Wine, NAB and Cheese Pairings from our November 9th Camembert-Making Workshop

Posted on Tuesday, November 12, 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.

    • Fentimans Rose Lemonade (Non-Alcoholic Beverage Option) - The bright acidity and bubbles work well with the rich, tongue-coating mouthfeel of a triple crème cheese. The rose brings a slight minerality to the forefront of the cheese.
    • 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.

    • Martinelli's Sparkling Apple Cider (Non-Alcoholic Beverage Option) - The crisp, sweet & tart apple sings along with the cheese, tamping down the more 'animal' aspects and serving as a bright counterpoint to the buttery mouthfeel of sheep's milk.
      • Dirt Lover by Green Dirt Farms - Sheep's milk cheese from northwestern Missouri. Sweet grass and wildflower flavors when young; fresh hay and meaty when more mature.
    • 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. 
    • Martinelli's Sparkling Apple Cider (Non-Alcoholic Beverage Option) - The crisp, sweet & tart apple sings along with the cheese, tamping down the more 'animal' aspects and serving as a bright counterpoint to the creaminess of this quite ripe goat's cheese.

      • 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.
    • 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. 

    • Teavana Passion Tango Herbal Tea (Non-Alcoholic Beverage Option) - This tea is surprisingly dark and funky, due to the cinnamon, making it an interesting beverage for pairing. Most of the cheeses I tried it with were awful pairings but it really went along nicely with the Besace de Berger, which has a similar funk. Tread lightly trying to put this tea with other soft-ripened cheeses.
          • 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!

            Goat's milk cheeses from the west coast of France tend to be sweeter and less acidic than other French goat cheeses. 

            One of my all-time favorite bloomy-rinded cheeses!
        • 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.     


        • Bundaberg Ginger Beer (Non-Alcoholic Beverage Option) - I really felt like this pairing was a serious stroke of genius. The bright, gingery hit was strong enough to compete with the next two gigantic palate-bruising cheeses. The bubbles helped cleanse the palate, which is a big win with particularly funky cheeses. I'd go back to this pairing is a hot second.
          • Xavier David Camembert - A true French-style Camembert, just without the raw milk (as per U.S. law). Carefully hand-ladled and ripened for only three weeks, this camembert displays the characteristics of milk from cows that have only been fed on crops produced on the Tremblaye farm where it is made: grass, maize, pasture plants and potatoes. The yellowish white rind covers a creamy inside boasting flavors of cooked cabbage, asparagus, collard greens, brussels sprouts and other cooked brassicas!
        • 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.

        • Bundaberg Ginger Beer (Non-Alcoholic Beverage Option) - Again, this pairing was a serious stroke of genius. The bright, gingery hit was strong enough to compete with the palate-bruising Harbsion, an act that can be notoriously difficult to follow. The bubbles helped cleanse the palate, which is a big win with particularly funky cheeses. Yum, yum, yum - give me more!
            • 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.