Saturday, January 2, 2010

Allagash White

Allagash White is a regular in my refrigerator. It is an excellent Witbier brewed by Allagash Brewing Company in Portland, Maine. It is a staple of almost every craft beer bar or store. Pours golden amber, with low carbonation until you get to the yeast. It has a mild, earthy flavor with a touch of spice. Crisp, dry finish, slightly tart, with a lingering taste of honey. Low on bitterness, only 5% ABV, and very well balanced. Great for any time of year.

- Chris Rausch at Beer. Simple.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Wine and Cheese

I have a new job! I started Dec 15th at Bin 201! I left the cheese shop, albeit begrudgingly. I would have loved to keep both jobs at once, but alas, I was offered full time with benefits and I couldn't say no.

Right now I am celebrating the benefits, and taking advantage of the knowledge I am gaining with this new job.

I really wanted to learn about wine because I know NOTHING. I am not a big wine drinker. I know what I like, but I don't know much else, and I am still not sure what I don't like.

The cool thing is that I am trying to learn to pair specific wines with specific cheeses. To that end I am currently stuffing myself full of my most favorite cheese ever because not only is it PERFECTLY ripe, it is also incredibly awesome when paired with a wine that is made in the same region of Italy. Brunet and G.D. Vajra 2007 Langhe Rosso are from Piemonte in northwest Italy. When I saw the Vajra was from Langhe I knew immediately I had to try it with the Brunet.

The Cheese:
Brunet by Caseificio dell'Alta Langa
Bloomy Rind
Brunette (Brown Haired) Goat's Milk

Photo by Robin


Brunet is 2 cheeses in one. When young, as it comes from the producer, it is dense and tangy. The mouth feel of this cheese is just as important as the flavor. The texture is incredibly smooth for such a dense cheese. The goaty-ness, that general tang is softened and mild.
At room temperature it just melts and yet it oozes less than one would expect from its appearance. As it ages the paste of the cheese, closest to the rind becomes increasingly smooth and creamy. When you keep this cheese at home for three weeks to a month after it comes from the producer (already aged 1 month) you will see the interior begin to melt. At the perfect point of ripeness it has the texture of butter that has been sitting on the counter all day long. The flavor becomes more mild and buttery. It is always a bit tangier than its counterpart Rochetta, which is basically the same cheese made with cow, goat and sheep milk.
The individual portions of this cheese are incredibly fragile when they are ripe. If you put it out on a cheese board you should plan on leaving it there, or licking the cheese off once your guests leave, if you can stand to share it.
Luscious is the perfect word to describe this cheese.

The Wine:
G.D. Vajra
DOC Langhe Rosso
Grapes: Barbera, Dolcetto, Nebbiolo (according to the internet), 5% Pinot Noir, 5% Freisa

Photo by Robin



Deep Ruby, slightly purple in color. The Rosso has aromas of sweet cola, deep ripe fruit, and an obvious sweetness. Flavors are very fruity, with red currants, and a hint of black cherry. Soft with smooth tannins, light acidity that cuts through creaminess of the cheese the perfect amount.


Brunet is recommended with crisp whites such as Pinot Gris or Sauvignon Blanc, but I can't imagine a better pairing. Both of these would probably be incredible with some salumi, maybe some grapes.