Saturday, September 15, 2007

Cheese and Wine Pairings from Brett Corrieri


Cheese: Blue Daisy
This is sheep’s’ milk cheese, very young, fresh, elegant flavor.

Wine: Aneri Prosecco di Valdobbiadene NV Brut
An outstanding Prosecco! This is more intriguing than most. Minerally, earthy, and elegant, but with all the ripe fruitiness you’d expect from Veneto, Italy’s premium sparkling wine.

The earthiness from the single vineyard Prosecco (mineral, chalk) goes superbly with “ewwyness” of sheep’s cheese. (Mark begins “eww-ing”) Both the wine and the cheese have a delicate flavor and texture. We all agree: it rocks.

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Cheese: Humbolt Fog
This cheese is Humboldt County California’s second largest agricultural product. This one is a sheep’s milk cheese with a small window of time to eat it. (You know it’s perfect when the inside half looks like ricotta and the outside is runny.) The boys warned that it was “quite pungent.” The rind is completely edible.

Wine: Bertani Soave Classico 2002
This is darker and richer than typical Soave. The wine has aromas of golden delicious apple and a slightly mineral neutrality, which we all agree should be a good backdrop to the cheese. (Mark likes to say the grape name, “Gargenega…gargenega…”)

This is a good combo. The wine lets the cheese shine, doesn’t compete.

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Cheese: Parmigiano–Reggiano Dop 2003
In cheese circles, this popular cow’s milk cheese from Emilia-Romagna, Italy, is called “il formaggio miglioe nel mondo”—the world’s greatest cheese. Brett chose to include it in the tasting “to show how versatile it is and how the taste changes.” He advises to never buy pre-shredded Parmesan: “pre-shredded versions taste like wax.” This cheese is delivered to Corrieri’s in huge, 88-lb. rolls that have already been aged for at least 24 months. Corrieri’s ages the rolls another 6 months.

Wine: Cavit Pinot Noir 2005
This is a good, solid Pinot for penny pinchers. Bright cherry and strawberry fruit with nice mushroomy/earthy undertones.

This is definitely an instance where great cheese makes decent wine taste better. Nutty savory character in cheese (umami?) brings out the caramel hue in the wine.

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Cheese: Gorgonzola
This smells like a fish aquarium. Spicy, tingly, sharp mouth feel. Brett says there are two types of Gorgonzola: Gorgonzola Dolce (made in fall when the sheep have eaten silage, or hay, on the farm) and Gorgonzola Picante or Mountain Gorgonzola (made in the spring when the sheep are herded back to the farm and graze on wild grasses and herbs.) We tasted the latter, which has a spicy, wild flavor. (Mark says this is a great cheese for someone with a foot fetish!)

Wine: Barbera Monteforatto 2002
It’s unanimous, this wine is cool. Great aromatics. We smell violets, roses, and raspberries. It’s more perfumy than you might expect from a wine at this price point. Great zesty acidity, too, which should be a good match with the zinginess of the cheese.

This is an awesome combination. The textures work well together (both are simultaneously velvety and zippy.) Also both are highly perfumed…YES!

Read more from this article in the Nashville Wine Press.

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