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This week’s WineGuyMike™ Radio Show© Topic; Wine and Cheese, we’re talking about a old world medium bodied red wine and a crisp, dry, new world white varietal wine that pair well with the cheese we are enjoying on the show this morning.
Old World wines from Europe typically dictate the type of grapes grown, how the wines are made and in some cases the amount of grapes harvested. A New World wine that is not from Europe is typically defined by geographic areas but do not interfere with grape growing, picking, or wine making. Now this is an entire study unto itself but this is the much abbreviated version.
Boroli “Quattro Fratelli” 2007 Barbera $14.00-$16.00 – from Piedmont, Italy – this is a great transitional wine, stepping out from new to old world for the adventurous palette looking to broaden their wine horizons from perhaps a Merlot or Zinfandel. This wine typically scores in 90 point range on a scale of 100.
Barbera is a red grape variety of Piedmont origin which has seen great results in the past twenty years, becoming a favorite of wine lovers all the world over. The Boroli Barbera grapes come from vineyards in the area of Alba, with a south-east and east exposition.
The vines are trained in the guyot method and are planted at a density of 4,000 plants per hectare. Moderately aged, the wine is harmonious and fruity, an easy drinking wine.
“Quattro Fratelli” refers to the four Boroli brothers, and was named by Achille Boroli, the third of the four brothers!
The color of Boroli “Quattro Fratelli” is a very intense, ruby red. On the nose it offers aromas of ripe forest fruits and undertones of vanilla. While on the palate this wine is close-texture, mouth-filling with aromas of ripe raspberries and blackberries.
There is a nice balance of fruit, acidity, and tannins for followed by a long-appealing finish. This wine was barrel aged for 6 months and bottle aged for 6 months. This wine is great to drink now but will also improve with 2-4 years of aging.
The Quattro Fratelli pairs perfect with pasta dishes, meat, sausage sauces, red meat, braised, stewed, or lamb on the spit. It is also ideal with medium ripe, highly-flavored cheeses, such as hard Bra cheese, Grana Padano, Monte Veronese and cheeses from the South of Italy.
Mont Gras Reserva 2009 Sauvignon Blanc $10.00-$11.00 – This is a great value wine from Chile. Sauvignon Blanc from Chile is as good an example of the best the Sauvignon Blanc varietal has to offer from the new world of wines. The Mont Gras has great balance of citrus fruits(lime), tropical(passion fruit), green apple, and hints of Jalapenos. This wonderful wine is pale straw in color and typical to a new world Sauvignon Blanc this wine has been aged in steel barrels to preserve the fruit and crispness of the wine. This is a wine that is easy to love because it drinks so beautifully. Sauvignon Blanc weather is on its way, Punxsutawney Phil told me so and mentioned this great all around food friendly wine that I’m recommending for you today.
WineGuyMike wants to share his two favorite cheeses from The Rogue Creamery, Caveman Blue and the Rogue Creamery Smoked Blue. If you’re a blue cheese fan these are some of the finest in the world. The Caveman Blue is different than many blue cheeses as it is soft, almost spreadable, but has a slight grittiness, pungent(in a great way), and beautiful in your mouth. It has nuances of beef and bacon & grass and hay, and is firm & lower in moisture with a natural rind featuring extensive blue mold development Paired correctly it brings out the incredible nuances of the cheese and wine.
The Rogue Smoked Blue is also one of my favorites, this is firmer in texture compared to the Caveman but is no less interesting. It is a great blue with a strong but with an ever so nice smoked nuance. I love this cheese with sliced Braburn apples and wine, wow now that’s a meal unto itself.
WineGuyMike™ wine recommendations to go with these great Rogue Creamery Cheeses.
I chose two wines today to share with you because they are wines that are readily accessible and offer the consumer great value. These two wines taste great and paired with the two cheeses I’ve selected to share with you they bring out the very best in one another. I give both of these wines The WineGuyMike™ Seal of Approval©.
Now let’s get on with tasting today’s wines that I’ve recommended for you today. Here is a very simple process for basic wine tasting I call the 5 sssss’s:
- Swirl – with your glass on the table or in your hand move the glass so the wine moves in a circular motion in your glass
- Smell – stick your nose in the glass and think about the different aromas’ that you are able to discern
- Sight – hold the wine up toward light, what does it look like, color, viscosity, what do the individual streams of wine dribbling down the side of the glass look like
- Swill – take a small sip, pucker your lips and gently breath in
- Spit or Swallow – if you have a bucket spit, if not swallow
Getting oxygen to the wine brings out the bouquet and aroma in a wine, so swirl away. Smelling the wine may be the most important part of tasting a wine. Most people can recognize over two thousand scents. Did you know that wine has over two hundred discernable scents of its own? Examining wine held up to a light looking first from the bottom of the wine glass up into the wine will help you determine the color of the wine which also helps determine the “age” and “stage” of the wine you’re drinking.
White wine colors to look for, young to older wine:
- Pale yellow – green
- Straw yellow
- Yellow – gold
- Old gold
- Yellow brown
Red wine colors to look for, young to older wine:
- Brick red
- Red – brown
Holding the wine at an angle look at the surface of the wine you’re drinking and examine the viscosity of the wine, which is what appears to be the layer of oil on the surface of the wine. If it is thicker or heavier this denotes a wine that is fuller and will have a heavier, fuller mouthfeel. That is the texture you actually feel of the wine in your mouth. A wine with a less viscous surface you will note that is feels much thinner and lighter in your mouth. The viscosity is also what causes the legs of the wine to run quickly or slowly down the inside of your glass after it has been swirled.
Next take a small sip of wine and pucker your lips, then gently breathe in. This aerates the wine in your mouth, even swish the wine around a bit. This really brings the wine to life so you can experience everything the wine has to offer your palette that the winemaker intended you to sense in their wine that they have made for you. We can sense four different tastes and possible five but that is still debatable, and they are; sweet, bitter, salty, sour, and perhaps an ability to sense MSG otherwise known as umami. Our mouth also has an ability to “feel” cool, warm, dryness, tingling, a coating feeling, and a feeling of numbness. Wow there is much to think about when drinking wine isn’t there, just remember not to over think it, it was made to enjoy.
If a wine has been well made it will be like a great movie. The memory or finish lingers, a cause to ponder and then lust for more. You just had a great wine, cheers to you from WineGuyMike™.
- What is your sense of the wine in your mouth
- What does the wine taste like
- What does the wine feel like in your mouth
- How does your mouth perceive the wine, all up front, in the middle, more in the back of your mouth
- Is there a lingering after taste
- This is where the brain, mouth, and eyes come together as one
- Your description of what your nose, mouth, and eyes just experienced
- How would you describe this, remember there is no right or wrong description this is your subjective experience
Try the cheese now and think about how you would now describe the wine, until next week…