Wine & Cheese Pairings from our January 11th Camembert-Making WorkshopPosted on Monday, January 13, 2020 | By Christina Means |
Below are pairings from our January 11th Brie-Making with Sommelier-Led Wine-Pairing Workshop.
Wine, selected by sommelier Christina Means is listed first and then the cheese then selected by Nicole Easterday, our founder and American Cheese Society Certified Cheese Professional.
All wines (except the Cava from Trader Joe's and the Rosé from Wente) were purchased at the wine shop Vintage Berkeley. All cheeses were purchased at Cheese Shop at Market Hall in rockridge.
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!
2015 Roland Thevenin Bourgoge Blanc, Burgundy, France
Winemaker and merchant Roland Thevenin was one of the first to bring Burgundies to the world market. He was a legend in his village and the Burgundy wine region- he was a mayor, a poet, writer, and overall mover and shaker.Though he passed (1990) this wine is a shining example of his legacy. If you want to know what Chardonnay from Burgundy is supposed to taste, have a long sip of this wine. The current winemaker Gregory Patriat has given us a wine that has a subtle balance of acid and fruit. This wine comes from 3 Meursault parcels and it shows through its lime and buttery nose and a pear and subtle nutty taste.
ll Nocciolo by Caseificio dell' Alta Langa - The only three-milk cheese from our selection, this robiola-style jewel is produced in Alta Langa in southern Piemonte, Italy by the maker of other such favorites as La Tur. This little pat of butter is shaped much like a petit four and is rich, creamy, lactic and slightly tangy. Best served at room temperature.
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.
Besace de Berger- This gorgeous French cheese farm is made by the Fromagerie Le Chèvrefeuille, a cheese factory that has specialized in the production of goat cheese for three decades in Nontron, in the Dordogne in the heart of the Périgord Verde.
There are a couple of theories about the name of this cheese but the one that makes the most sense to me is that it's inspired by the shape similar to the backpack worn by shepherds. The shape was traditionally produced by placing the curd in a cloth or muslin and joining the ends to hang it for draining. Currently the cheese is made with a more modern technique by using molds in the shape of a small bell.
After draining, the cheese it is coated in vegetable ash - a tradition used to keep the flies away and to preserve the cheese before aging. It also adds to the aesthetics and improves flavor.
This pasteurized goat milk cheese matures for only 2 weeks before release when just a slight dusting of geo can be seen through the ash surface.
The flavor of this cheese is really special, quite delicate yet nuanced. The texture when perfectly right is nearly melting just under the surface with a slightly more chalky core which manages to be not 'chalky' at all!
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.
Brie du Pommier - a collaboration between Peterson cheese and French affineur Hervé Mons to develop the Le Pommier cheeses including this lovely brie. 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 brie 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 pinot noir rosé from Wente.
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 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.
Camembert 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.