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Dec 21, 2012 06:28 PM

Three blue cheeses in need of wines

I like blue cheeses and I like wines. I plan to purchase a quality Stilton, Roquefort and Gorgonzola. I need wine recommendations for each. This should be a fun taste test experience. Thanks in advance for your consideration.

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  1. Spatlese Riesling with honey drizzled over the Stilton....

    1. Awesome question...

      STILTON: Vintage Port is the classic answer, and it works. Not quite as ethereal as Roq & Sauternes, but very nice.

      ROQUEFORT: Sauternes and roquefort is easily one of the top 10 simple gustatory experiences on the planet. Among reds, zinfandel is a very nice match, though there are better matches for zin.

      GORGONZOLA: Among richer reds I like gorgonzola and rioja. Syrahs are also nice matches.

      Other taste-worthy matches for blues in general: madeira and monbazillac.

      You have a great tasting idea... get 4 or 5 of the wine reccos on this thread and cross-taste them against your 3 blue cheese selections.

      7 Replies
      1. re: TombstoneShadow

        +1 for those pairings, based on my palate.

        For Roquefort, I might also add Muscat de Beaumes de Venise. Maybe it is just me?

        For the Gorgonzola (depends on the exact cheese), I might go with a Vin Santo, or maybe an older Barolo, but again, personal tastes.


        1. re: Bill Hunt

          Nope - -I'm with you,Bill -- Muscat to me is much lighter than Sauternes/Monbazillac, but it would work.

          Sweet whites with stinky bleus -- doesn't sound like it works, but it does -- in that ohmygod, roll-your-eyes-back-into-your-head way.

          1. re: sunshine842

            I live in the land of Muscat. Unfortunately it bores me, and I wish people would stop giving it to me. In fact on Christmas day we are going to dinner at the parents of Odile's son-in-law, and I know I am going to bring home at least one bottle of Muscat de Rivesaltes again (most of the extended family is in wine and surely there will be bottles galore of Muscat de Noel about again).

            However, this year with the pâté de foie gras (that I include in the crazy salad that I make at midnight on Christmas Eve for Réveillon) I will open a bottle of Maury Blanc from my favorite winemaker here.

            Every year when I show up to buy my annual case of his superb Cotes-du-Roussillon Villages (Mourvèdre, Syrah, Grenache and NO Carignan), Julien Fournier gives me a sample bottle – and invariably I buy more of this new wine on my next visit. This year it was Maury Blanc (50-50 Grenache gris and Grenache blanc).

            I will try it with my divine Roquefort - the best Roquefort and maybe the best cheese in the world - Roquefort Vieux Berger (old shepherd) from an artisan in Roquefort-sur-Soulzon.

            Happy Holidays to all !

            1. re: collioure

              Collioure- I have to agree with you on the muscat -- we don't care for it much, either.

              BUT -- it's a key ingredient in a simply lovely liqueur d'abricot that I've been making to rave reviews for a few years now. I'd give proper credit, but I've no idea where this one came from - it was posted on a mailing list:

              Apricot liqueur: For 1 litre: 350 g of apricots, 75 cl of sweet white wine, 250 g of sugar, 30 cl of eau-de-vie 40° (I use alcool de fruits...)

              Wash the apricots and remove the stones. Put the fruit in a pan with the white wine.

              Bring to the boil, add the sugar, stirring until it has dissolved, then add the eau-de-vie. Take the pan off the heat
              Pour into a 1,5 litre jar, cover and leave to macerate for 5 days (I usually leave it for 7-10 days - better flavor)

              Filter and put into bottles (2 x 50cl). Use an air tight seal to close the bottle and wait for 2 months before tasting. (end proof about 40 proof/20%)

              It's really nice as a light digestif, and I'm now requested to bring a bottle to gatherings.

              1. re: collioure

                Presented in the FWIW Dept.:

                Muscat de Rivesaltes is a completely different wine from Muscat Beaumes de Venise . . . one can be (to *my* taste) outstanding, the other -- well, I find it good but on the simple, boring side of things.

                a) Most, but not all, MBdV is vintage-dated; most MR is produced as a non-vintage wine.

                b) There are only two grapes permitted in MBdV -- well, most is made from a single grape variety,Muscat blanc à petits grains, but the original application for the AOC (made in 1943*, trying to protect the vineyards in Beaumes de Venise from becoming a truck park for Hitler's Wermacht) called for the wine to contain 20% of the clonal variant, Muscat noir à petits grains. The AOC requires 27HL/ha. MR, on the other hand, is largely produced from the (generally regarded as) inferior Muscat of Alexandria, though Muscat blanc *is* a permitted variety (I only know of Gauby who uses it, and the estate uses it exclusively); it received AOC status in 1956; 30HL/ha are permitted.

                c) Admittedly, I've tasted (primarily) wines in this country, as opposed to tasting at the caves (though I've done that too). I've always found MR to be rather heavy and "clunky," in comparison to MBdV, which I have found to be more aromatic, more elegant, and -- especially those using Muscat noir -- more complex.

                A suggestion, if I may. If you find it, try the MBdV from Domaine des Bernardins (4 90 62 94 13)


                * The AOC was granted for MBdV in 1945, but retroactively to include the 1943 vintage.

                1. re: zin1953

                  Thank you, Jason.

                  That explains my experiences with Muscat. An old vines Gauby MR (no longer produced) is the best I have tasted here.

                  I gave someone as a gift a bottle of '83 MBdV and wondered if it was just ordinary here. Same grapes someone told me later.

                  Most MR here is clunky, boring. However, the better ones tend to have at least 50% Muscat blanc à petits grains.

                  In any case I prefer the vin doux produced with Grenache - that is Maury or Banyuls.

          2. re: TombstoneShadow

            Thanks for all your insights/opinions. This thread has exceeded expectations.

          3. Sauternes (or an equally syrupy, botrytized white) with the Roquefort -- and you could drizzle honey on the Roquefort, too.

            1. The great blue cheese of Asturias Spain (Cabrales) is almost always served w/the local hard cider.

              1 Reply
              1. re: MOREKASHA

                Ah, Cabrales! Thanks for reminding me.

              2. Roquefort--apart from the obvious Sauternes, you could also try a Quart de Chaume from the Loire.