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My first wine and cheese tasting

23 Sep

If you are interested in learning more about beer or wine, looking for local pairings or tastings are a great way to get hands on experience.

I recently went to a wine and cheese pairing at the Boston Center for Adult Education – it was lead by Adam Centamore from Formaggio Kitchen.

The class lasted about an hour and offered three different wine, cheese and – for lack of a better work – salty or fruity companions for the pairings.

The menu

The pairings starting clockwise from the top back: Pairing 1, 2, 3

Pair 1

The first was Moses Sleeper (made from cow milk) from Greensboro, VT; Raphael Citron Confiture from Normandy, France; and NV German Gilabert Cava Brut Reserva from Spain.

The brut was a sparkling wine made in an old champagne style. It was very light, bubbly and smelled like green apples. The Moses Sleeper was similar to brie – creamy and somewhat heavy. The confiture was a lemony preserve that was very sweet. Put all together was a very interesting combinations of flavors. The preserve in the mix gave the combination an added zing that was lacking from the beginning.

Pair 2

Next up was Gruyere Vieux (made from cow milk) from Fribourg, Switzerland; Rosette de Lyon from Lyon, France; along with a 2010 Mulderbosch Cabernet Sauvignon Rose from Stellenbosch, South Africa.

Now what was interesting about this pair is that unlike what most people think of rose, this rose was dry. While it did smell like strawberries, the instructor had us hold our noses so we could taste just with our palate. It was very light, with not much flavor.

My sister, Juliann, holding her nose while taking a sip.

However, with the company of the aged cheese and the and the salami-like meat, it gave the wine MUCH more flavor. It was light, sweet and refreshing, almost like juice. I was surprised at how different the flavor could change with a couple complimentary paired foods.

Pair 3

Last was Brebis Abbaye de Belloc (made from sheep milk) from Pyrenees, France; Arraya Confiture de Cerises also from Pyrenees, France; and a 2009 Coopers Creek Pinot Noir from Hawkes Bay, New Zealand.

The cheese was dry and the fruit, which looked like blueberries, were actually cherries that only grow in France. The pinot noir was fairly light in color for a red and smelled like black cherries.

By themselves, each were OK — but didn’t taste right. Combined? Now that was a different story! The combination of the three were simply amazing! I think it was the sweetness of the wine and cherries that helped balance out the dryness of the cheese making this combination one that I could have consumed all night.

All in all, my first wine and cheese class was an awesome experience and one I hope to do again!

Have you ever gone to a wine and cheese tasting?