How to Perfectly Pair Wine & Cheese
From dinner parties to a cozy night in, having a great wine and cheese pairing is crucial to rounding out a sophisticated evening. Let Executive Chef David DiGregorio of Osteria Via Stato guide you in choosing the right wine and cheese for your next soiree.
Parmigiano Reggiano – Italy’s “King Of Cheese”
Parmigiano-Reggiano, Parma – A distinctive buttery aroma hints at the barrage of nutty sweetness and spice followed by a salt-caramel finish. Those white specks are clusters of amino acids. They reflect proper aging and create a delightful crunchy texture. This hard, salty cheese must be aged for at least 12 – 36 months. To be stenciled with the words Parmigiano Reggiano, the cheese must have been made in Bologna, Mantua, Modena, or Parma. Each wheel of Parmesan cheese must be carefully inspected by a governing body that oversees the quality and standards of this Italian treasure – the Consorzio Parmigiano Reggiano. You can put parm on anything, but a traditional approach might involve ribbons of prosciutto.
Tenuta Guado al Tasso “Il Bruciato” 2016, Bolgheri – The wine is a modern interpretation of Bolgheri’s unique terroir made from carefully selected Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah grapes from Guado al Tasso’s vineyards. Aged Parmigiano is a nutty, nuanced, hard cheese with a distinct crumble, and the mouthwatering fruit of Il Bruciato balances its salty richness.
La Tur, Piedmont – This is a dense, creamy blend of pasteurized cow, goat and sheep milk that originates from Piedmont and has a tangy acidic flavor without crossing over into being pungent. La Tur is an Italian Robiola style of cheese made by lightly pasteurizing all three kinds of milk, being careful not to scorch it. It turns into curds which are then ladled into molds. The molds drain under their own weight and then ages for a total of 10 days. Runny and oozing around the perimeter with a moist, cakey, palette-coating paste, its flavor is earthy and full, with a lingering lactic tang. The effect is like a scoop of ice cream; decadent and melting from the outside in.
Antinori Franciacorta “Cuvée Royal” NV, Lombardia – The crisp effervescence of Franciacorta makes for a great pairing with richer, fattier cheeses that coat the mouth. Effervescence will whisk away the richness while matching the mild acidity, while the pretty notes of sweet honeysuckle and butterscotch will provide a harmonious flavor pairing.
Moody Blue Smoked
Roth Moody Blue, Wisconsin – Moody Blue is a classic blue cheese, which is delightfully creamy with a subtle smoky flavor. Made in small batches from the freshest Wisconsin cow milk, it is smoked over fruitwood which results in a sultry, mouthwatering flavor with hints of roasted nuts and coffee. It presents as dry and crumbly, which makes it great to sample on its own or mix with other things like salad or fresh fruit. Something lightly sweet, such as honey or grapes, make for an ideal accompaniment.
Tormoresca Primitivo “Torcicoda” 2017, Puglia – This wine is rich and ripe with notes of plums, cherries, vanilla, and chocolate. Torcicoda’s sweet fruit and full body provide a beautiful compliment to the smoky-savory saltiness of the Moody Blue.