WINE & CHEESE CORNER
Announcing our new Wine & Cheese Corner !
Hear!! Hear !! Solera, A Shrine to Wine and Boston Cheese Cellar are getting together to bring you a weekly wine and cheese pairing. Wow!! Make sure you don’t miss out on this new event on Birch Street. All are welcome.
Consider Bardwell, alongside Jasper Hill, is one of the larger and more successful farmstead cheesemakers in Vermont.
The farm actually straddles Vermont and New York States, although the address is that of Vermont. They milk their own goat herd, and use the milk from two neighboring Jersey cow farms to make their raw milk cheese. All of these cheeses are aged on site.
Dorset is one of their cheeses made from this raw jersey cow milk. It is washed in a ripening brine mix, which lets it develop a classic sticky orange rind, as it ages over a few months within the farm’s caves.
The taste is rich and buttery, and the cheese softens beautifully as it ages. It’s a delicious addition to your evening cheese, and should be your next taste in the shop!
Wine Pairing Pietra Santa Zinfandel, Cienega California: Truly old vines such as these are highly sought after because of the extracted flavors they impart, characteristics that are clearly evident in this wine. An annual favorite, our Zinfandel tastes of ripe cherries and blueberries with complements of toasty oak. It is well balanced with a subtle finish of black pepper and sage.
THE BASICS OF WINE & FOOD PAIRING
Made on a 13th century farm called ‘Il Palagiaccio’ in Tuscany, the Gran Mugello (pron: muh-jello), is a raw milk cow’s cheese from the farm’s herd, which is aged for 12 months, and is so very, very intriguing.
It has a fantastic natural rind, which is pitted like the moon and dark as molasses, as it is rubbed with a ‘natural preservative’ – which smells to us like a malty beer. Inside the ivory white paste, is dotted with white crystals, hiding in little pockets and cracks.
It smells sweet, clean and grassy, and the taste reminds greatly of a classic cheddar, such as the Keen’s family, although the texture is softer and more crumbly. It tastes grassy, a bit milky, and has a lovely bright spiciness on the finish.
Wine Pairing Cantine Catena Aglianico, Campania Italy:
This wine shows a strong personality, good acidity and high astringency is his hallmark. This is not a wine easy to forget and it needs appropriate culinary combination. The aroma is very complex. You will immediately notice a slight hint of wood from aging in new oak barriques. Hints of red fruits, dried fruits, liquorice, vanilla, cinnamon and pleasant spicy taste on the finish.
THE BASICS OF WINE & FOOD PAIRING
Summer Goat Cheese
The summer is still here in Boston, and so what better way to enjoy it, than some cool, refreshing goat cheese.
Two of our favorites at Boston Cheese Cellar are the Petit Billy, from the Loire Valley, and Mackenzie’s Chèvre & Compote, from Ohio.
Petit Billy is the lighter in texture and taste of the two, it’s bright, and clean, crisp and fresh, and is perfect to spread onto a little cracker or piece of bread – or perhaps even drizzle with some honey or fig jam.
Suggested wine pairing, Monmousseau, Sauvignon Blanc, Loire Valley France: Flowers and citrus fruit. The wine is young and fresh, but keeps its fat and round character to the taste, with a long-lasting note.
Mackenzie’s chèvre already has the condiment built in! This handmade cheese from a small goat farm outside of Cleveland comes in its own little pot, in the bottom of which contains a generous dollop of a sour cherry bourbon compote.
Turn the pot upside down, the cheese will drop out, and the compote automatically spreads. It couldn’t be easier!
Suggested wine pairing, ‘La Volcanique’ Gamay, Cotes dur Forez, Loire Valley France: Pretty aromatic, raspberry fruit and Morello Cherry.
THE BASICS OF WINE & FOOD PAIRING
You’ve all heard the old food and wine pairing rule – white wine with fish, red wine with meat. And you may have also heard the more popular phrase – eat what you like, drink what you like. In reality, paring wine with food – or food with wine – is somewhere in the middle.
Pairing food & wine is not a science. It has a lot to do with personal preference and taste, so there are no cut and dried rules. In fact, most wines work with most foods, but knowing a few basic rules can enhance your enjoyment.
Match creamy with creamy – Creamy wines, such as Chardonnay or Viognier, can be matched with cream-based sauces (pasta or poultry) or a creamy cheese. You’re matching rich with rich, so the textures of one will complement the other.
Match acid with acid – Bright, crisp Sauvignon Blanc is a lovely match for that fish with a lemon sauce. A good rule of thumb – if the food has lemon or other citrus in it, you’re going to want some acid to match. Some wines to pair with a lemon-based sauce are Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Riesling and Chablis.
Match sweet with sweet – Chocolate cake? Lemon custard? Actually a good way to do this one is to pair color with color. Rich and dense chocolate cake will be well matched with Port or other dark, sweet wines. A light lemon custard looks for sweetness, so a Moscato or Muscat-based dessert wine is not too heavy and can be a perfect match.
Match delicate with delicate; bold with bold –. A delicate meal, such as sole with lemon butter, would be completely overwhelmed with a big California Cabernet. Instead, pair with a delicate wine such as Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc or even a light and fruity Pinot Noir. In the same way a light Sauvignon Blanc would be overwhelmed by a hearty beef stew. For those flavors, a bold red like an Italian or a big Australian Shiraz would do much better to complement the bold flavors of the dish. In short – do not overwhelm the food or the wine.
Match spicy with sweet – A big tannic red with spicy chow mien? No. The dish would be perfectly paired with an off-dry Riesling or Gewurztraminer, and it’s a party in your mouth. The sweetness of the wine is offset by the spice in the food and instead of tasting sweet, you taste the delicious fruit in the wine instead. Pair Riesling, Pinot Gris (Alsace style) or Gewurztraminer with spicy Thai or Indian food. It’s a great combo.
Match creamy with crisp – Another fun match is to use a bright acidic wine to cut through a cream-based food. Take creamy cheese, Sparkling wine or Sauvignon Blanc can cut through that cream and bring out the best flavors in both the dish and the wine. Another great example is Chablis with a lobster bisque.
Match Tannin to protein & fat – Tannins in wine are enhanced when paired with other tannins present in foods, so avoid pairing a big tannic wine with walnuts or chocolate! The two elements that help soften tannins in wine include protein and fat. This is why a steak is such a classic pairing for big red wines – it has both. Protein and fat help bring out the fruit in a red wine, subduing harsh tannins.
And last but not least Regional Pairings
Not sure what to have with a certain food? Try matching region to region. If you’re having pasta bolognese, try pairing it with a Chianti or another Tuscan Red. Rosemary-crusted lamb is a clear match for Chateauneuf-du-Pape. Oysters on the half shell would be just perfect with a Loire white or Albarino. Both are coastal wines, perfect for shellfish. There is just something about the food and wine coming from the same soil and climate that helps to make a perfect pairing!