January 29, 2015 | by Todd Knoll
I am always seeking the finest artisanal cheeses from California and Europe that pair best with Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon. Red wines like Jordan that are balanced, elegant, lower in alcohol and higher in acidity tend to be more versatile with food & wine pairings, especially cheeses.
Each winter, I gather some of our key staff to hand-select new cheeses designed to pair with our three featured vintages of Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon, served on our Library Tasting and Winery Tour & Library Tasting experiences. This year, the 2006, 2008 and 2010 vintages of our silky Alexander Valley Bordeaux blend of Cabernet Sauvignon will be poured in all of our seated tastings, complemented by hors d’oeuvre pairings and these three artisan cheeses. Book a reservation to enjoy our new pairings before the busy season arrives, or purchase this wine trio online and plan your own Cabernet and cheese pairing tasting at home.
Triple Crème Brie with Truffles (rectangle with holes in photo)
French Marin Cheese Company, one of Northern California’s finest producers, creates this triple crème from pure, Italian Urbani truffles. It combines the sweet creaminess of rich, Jersey cow’s milk with the alluring earthiness of decadent “tartufi” as the Italians say. Made from pasteurized cow’s milk, its earthiness and creamy texture complement the rich blackberry notes and tannins in a young 2010 Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon. Learn more about this cheese with Cowgirl Creamery’s Library of Cheese. This cheese currently isn’t available to purchase online, but there is a substitute available at Murray’s Cheese.
Ewenique (triangle in photo)
Central Coast Creamery, located in Paso Robles, emphasizes local and artisanal practices in their small-batch production, using only rBST-free California cow’s milk and goat’s milk from local farms. Ewenique is hand-crafted sheep’s milk cheese aged for a minimum of four months and features a smooth, delicate texture. The flavor is earthy and sweet, with a savory, rich finish, perfectly suited to pair with the subtle nuances of older vintages of Cabernet Sauvignon, such as the 2006 Jordan. Learn more about this cheese with Culture magazine’s Cheese Library. Available to purchase online beginning in mid-February.
San Joaquin Gold (two, long rectangles in photo)
Fiscalini Cheese Company uses only cow’s milk from the family’s dairy farm next door to craft this fine cheese, named after the rich San Joaquin Valley where it is produced. Encased in a natural, thin rind with a buttery color, the flesh of this cheese is firm with an aroma of toasted nuts and browned butter. Aged for 16 months, San Joaquin Gold has a mildly sweet and mellow flavor combined with crunchy protein crystals, pleasant acidity and balanced salt. Together these flavors combine to complement the fruit nuances in both older and younger vintages of Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon, especially the 2008 vintage. Learn more about this cheese with Cowgirl Creamery’s Library of Cheese. You can purchase this cheese online at Amazon or iGourmet.
Watch one of my past videos on selecting cheeses for pairing with Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon.