Friday, August 13, 2010

Summer Reds with Cheese

It’s been a busy week of classes with Angie Ortmann / STLwinegirl (http://www.stlwinegirl.com) and so I have a lot to write about tonight. We’ll start with the first one, and the best one, which was cheese class at The Wine and Cheese Place (http://www.wineandcheeseplace.com/) entitled “Summer Reds and Rose Wines”.

I was a little worried about attending a class full of reds but was pleasantly surprised that there were a couple of rose wines listed. I think rose wines are sweet and refreshing, perfect for summertime. Angie picked a lot of my favorite cheeses but everyone else liked them too so there weren’t too many leftovers at the end. The first rose was paired with a triple crème that looked like brie. The creaminess of the cheese helped to break through the tartness of the wine.

The second rose was a little stronger, so it was well paired with a thicker Chevre. It reminded me of peanut butter…sticking to the roof of my mouth…so it definitely needed a fuller body wine. But neither flavor was really changed by the other and I prefer a combination that is better than the individual flavors by themselves.

The first real red was Beaujolais and I was actually interested because I have gotten to take part in Beaujolais Nouveau (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beaujolais_nouveau) the last couple of years. The wine comes from the same region in France and had a very fruity bouquet but ended up tasting quite dry. Luckily, it was paired with aged cheddar, with little moisture, so it had a sharper flavor to match up to the stronger red wine.

For the first time I had an aged Manchego, which is a sheep’s milk cheese from Spain. I wasn’t sure how it would go with the Shiraz it was paired with because it had a pepper smell and burned all my nose hairs! But it did not taste spicy at all and the lower tannin flavor went well with the cheese.

Of course you gotta finish strong so the Blue Stilton was paired with a Napa Valley Cab. It had an oak smell and was high in alcohol – 14.2%! So I figured it would have some legs and walk across the table to start a fight with the stilton. I only had small samplings of both!

This means that there is only one cheese class left, beer and cheese, on September 2nd. Hopefully these cheese classes have been successful enough that Angie will have more themes in the future.

Menu:
Delice de Bourgogne Triple Crème
Schramsberg Rose

Homboldt Fog Chevre
Maiple Rose of Malbec

Vermont Clothbound Cheddar
Manior du Carra Beaujolais Villages Unfiltered

Aged Manchego
Thorn Clarke Shotfire Shiraz

Blue Stilton
Rubus Old Vine Cabernet Sauvignon 2007