After several wine and cheese cruises along Pittsburgh’s three rivers (for those unfamiliar, the rivers are: Allegheny, Monongahela and the Ohio), there is no waning of interest. To stoke the enthusiasm even more, our cheese expert David Bennett (I refer to him as a ‘cheese-ist’) invited his colleague “Dearheart” the top cheese-monger from one of the most popular and high volume cheese markets in Pittsburgh, the Pennsylvania Macaroni Company. These efforts brought a very enthusiastic crowd of attendees, all with an interest and passion for what we presented – which makes our hard work all the more rewarding. Below are some notes on the wines and cheeses.
Pacific Rim White Flowers Sparkling Riesling – Washington State. Beautiful floral nose of light citrus fruit, this Riesling is fermented with the skins to add weight and texture. The palate includes flavors that start rich and hinting at sweetness, then finish dry, clean and crisp. Brillat-Savarin is a decadent cow’s milk cheese named after the 18th century French gourmet Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin. An extraordinary cheese, one of the world’s best. Rich and creamy, sophisticated and delicious.
Faustino VII – Rioja, Spain. This wine is light-bodied, super clean, and traditional Rioja Tempranillo. Flavors of subtle red fruits with a velvety mouth feel, complemented by balanced fruit and vanilla notes. This wine spends 10 months in American oak, sourced from PA and WV!!! Drunken Goat – Goat’s milk cheese made in Jumilla, Murcia, Spain. Submerged in Doble Pasta wine (Mourvedre grapes) for 72 hours. Delicate wine taste, fruity, with a sweet finish.
Domaine de Piaugier Les Ramieres – Southern Rhone, France. A big mouthful of clean fruit, this wine is sourced from 45 year old vines in the Vauclouse region of Southern Rhone. A blend of mostly Grenache, with smaller amounts of Syrah and Mourvedre. Flavors of red berry, strawberry and herbs – no oak in this wine – all dark fruits with lingering finish! Fiore Sardo – Sardinian sheep’s milk, made from an ancient tradition that predates the Roman conquest of Sardinia. Milk is from the descendants of wild sheep that still roam the island. Wonderful complexity and flavor. Remarkable cheese!
Bogle Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon – California. Cabernet Sauvignon is a strong and hearty grape that requires a long season of heat and sun to ripen, but then reveals a wonderfully complex reward for the taster. A fine example of ‘new world’ cabernet, with cherry, plum and currant flavors backed by some notes of spicy tobacco, leather and oak. Beemster Extra Aged – Intense flavor with a marvelous sweet finish, a tradition in the Netherlands for more than 800 years. Aged for 18 months. Amazing bursts of flavor and complexity. A taste of honey, caramel, butterscotch.