Wine & Cheese
Wednesday, January 27, 2016 / 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Since we couldn't celebrate National Cheese Lover's Day last week (we didn't have the cheese yet), we're going to do it this week! The tasting will be an abbreviated tutorial on wine and cheese pairings. We'll be pouring five wines and sampling five cheeses to match. The tasting will cost $15; the price of entry gets you $10 in store credit and a 10% discount on everything you taste (including the cheese!).
1) 2014 Mayu Pedro Ximénez (Chile)
This Pedro Ximenez is from very old vineyards on decomposed granite, quartz-rich soils, and might well be the highest vineyard in Chile. The place has a special brightness – we're talking about the quality of the light from the high altitude – that brings the aromas out, this is much more expressive than your average Pedro Ximenez, with aromas of white flowers, fennel and some spiciness, very dry, with high acidity thanks to the altitude as well as tension and minerality. If you like the fresh, austere style, this is a real steal.
2) 2013 Badet Clement Beau Chêne (France)
The nice thing about growing Pinot Noir in the south of France is that you never have to worry about cold years or hail storms. Much more generous than a Burgundy, with raspberry and cherry fruit and a touch of black currant. It is still French, however, so there is a lithe texture and an underlying minerality that you won't find in a comparable bottling from California.
3) 2014 Casa Vinicola Botter Gran Passione Rosso (Italy)
The Italians make a fair amount of really good Merlot, but cannot label it with their prestige DOC and DOCG monikers because, well, it's French. From the Veneto region of Italy, this blend of 60% Merlot and 40% Corvina is one of the best values from this region that we've had in a long time. A great every day easy drinking wine, dark purple, full body, bright vibrant fruit, and a little tobacco on the nose.
4) 2013 JAM Cabernet Sauvignon (California)
Blend of Merlot, Petite Verdot, Petite Sirah and Zinfandel. Smell it and you understand the name JAM as the berry aromas are sweet (that, and the owners are named John And Michelle). Let the wine breathe for a few minutes then enjoy its sweet berry and faint spice and vanilla flavors. This is everything people love about California wine.
5) N.V. Quinta do Noval Porto Black Reserve Ruby Port (Portugal)
Quinta do Noval is famous for producing a tiny amount of the best and mostexpensive Port. They used to sell off the grapes that didn't make the cut into their $600 bottle. But, you know, those were still pretty darn good! There are ripe blackberries, tar, smoke and orange liqueur on the nose that takes time to open. The palate is medium-bodied, very sleek on the entry, fleshy black fruits, sloe, spice and just a hint of white pepper, leading to a very focused finish.
"Geit-in-Stad" (goat-in-the-city) is a delicious Dutch goat cheese. Five hundred years after the early Dutch settlers made their home in New York, Artisanal brought this wonderful cheese to its original caves in New York City (hence its name). This cheese has a smooth firm texture that practically melts in your mouth leaving a sweet mild aftertaste, compared to the far more familiar and stronger flavored cow versions. Certainly an excellent candidate for an introduction to the goat cheese family that can be enjoyed on its own and is perfect for those who are lactose intolerant.
This firm cheese is in the cheddar family yet it has a deeper flavor and a longer finish than most cheddars. The award-winning Terraluna owes its superior quality to the mineral-rich soil where the cows graze, and to the fine cheese-making skills of its producers.
3) Pecorino Sardo
Pecorino Sardo is a sweet sheep’s milk cheese crafted on the exotic Mediterranean isle of Sardinia. Produced to be eaten as a young cheese, it is only cured for approximately 30-40 days. The flavor is quite delicate and mild, reflecting the indigenous herbs and grasses that the sheep graze on. Highlights of lemon and thyme compliment the smooth creamy texture and sweet flavor of each semi soft wheel. Pecorino Sardo is suitable for antipasto, baked pasta dishes, vegetable soups, frittatas, quiches, salads and is equally well-matched with pears, sweet grapes and dried fruits.
4) Gouda 4-year aged
Gouda is simply unrivaled for that perfect balance of salty and sweet. Deep caramel in color, crunchy, crystalline, and meltingly smooth on the tongue, this aged cow milk Gouda bursts with flavor. The hint of butterscotch at the finish is a signature of this Dutch treat. Gouda pairs well with Cabernet Sauvignon as well as a several white wine varietals. If you let a stick of Gouda melt in your hot coffee it will become caramel in your mouth.
5) North Country Blue
North Country Blue is a raw-milk cheese that is cave aged for 3 months. It develops a strong and pungent taste but not with soapiness that is found in other American Blue cheeses. It's a limited production cheese and we are proud to offer after aging it for several weeks in our caves.