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The Wine & Cheese Corner - Syrah Pairings

The Wine & Cheese Corner - Syrah Pairings

SACRAMENTO, CASyrah usually has a low acidity and strong berry flavors. It is a strong and dark red wine. Experts sometimes recommend Sheep's milk cheeses as well as British farmhouse cheddars and well-aged alpine-style cow's cheeses. Blues are not recommended, since their flavor tends to dominate.Wine: Syrah, d'Art, Lodi, 2010Cheeses:Essex Street Cheese Company's L'amuse Somerset's Harlech Redwood Hills Farms' California Crottin

From left to right: Essex Street Cheese Company's L'amuse, Somerset's Harlech, Redwood Hills Farm's California Crottin

Essex Street Cheese Company's L'amuse, a hard, 2-year aged gouda from Northern Holland: Exhibiting a classic aged gouda taste, with protein crystals and a deep amber color, this cheese paired excellently with Syrah. I'm sure this is the best wine and cheese pairing I've tried today. The carmel aged taste compliments the deep tannic structure of the wine. In fact, unlike most aged goudas, which are matured in cooler temperatures, L'amuse is matured at medium temperatures. The texture melts in your mouth and leaves you with notes of salt, nuts, and bourbon.Somerset's Harlech, a horseradish & parsley cheese from England: I loved this cheese. It paired OK with the wine, but the real delight was simply enjoying the cheese itself, either on a bland cracker or by itself. When I ordered this, I was initially concerned that Somerset might have gone overboard on the horseradish. I was pleasantly surprised to find that this was not the case. In fact, the flavors seemed perfectly balanced. I can imagine this cheese would work well in a variety of cooking applications, or paired with charcuterie for a nice snack. In previous Wine & Cheese Corner articles, I've talked about Somerset's Red Dragon (made with whole brown mustard seeds) and Tintern (made with chives & shallots - tastes like a baked potato!) This company has continually impressed me with their unique flavor combinations and Harlech is another great one. Redwood Hills Farm's California Crottin, a goat cheese from Sonoma, CA: With a consistency similar to cream cheese, and a wrinkled geotrichum candidum rind, this cheese was quite interesting. It paired well with the Syrah, and I found it to be more flavorful the more I drank. This cheese has twice been voted to be the Best Farmstead Goat Cheese by the American Cheese Society. I agree with their endorsements, and I enjoyed the California Crottin on a bland cracker. Be sure to check out The Wine & Cheese Corner next week, for new wine & cheese pairings and reviews. Essex Street Cheese Company's L'amuse Somerset Cheese Company Redwood Hill Farm

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