Just back from another fun Wine and Cheese Cruise – had some very interesting wine and cheese combinations with a diverse and interesting group of people. The Spanish Cava and Fluer Verte was a wonderful surprise and the Shiraz and King Island “Roaring 40s” Blue was stunning. As the saying goes: “What grows together goes together” and in the case of the Australian Blue Cheese combined with the Australian Peter Lehmann Shiraz – this idea is an understatement. Here are the wines and cheeses we had tonight – the wine comments are mine and the cheese notes, as usual, are from my favorite cheese expert David Bennett.
Codorniu Brut Reserva Cuvee Raventos NV – Spain Made with same process as Champagne, The grapes for this sparkler are the traditional Cava blend (50% Xarel-lo and Macabeo grapes) with the addition of Champagne white grape Chardonnay (50%). Fleur Verte Cheese– Elegant, fresh, herbed goat’s milk cheese from France. The tarragon & juniper berries promote a visually stunning holiday theme and fill the nose with wonderful scents. The fresh goat’s milk cheese is slightly tangy and delicious. Paired with our sparkling wine, this is sure to make a thrilling start for our cruise.
De Chanceny Brut Rose NV – France Light pinkish-red color delicate fresh red fruit aromas. Flavors are crisp with hints of strawberry finishing dry with slight mineral at the end – a luxurious French sparkling rose. Brillat Savarin Cheese– “Decadent” is the best word to describe this fabulous triple cream cheeses from France. The taste is delicious, complex, and compelling. Visually, it’s beautiful and the texture is silky/gooey/marvelous. Named for the influential French gastronomic writer, Brillat-Savarin, who once said, “Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are” (“Dis-moi ce que tu manges, je te dirai ce que tu es”)
Frattina Pinot Grigio – Italy From a few miles north of Venice. Fresh and bright, this wine is immediately juicy mouthful of citrus and tropical fruit flavors. The finish is clean and dry with toasty and nutty elements. Robiola Bosina Cheese– Remarkable mixed milk (cow and sheep’s) from Langhe region of northern Italy. Creamy, satisfying, and delightful. The inside is gooey and satisfying. Mixing 2 different kinds of milk lends a subtle complexity to this luscious cheese.
Peter Lehmann Shiraz – Australia A dark wine with deep garnet color, this Shiraz is a serious wine with generous dark fruit flavors within a fine tannin structure. The finish lingers but never turns bitter – a great example of Aussie Shiraz. Roaring 40’s Blue Cheese – Fabulous blue cheese from King Island Dairy, Tasmania. Sweet cow’s milk, produced in a pristine environment, is used in creating one of the world’s great blue cheeses. This handcrafted cheese is full flavored with an amazing finish. We pair it with a bold Australian red but a dessert wine would also work well.