It’s a natural pairing, cheese and wine. Of course everyone knows about these natural cheese pairings. But how often do you really think about tasting the complexities of cheese with the wine. It’s often an afterthought for most. It can be much more than just throwing down a chunk of Cheddar or Manchengo with some crackers or bread at your dinner party. This is where Barrie Lynn the Cheese Impressario steps in. I first met Barrie Lynn at a cheese party at our house with some friends. I had won a gift certificate for a private in home tasting and her passion for pairing cheeses quickly became obvious as she laid out the fine cheeses and her now famous “cheese scroll”.
We had the opportunity to enjoy some of Barrie Lynn’s favorite fromages paired with Mosby’s Cal-Italian wines at the LA Wine Fest over the weekend. After working through the crowd of other wine and beer loving enthusiasts, and tasting a few really great wines from Reyes Winery in Agua Dulce and Darms Lane in Napa, we made our way to the seminar area of the festival. We settled into our seats, enjoying the cool air conditioned room, and Barrie Lynn appeared with a wonderful selection of Sartori Reserve cheeses, each to pair with the vino.
The first cheese, a parmesan from Wisconsin Master Cheesemaker John Griffiths, was paired with Mosby Cortese. The Sartori Reserve SarVecchio Parmesan had a piquant, nutty flavor. So as Barrie Lynn recommends we sent the cool wine down the cheese highway. Coating our tongues with the cheese and letting the wine glide down through the mouth and the back of the throat, perking up our nearly 10,000 taste buds.
Next was the Espresso BellaVitano from Wisconsin Master Cheesemaker Mike Matucheski. This is one of my favorite cheeses. I love the complexity and creaminess of the Parmesan and Cheddar, coated with a dark espresso rub. This wine was paired with the Mosby Sangiovese. A nice light wine that went well with the rich espresso.
The final and favorite pairing of the day was the Rosemary Olive Oil Asiago, again from Mike Matucheski. This gold medal winning cheese was paired with the very one of a kind Sagrantino. The chewy, mouth-filling textures exploded in your mouth with the earthy Rosemary and olive oil flavors of the asiago.
*Home page featured photo of Barrie Lynn used without permission. Photo credit Jackie Donnelly Baisa.