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The Wine & Cheese Corner - Primitivo Pairings

The Wine & Cheese Corner - Primitivo Pairings


SACRAMENTO, CAFor this special edition of The Wine & Cheese Corner, the wine is taking a backseat. I have tasted 5 cheeses, all of which are from Beehive Cheese Company in Utah. This company's cheeses have quickly earned my favor, with innovative flavors added to a delicious base cheese. In each case, flavors are added to Beehive's Promontory, an Irish-style cow's milk cheese, providing each hand-rubbed cheese with a distinctly different profile. In all cases, the rind had tremendously more of the added flavor than the rest of the cheese, but the added flavors were apparent throughout.Wine: Primitivo, Twisted Rivers, Clarksburg, 2008cropped_Image_032014Cheeses (All From Beehive Cheese Company):Apple Walnut Smoked Big John's Cajun Ipanema TeaHive Barely Buzzedcropped_Image_032014

From left to right: Apple Walnut Smoked, Big John's Cajun, Ipanema, TeaHive, Barely Buzzed

Apple Walnut Smoked: The smoky taste reminded me of bacon. This cheese is cold-smoked using walnut shells and slices of red apple. It has a subtle nutty flavor, and I definitely noticed notes of smokiness. I liked this cheese, and it paired well with the wine.Big John's Cajun, with a spicy cajun rub: I've reviewed this cheese in a previous Wine & Cheese Corner. It's one of my all-time favorites. The wine & cheese bar where I frequent has an amazing mac & cheese made from this particular cheese. As with the Zinfandel pairing in the previous article, it again paired well in this case with the Primitivo. Ipanema, rubbed with Sierra Nevada cultured butter and Crio Bru cocoa beans: I'll start by saying that this was not my favorite wine and cheese pairing. However, Ipanema had a very interesting and complex flavor, and its buttery taste paired nicely with bread and crackers. Overall, it's a very special cheese, unlike others I've tried.TeaHive, rubbed with Earl Grey tea: Having reviewed this one before, I'm still amazed by this combination of cheese and tea. They go so well together, and I can't think of another instance when I've eaten tea itself. It works as a rub without being overwhelming. As far as pairing it with the wine, it was just fine, though they did not complement one another as much as the last cheese I tried.Barely Buzzed, rubbed with espresso coffee and lavender: This combination of coffee and lavender is spectacular. I first tried this cheese at the Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco in January. I'm surprised I have not found this one in more stores, given that it is so unique compared to what else is available. The pair with a bold, dark, red wine was great. I have also sampled this one paired with coffee flavored beers. Delicious. Beehive Cheese Company