Wines and Cheeses from our March 9, 2019 WorkshopPosted on Tuesday, March 12, 2019 | By Nicole Easterday |
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 March 9th Brie-Making with Sommelier-Led Wine-Pairing Workshop:
- 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!
- 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. 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!
- Smith Story Sauvignon Blanc 2017 - Notes from the vintner: "2017 was tough on yields in Sonoma County, our white wine grape harvest came in very light. Thankfully, earlier in the year we brought on another Sauvignon Blanc grower to our Smith Story family. This particular vineyard, located in the Russian River Valley AVA, is dry farmed and was planted approximately 45 years ago. These Russian River Valley grapes were picked along with our dear Knights Valley AVA and Sonoma Mountain AVA Sauvignon Blanc grapes within the same few days. We harvested on September 5 and September 8, next was whole cluster pressing then fermented the Sauvignon Blanc in a stainless steel tank. We allowed the wine to age on its lees until February 26th bottling. This wine is GLORIOUS. Tasting Notes: Powerful yet mouthwatering. The 2017 is a clean, juicy, vibrant, lemony-lime citrus and mineral-scented combination that has our trademark bright acidity and crispy fruit, balanced style on the palate.
- La Tur, Caseificio dell'Alta Langa - from the Alta Langa region of southern Piemonte in Italy, this cheesemaker has a reputation for fantastic robiolas and this lovely little is no exception. La Tur boasts three milks - cow, goat & sheep - giving it a smooth, round mouthfeel with cowy butteriness, a bit of goaty piquancy and that smooth lanolin finish on the tongue. The surface is all geotrichum brainy softness.
- Idlewild The Bee Flora & Fauna White 2016 - This lovely treasure is a blend of Muscat, Arneis and Cortese and boasts intense floral and tropical notes from the Muscat. There is an impression of sweetness, also from the Muscat, but the 2016 is crisp, dry and refreshing.
- 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."
- Camembert Le Pommier - One of the most authentic tasting camembert-style cheeses available in the U.S., thanks to laws against raw milk cheeses under 60 days old. Created in the Normandy tradition, the milk is sourced from Normande cows, famous for their milk quality. The milk is grassy, rich and high in protein. It's gently pasteurized before a complex mixture of cultures is added. The cheese has a lactic set and careful ripening to bring out the traditional flavors of a real camembert.
- Mathis Sonoma County Grenache - from the Vintner: "The hallmark fruit characters are dried black cherry, framboise, wild plum, cranberry, a kiss of currant and strawberry jam, then tie it up with a some piney juniper spice and a quick grind of black pepper; a little garrigue if you will. All framed in suitable tannic structure, enough to make it pair with foods but never as high as to jamb an elbow in your ribs."
- 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 Farma - 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.