Today, I’m looking at four delicious wine and cheese pairings from the American Cheese Society (ACS) annual conference last week. I sampled these fine cheese and wine offerings at the California Wine & Cheese tasting session. Let's get started.
Vermont Creamery’s Bonne Bouche with 2011 Robert Mondavi Unoaked Chardonnay:
In French, Bonne Bouche means “good mouthful,” a name befitting its taste. This pastuerized goats’ milk cheese is hand ladled and lightly sprinkled with ash. It is aged long enough to develop a rind and then packaged and sent to market where it will age for up to 80 days. It has a delicious yeasty flavor and creamy soft interior.
The Unoaked Chardonnay has an intense full flavor with baked golden apples and cinnamon spice providing its aromatic base. This pair complements each other’s flavor profiles nicely.
Alemar Cheese’s Bent River with 2012 Navarro Chardonnay:
Bent River is a pasteurized cow’s milk cheese made in the style of Camembert. As it ages for about six weeks, the texture and flavor profile will change with a mushroom-like aroma and taste developing as time goes on.
The Navarro Chardonnay has a high acidity with subtle buttery tones and a crisp finish. It is aged in seasoned French barrels and ovals that offer a delicate and understated oak flavor. This pairing was very balanced. Neither the cheese nor the wine overwhelmed each other.
Valley Ford’s Estero Gold Reserve with 2012 Banshee Pinot Noir:
Estero Gold Reserve is a delicious raw cow’s milk cheese that is aged for a minimum of 16 months. Throughout the aging, it develops a strong flavor and a harder, dryer texture similar to a parmesan style cheese.
The Banshee Pinot Noir starts with cool perfumy aromatics over a touch of forest floor. It balances ripe raspberries and boysenberry against rhubarb and pine. Again, this was a good pairing, but I found the flavor of the Estero got slightly lost.
Goot Essa’s Felsa Yehr with 2010 Silverado Vineyards Estate Cabernet Sauvignon:
This bold, fruity, aged raw sheep’s milk cheese has a delightfully earthy natural rind. The cheese is made in rural central Pennsylvania with milk being sourced from a cooperative of dairies in Amish country.
The Estate Cabernet Sauvignon balances the velvety textures of cherries and plums from Silverado’s Stags Leap Vineyard with big-bodied black berry fruit from its Mt. George Vineyard. This was my favorite pairing of the day. The flavors of the wine and the Felsa Yehr were both enhanced when combined.
Though this is it for our pairings from the ACS conference, be sure to check in to DeliMarket TV next week for our latest Butcher Block segment.