Blue cheese served after dinner with a dessert wine is not news in itself, but this pairing we think is special in that it introduces a brand-new cheese to our case alongside a less-new but still pretty new wine that dances along the line between dessert wine and summer sipper. The pairing together is elegant and perfect for a warm summer night.
Producer: Kaserei Obere Muhle
Region: Bad Oberdorf, Germany
Milk: Thermalized cow's milk
The Obere Muhle dairy has its roots in the 15th century, when it was a prominent estate near the Ostrach River on the modern day Austrian border. For the first 500 years of its life it served as a sawmill, was converted into a guesthouse in 1987 and finally was turned into the dairy in 1994. Cheesemaker Arturo Chiriboga is committed to utilizing milk from the famed pastures of Alpe Engratsgund and Bad Oberdorf-Hinterstein, highlighting the unique grasslands of the area and preserving the productive landscape of the region.
Chiriboga Blue is a relatively new cheese for Arturo. He is working with thermalized milk and hand-ladles, as opposed to pressing, the curd. (For those unfamiliar with the term, thermalized milk is milk that is heated to 145 degrees F for 30 minutes.) After one week of aging, the cheesemaker hand-pierces the wheels to activate the blue mold. The
cheese is then allowed to mature for about two months.
The flavor profile of this blue cheese is of buttermilk with a slight peppery piquancy, approachable for those who may not be huge fans of
blue cheese while still interesting enough for the blue cheese connoisseur.
Producer: Elvio Tintero
Grapes: Favorita, Moscato, Chardonnay, Arneis
Dessert wines can be awfully polarizing. Some people love the sticky sweet Moscato's while others cringe at the thought of consuming a whole glass of syrupy wine. Elvio Tintero's "Grangia" is the perfect middle road and an exceptionally inviting to drink with cheese.
La Grangia is a white medium bodied, fizzy blend of 4 grapes with loads of peach, apricot, yellow flowers, and lemon on the nose and palate imported by none other than Mr. Kermit Lynch. If you recall from earlier pairings Kermit Lynch is an iconic importer specializing in sustainable small production wines from Italy and France. This wine, however, is produced in a dry style with high acidity. The sweet wine drinker is satiated with the texture and easy fruit, while the wine drinker scared of cloying sweetness is quickly appeased by the zippy and refreshing finish. A great pair with the entire cheese case as this wine has body to stand up to salt and strong flavors, but also bubbles to clean the palate and acid to break down fat.
What's Favorita? Vermentino in Piedmont is called Favorita. It is generally used here as table wine or a blending grape for moscato and arneis wines.
Is it Moscato? No. Moscato is a grape used to make sweet slightly bubbly wines in Piedmont, most notably in Asti.
Is is sweet? No. It is very fruity and has a rich texture, but finishes bright, dry and lemony.
Mono-varietal Honeys from Mieli Thun
These honeys, which come from bees that have been allowed to pollinate only one varietal of plant or flower, are harvested by nomadic beekeeper Andrea Paternoster. We highly recommend the Acacia with its sugared almond and vanilla tones. And, of course, the sunflower honey is particularly fun for the summer!