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May 15, 2008 10:12 AM

Cheese suggestions

What types of cheese would pair nicely with a Malbec (2005 Terrazas Reserva)? Sangiovese (2005 Cosentino)?

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  1. I think your two very safest choices would include Plain Chevre and Parmesan Reggiano... those are musts...

    My "2nd tier" would be an aged cheddar. I'd target around 4 to 6 years. I'd also consider this an essential for your wines.

    3rd tier choices would include an aged Gouda and Provolone Val Padana. I'd also have a Pecorino Stagianato in this category, all 3 well worth trying but perhaps not as predictable as the Chevre, Parmesan, and Aged Cheddar.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Chicago Mike

      don't forget Piave Vecchio. Works with almost every wine I've put it up against.

      I think the cheddar might be too overpowering.

      1. re: caviar_and_chitlins

        how can cheddar be overpowering for such stout reds as sangiovese and malbec?

        i'm just being argumentative, it's friday nite :)

        1. re: Chicago Mike

          don't make me cut you, Mike! :p

          I find cheddars, especially aged ones, to be (properly) fairly acidic and yeasty. I like them with beer, but not with wine.

          1. re: caviar_and_chitlins

            np, cav....

            to an extent the matching of cheese and wine is a personal palate thing.

    2. The first cheeses that came to my mind were Manchego and Piave.

      I also like the aged Gouda and Parmesan ideas quite a bit.

      1. I'm not familiar with that particular Malbec, so I offer two different recommendations depending on the body of the wine. For a full-bodied Malbec, I would recommend a hard Spanish cheese like zamorano, a sharper, nuttier cousin of Manchego. If the Malbec is medium-bodied, the most common pairing is probably morbier (the zing of the cheese complements the fruit in the wine) but it is a stinkier cheese. If you prefer a milder cheese, I suggest robiola (a soft ripened, creamy cheese from Piedmont) or cabecou feuille (chevre soaked in brandy, and wrapped in a chestnut leaf).

        The Sangiovese will pair beautifully with piave vecchio (they are a perfect match) or if you want something spicy, try it with pecorino pepato-- it is studded with peppercorns!

        IMHO fresh chevre pairs best with a grassy sauvignon blanc to balance the lemon/ tang. Cabecou feuille will pair nicely with a lighter red like Malbec or Pinot Noir because it is sweeter and creamer than fresh chevre. If you have a chevre that is mushroomy and melting, such as Humboldt Fog, then I recommend a big juicy Cab.

        Enjoy and please report back on the pairings!

        1. Try Robusto (available at Whole Paycheck---I mean, Whole Foods). A little more intense than parm.