackberry and pomegranate tones in a round, medium to full body wine. It has good acidity and low minimal tannins with a pleasant minerality. The minimal use of oak in the winemaking yields a vibrant, uncomplicated character.
        • Pave Cardinal by Hervé Mons - Originally from a small village in France called Richelieu (named for the infamous Cardinal), this square-shaped cheese (pave means paving stone) has a light, lactic flavor that becomes nuttier with age. Our was aged 6-8 weeks and demonstrated an interesting mottled rind with big flavor.
        • La Dama by Caseificio Reale - From a corner of Piedmont halfway between the Alps and the Po Valley where lush green pastures and perfect climate create prime dairy conditions. This cheese is 87% cows milk with 8% sheep's milk plus cream. The cheese is soft and ripens with just enough lanolin from the sheep's milk to pleasantly coat your tongue.
      • Mathis Sonoma County Grenache - Grenache is a rarity in the North Coast wine regions of California, and great Grenache even more so. But in any discussion of North Coast Grenache, the name Peter Mathis always comes up. The wine maker, owner, and general magic maker. He was the winemaker at Ravenswood for over 20 years and the wines he produces show his true knowledge of the area, wine making, and a passion for the craft.
      The Mathis Vineyard is 7.5 acres of glorious south facing slopes with low vigor volcanic soils just above the town of Sonoma – heaven for red wine grapes. It is perfect for high yielding top dollar cab and really perfect for less popular, more finicky grenache.
      This wine is a true example of Grenache- The hallmark fruit characters are dried black cherry, raspberry, plum, cranberry, with hints  of currant and strawberry jam. The finish has a bit piney juniper spice and black pepper.This has a classic tannic structure, enough to make it pair with foods but not enough to get you in the back of the throat or makes your mouth feel dried out. Creating a balanced Grenache is tricky and I think he has actually done it with this bottle.
        • 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.