Recently, our Director of Winemaking Mick Schroeter conducted a tasting of various Point Reyes cheeses from their Taste of Point Reyes Gift Pack. “One of my favorite ways to pair wine with cheese is to ignore any traditional notions of what should go together and instead let the flavors speak to me. Below are recommendations and thoughts on each pairing.” – Mick
- Gouda with Russian River Valley Pinot Noir. The Gouda is complex with a nuttiness and hints of caramel and butterscotch. “I loved the texture of this cheese with the crunchy crystals (like a well aged Parm). Made for a great pairing with the earthy qualities of the Pinot.”
- Toma with Rose’ of Pinot Noir. The Toma is described as Pt. Reyes’ “perfect any time snacking cheese” and is incredibly versatile. It’s a semi-hard cheese with a creamy, buttery flavor and a grassy tang finish. “The fruity style and bright acidity of the Rose’ paired nicely with this versatile crowd-pleasing cheese.”
- Original Blue with Russian River Ranches Chardonnay. Known as the “cheese that started it all’, it has been produced on the Pt. Reyes family farm since 2000. The flavor is bold with hints of sweet milk and a peppery finish. “Blues are tricky but the brightness and acidity of the Russian River Ranches went well with this not too powerful version. Nice weight and balance between the two.”
- Bay Blue with Rose’ of Pinot Noir. The Bay Blue is known for its mellow flavor and sweet, salted caramel finish. The Bay is a classic, powerful blue and therefore a tougher match. Once I put just a touch of the local honey (included in the gift pack) onto the cheese, BAM! Both the Russian River Ranches and Rose’ worked very nicely.”
Here are some delicious and easy appetizer recipes from local chef John Ash. These pair wonderfully with our Russian River Ranches Chardonnay.
Frico or cooked cheese is a specialty of Friuli in Italy where it is made from the local Montasio cheese. Any hard grating cheese such as Asiago, aged Gouda, Manchego or aged Cheddar can be used. I like shredded Parmesan which is what I’ve used in this recipe.
This makes a rich warm cheese dip with a light, airy, soufflé-like texture that can’t be beat for any occasion. In addition to crudités, it’s delicious served to top a salad, pasta or whatever.