Monday, March 5, 2012

STLwinegirl Wine and Cheese Pairing Class

STLwinegirl, Angela Ortmann, is now hosting wine classes at BOTH Whole Foods locations and this month’s class was held out west in Town & Country. This class also had my favorite theme: pairing wine and cheese! I have to admit that I've tasted quite a few cheeses over the last few years, but I never get tired of trying more. There are always new combinations to try!

We started off with a light pairing with one of my favorites: Cowgirl Creamery Mt. Tam triple crème with a sparkling wine from Argentina. This pairing is something everyone can do at home! Triple crèmes are often popular and bubbles are always fun and refreshing.

I was surprised that the next cheese was a Gorgonzola Dolce because the more pungent cheeses are usually held until the end, but it was paired with a very sweet Traminette from Missouri. I understand that contrasting flavors are sometimes a good balance but the Gorgonzola was way too overpowering. I try to keep Gorgonzola and blue cheeses as small crumbles in a salad in order to rein in the flavor!

I really enjoyed the next two cheeses since both were firm in texture with quite a bit of kick to them, so of course they were paired with red wines. The Heartland Creamery Aged Gouda was paired with a Charles & Charles from Washington State. The Aged Manchego el Trigal was a bit overly salty but luckily it was paired with a spicy Rioja from Spain. With Rioja, I taste a strong pepper flavor so I figured “salt and pepper” must be a good fit!

The last cheese was a Sotocenere, or a truffle cheese, and was definitely the strongest of them all. It really needed a wine with high tannins, and the Chianti from Italy served that purpose well. Both cheese and wine were too much for me so I had to stop after a few bites and sips. I still prefer to stick with my sweet wines!


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