Wine & Bloomy-Rinded Cheese Pairings from our November 17, 2018 Workshop

Posted on Monday, November 19, 2018 | By Alycia Lang |

FARMcurious Wine and Cheese Pairing Berkeley 

Thanks to my bloomy-rinded cheese-making class and the wine expertise of my favorite sommelier Melissa Smith from Enotrias, I've one 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 November 17th 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:

  • 2016 Petit Bourgeois Sauvignon Blanc, Loire Valley, France - Bringing out the crispness of a Touraine Sauvignon, this wine is full of herbal flavors, crisp acidity and a soft fruity character. It is immediately attractive, simple, bright and ready to drink 
    • Mothais Sur Feuille - A farmhouse goat cheese from the Deux-Sèvres region of France; the cheeses are aged in a moister environment than most goat cheeses then dried out by placing on a chestnut leaf.

    • Couronne de Fontenay - One of the several French cheeses coming from master affineur Rodolphe Le Meunier. The name of this elegant cheese means "crown" as it shaped in a small crown-shaped ring. We playfully call it "The doughnut". This French cheese made with a pasteurized milk has a bright, lactic flavor and is coated with vegetable ash a classic Loire Valley appearance. After a 1-month aging period, Couronne de Fontenay grows a bloomy geotrichum rind. The longer it's allowed to age, the drier the inner paste becomes while creating a creamy paste closest to the rind – bright, lactic flavors.

  • 2015 Vietti Barbera d'Asti Tre Vigne - Ruby purple color with ripe red cherry aromas with hints of mineral and vanilla. A dry, medium bodied red wine with refreshing acidity (making it perfect to pair with cheese!) and soft tannins, the Barbera d’Asti Tre Vigne is well balanced with good integration of oak, good complexity and a finish of more red cherries.
    • Bergamino di Bufala by La Casera - Produced in Bergamo, Lombardy, this soft ripened buffalo milk cheese is a perfect addition to any cheese plate. Buttery in texture with a milky, tangy finish, the Bergamino is a great alternative for those who have sensitivities to cow's milk. It has flavors of fresh milk fruit and a subtle tang. Its texture is buttery, smooth and custardy. The rind is light and mild, while the paste is bright white.

    • Robiola Incavolata - A beautiful robiola from Piedmont made from a mix of goat and cow's milk and then wrapped and aged in cabbage leaves. When young, the cheese has a thick cakey texture and a beautifully complex flavor. As it ages, the cheese starts to mellow, and through contact with the leaves, it develops a vegetal strength in its aroma and flavor. At its ripest, it oozes out through the leaves.  If you're lucky enough to get one at this stage, serve it up on a sloped plate to catch all the gooey goodness. The fresh disks are wrapped at 10 days old, then matured for 20 more days before shipping. Although they might be at their prettiest when they first arrive and the leaf is bright green and fresh looking, they will only improve over the next couple of weeks. As the leaf dries and yellows, the cheese becomes more luscious and fragrant, with the scents of earth, white truffle and mushroom. 

  • 2017 Love Red by Broc Cellars -  WINEMAKER’S NOTES: The Love Red grapes were harvested in the second week of September to preserve the grape’s natural acidity. The Carignan and Syrah were both whole cluster fermented and de-stemmed in concrete and stainless tanks. The Valdiguié went under carbonic fermentation in stainless steel. Aged for 8 months in concrete and neutral French oak barrels.

    VITICULTURAL AREA: The grapes come from 70 year old vines in Solano County’s Green Valley. This area is tucked between Napa and Suisun Valley. Parenti and Wirth Ranch each provide Syrah and Valdiguié for this blend. The Carignan comes solely from Parenti Vineyard. The Cabernet Sauvignon comes from Wirth. The grapes of each vineyard grow in clay loam soils and come from mostly dry-farmed and head-pruned vines.
    BLEND: 50% Carignan, 36% Valdiguié, 8% Syrah, 6% Cabernet Sauvignon

    We started making our Love Wines because we want to provide a more affordable everyday drinking wine to a larger market while still espousing the key tenets we believe in --- minimal intervention and sustainable farming. The Love wines are larger production blends by design. We still use only native yeasts and bacteria for fermentation with no additives or adjuncts, but we do choose to use trace amounts of SO2 at bottling. Each of the Love blends contain grapes from vineyards with varying degrees of intervention and the vineyards and blends can change with each vintage.

    • Cacio di Langa con Pere “Matrin” Candite by Gianni Cora Formaggi – From Alta Langa in Piedmont, this delectable three-milk cheese features a candied Martin pear encased in sweetened curd for a real treat. Cow, goat, sheep, cream.

    • Sheffield Village Camembert - A tasty little secret made from cow's and goat's milk
  • 2016 Lusu Cellars El Dorado The Stonecutter Zinfandel - This had to be a big wine to stand up to a big cheese. Lusu Cellars produces Heritage California and Rhone varietals. They source from dry-farmed and sustainable family-owned vineyards, using minimal winemaking practices to extract the essence of each vineyard. Their winemaking practices focus on showcasing the characteristics of the grapes and the earth they grow in. They believe that the entire process is just as important as the results for each wine we make. They make wines from varietals that they love, and their passion for the winemaking process goes into every bottle. 

    • 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.

    Melissa Smith of EnotriasFor 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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