Go Wild with Chèvre and Sauvignon Blanc
Earthy, spreadable cheeses like goat cheese and Brie are a perfect match for the refreshing and zesty Sauvignon Blancs. Try pairing a lean New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc with a fresh field green salad, topped with a crusty goat cheese crostini, dried cranberries, and a drizzle of honey vinaigrette. You will fall in love with this wild combination.
Semi-Hardened Cheeses with Pinot Noir
Surprise your beau with an indoor picnic this Valentine’s Day. Pair a versatile Sonoma Valley Pinot Noir with a mild and nutty pasteurized sheep’s milk (such as Abbaye de Belloc) or a mild and gooey Roucoulons (pasteurized cow’s milk) with its subtle hint of mushrooms. Arrange an array of your favorite charcuterie, complete with crusty bread, hard salami, and marinated veggies. The elegant and jammy flavors of the Pinot Noir will undoubtedly frolic with the rustic and humble flavors of any of your favorite antipastos.
Bold and the Bleu-tiful
For a bold and intense coupling of flavors, venture off to Northeast Italy, where the unique meditation wine Amarone is found. A handpicked combination of grapes is dried out on straw mats inside special drying houses before they are pressed, creating a very rich and complex wine loaded with concentrated flavors of dried raspberries, figs, chocolate, and baked mocha. This high alcohol wine (with an ABV resting just under 17%) is anything but sweet and requires only the boldest cheeses to stand up to its enormous flavor profile. Try gorgonzola, Stilton, or even a very mature Parmegiano Reggiano. Top off this simple pairing with some dark chocolate and a handful of fresh berries and you’ll be in Heaven!
On a budget? Most quality Amarones usually cost around $80, but Valpolicella Ripasso from the same region has been dubbed “Baby Amarone” and will deliver a similar experience for about $20.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Amy McMullen, Sommelier