Wine and Cheese: Pairing Locals and Imports

Karissa Kruse, pouring Argot Wines with a smile. Photo by Melissa Vogt

This past week, The Local Dish had the pleasure of attending an event called Big Beers, Bold Wines, and Stoke 9. This gathering was hosted by Don Davis, founder and chief wine officer of Uncorked Events, a local San Francisco company that “was created to bring the Bay Area the ultimate in wine lifestyle events.”

We were particularly excited about the variety of wines from California, as well as wines imported from around the world. We sampled wines from Vina Robles, Argot Wines, and Meerlust Winery, paired with some amazing cheeses from local Italian grocer A.G. Ferrari. Join us for some delicious wine & cheese pairings!

The first pairing featured Vina Robles winery. Vina Robles is located in Paso Robles, California, and the vineyards have been growing for over seventeen years.  Derek Rodgers, Northern California Sales Manager, poured the 2007 Signature Petit Verdot. This delicious red was paired with provolone dolce, a semi-hard cheese that had just enough bite, but didn’t overpower the flavor of the wine. The salty sharpness of the provolone enhanced the spiciness of the vintage, and at only 500 cases per year, this red was a rare treat for coupling with this savory cheese.

Cheese to be paired with the delicious wines!

The second pairing featured Argot Wines from Santa Rosa, California. Karissa Kruse is the owner of Argot Wines, and poured a wonderful 2008 Syrah, which was paired with a pesto mozzarella. This wine had a very rich and complex texture, and having been aged 30 months, is often described as having a meaty flavor. The meatiness of this wine complimented the thick texture of the mozzarella and the raw garlic in the pesto brought out the dark and robust flavor of the wine—an excellent combination.

The third and final pairing featured wine imported from Stellenbosch, South Africa. Theresa and Gordy Wray poured a 2006 Rubicon from Meerlust Winery.  This invigorating red is made of 74% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Cabernet Franc, and 8% Merlot grapes, and paired quite well with a grana podana cheese. The texture of this dry, crumbly, parmesan-like cheese was a wonderful fusion with the dry and acidic finish of the wine.

Learning which pairings work best together is a fun and delicious way to spend an evening! We enjoyed getting to know some local (and far away) vendors. Now we’re armed with some ideas for our next at-home tasting party.

Have a favorite wine and cheese pairing? Share it with us in the comments!

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