Sunday, September 20, 2009

Wine and Cheese

I am going to be eating cheese for a while. I had a Lia Sophia jewelry party, and chose to serve wine and cheese. I even got a book from the library to read up on the subject. I paired up four wines with five cheeses: Romano, Camembert, Fontina, Manchego, and Gruyere. Each had their own distinct flavor, and were really nice with the wines. Of course I had to try every wine too, so I might have had a little too much. But hey, it's a party! I really wish there were pictures of the cheese, but I forgot. Here are the almost-empty wine bottles though. The guy at Stew Leonard was super-helpful; pretty much all the wines were based on his recommendations and my little knowledge. Here is a rundown, using a new made-up scoring system: number of things. Five is the best possible number of things you can get.

First, there was Prosecco sparkling wine from Villa Jaime. I realized later that where I've heard of it: Giada Delaurentis uses it a lot in cocktails on her show. So it must be E-tal-yan. It was paired with Romano and Camembert cheeses. They say the bubbles help distribute the cheese flavor on the tongue. I give this pairing "three and a half things." The wine was a bit dry with the hard Romano.

Here we have a Riesling, which seems to have become popular in recent years. It's not too sweet or dry, as some Rieslings can be. It went with a nice wedge of Fontina cheese. Fontina is a very mild cheese, semi-soft, kind of similiar to mozzerella or Monterey jack, which I happen to enjoy a lot. I will give this pairing "four and a half things."

Next up is a classic Merlot. This wine was recommended by Isreal at Stew Leonard. He said it was their own brand, and don't be fooled by the $6.99 price tag. It was quite good, if you like Merlot. I think I do, and this one was nice, but sometimes they can be too dry. Gruyere was the cheese of choice here, and I'm not sure how much I liked it. It was a bit of a stinky style of cheese, which made it sharp. Other guests seemed to enjoy it though, so I will give this pairing "four things."

Lastly, there is Syrah, a blend of three grapes (hence this particular brand: Menage a Trois). I liked this one a lot. It was very smooth, which for me makes it more enjoyable, for me at least. The cheese with this wine was a big hit: Manchego, from Spain. It's a semi-hard cheese, with a salty but smooth bite to it. Quince paste (a firm jelly made from the quince fruit) is often eaten with it, but I served it with fig preserves, which was awesome. I give this pairing "five things."

I hope you enjoyed reading about wine and cheese as much as I enjoyed consuming them!


Emily said...

I'm dying to try Prosecco. I know I would love it.

ardie said...

Yeah it's pretty good. and not expensive, only like 10.99 or somethng!