Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Sort of new cheese class

There was a new instructor for cheese class this month at Whole Foods and the theme was “Spain”. I definitely was spoiled with Mike and Dave because they pre-cut all the cheeses and gave everyone their own plate ahead of time. Then a specific cheese was paired with a specific wine. So it was a little harder to pay attention to the instructor with all the fidgeting going on. At least the cheese trays contained a nice variety of olives, grapes, and nuts which is always an extra treat at Whole Foods.

Still, I had a lot of confidence in the instructor because it was the same person who helped me pick out a primo Scotch for my Uncle’s birthday present. I was really impressed with all her knowledge and once again I learned a lot.

Italy and France are the top two producers of wines and Spain comes in third. While Spain has the largest area of the three for growing grapes, their dryer climate produces a lower yield. Also, the Spanish government only started to allow irrigation in 1996.

Of course we started with a Cava sparkling wine paired with goat cheese, and of course there was a Manchego for the second pairing. But it was nothing but reds after that, which I learned is because Spain is more known for their reds, especially Rioja.

My favorite pairing was a red Rivola with a cheese called Mahon. I think the cheese is what made the wine taste so good but the wine was nice and mild.

My least favorite was the dessert pairing of sherry and blue cheese. But you all knew that already didn’t you? Hehe Yet, I did learn that “port” is fortified during the fermentation process to make it sweeter while “sherry” is fortified after the fermentation process to make it dryer.

Two classes next week...STLWineGirl's cheese class at Provisions and another cheese class at Wine Merchant in Clayton.