Wine & Cheese – Broadway Style
One of my favorite local wine bars recently designated one day a month to a special evening of wine and cheese pairing, and any event that combines two of my favorite things is an event I’m sure not to miss.
The Broadway Wine Merchants, a wine shop and wine bar located in the heart of the Willamette Valley in Eugene, Oregon, had their very first wine and cheese pairing event on the last Tuesday of February, titled Catie’s Favorites. Having had the previous pleasure of enjoying cheeses that were personally selected by The Broadways cheese expert, Catie Jenkins-The Cheesemonger, I knew I was in for a mouthwatering treat.
Jenkins paired five cheeses with five wines starting with a French triple cream cow’s milk by Pierre Robert paired with Gruet Blanc de Noirs, a non vintage sparkling wine from New Mexico. This was the first time I had heard of a sparkling wine from New Mexico, and it was really very good. The rich complex flavors and creamy texture of the Gruet were a perfect match with the creamy, buttery smooth, light flavors of the cheese.
Next up was a Goat Gouda from Central Coast Creamery out of Paso Robles, California paired with a 2010 French Chenin Blanc from Domaine Le Capitaine Vouvray. The semi-hard cheese had a sweet scent with delicious nutty flavors and a grainy, aged cheese texture. The wine’s aromas of peaches led into similar flavors and a dry but well rounded finish with crisp acidity. The nutty flavors of the cheese popped with the crisp acidity of the wine, and the two together most definitely complemented each other.
Third pairing of the evening included one of my favorite cheeses: Brun de Noix, a French raw cow’s milk soaked in walnut liquor. The smell of the cheese was sort of intense, but the flavors were mellow in comparison and mainly consisted of layers of milky, nutty goodness. The wine paired with this layered cheese was an equally layered 2010 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir from Evesham Wood. The nutty, milky layers of the cheese were entirely perfect with the berry, earthy flavors of the Pinot Noir – a melodious pairing, for sure.
Spain was the focus of the fourth pairing. Al Pimentino, a Spanish goat’s milk coated in paprika was perfectly aligned with the 2010 Camins del Priorat. This wine from Spain had lively, vibrant plum and spicy cinnamon aromas and the flavors also consisted of dark fruit and spice. With a super smooth texture and good tannin structure , this is the kind of wine that demands food, so I was happy to have the cheese nearby. The Al Pimentino was a creamy, smooth semi-hard cheese with mainly mild flavors except for the kick of paprika that was on the outer layer of the cheese. It was a heavenly match: the cheese mellowed the wine perfectly without overpowering its dark fruit flavors – an excellent choice for a wine with bold structure.
To finish the evenings pairings, a 2006 French dessert wine from Chateau Les Tuileries Sauternes was paired with a French cow’s milk blue cheese, Fourme d’ Ambert. The surprisingly mild blue cheese was creamy and salty with a mushroom flavor, and it paired perfectly with the sweet honey and peach, long lingering, flavors of the wine. The outcome was an impeccable balance of salty meets sweet, creating a sublime finish to an evening filled with delectable aromas, textures and flavors.