From Guest Monger Colin Dalough
For me, the cheese was extremely well rounded. With the wine, it is enveloped in a blanket of slightly more concentrated fruit than I expected. I get a bit of red plums and maybe just a hint of blackberry wrapped around a peanut nuttiness. Wait, scratch that. I'm going with dried boiled peanut nuttiness. This mid-palate party transitions well to a stronger cheese finish. The slightly earthy and mildly sour character of the cheese begins to shine through on the late palate. Thoroughly enjoyable.
Milk: Raw Cow
Cheese Type: Alpine / Pressed Cheese
This hefty square shaped cheese comes to us from the glacial area between Switzerland and Germany, near the Lake of Constance, off the Rhine at the Northern foot of the Alps. The area is know for its mineral rich soil that is said to define the terroir of this specific cheese.
Kaserie Oberli is the creamery and they are know for making new world interpretations of old world recipes. This particular cheese is Alpine in style, has a washed natural rind and is aged in a cellar. The milk that goes into the cheese is always from the spring and summer when the cows are eating grass. This is where the cheese gets it's name. "Schweizer" means Swiss and "Gold" means gold. The milk that goes into the cheese is said to have a golden hue. If I were to just hear the name of this cheese I would think of an industrially produced yellow sliced Swiss cheese that you would find at Costco, BUT please do not let the name fool you.There are some amazing artisans behind this cheese and the raw ingredients are of the highest quality.
It is aged for 9 months, allowing the subtle flavors of a younger alpine style to mature into a flavorful gem. The raw milk used to make the cheese gives us hints of custard, fruit, yogurt with an eggy, funky, rich, garlic, savory, long, yeasty finish.
La Mozza, Morellino Di Scansano, 'I Perazzi'
Grapes: Morellino (Sangiovese), Syrah
Region: Maremma, Tuscany, Italy
This week's pairing bottle offers an excellent opportunity to peek into the myriad of misinformation and confusion regarding Italy and its wine. In this case "La Mozza" is the producer, " Perazzi" is the name the producer calls this particular bottling referring to the pear-like fruit that also grows on the vineyard property, and "Morellino Di Scansano" means the Morellino grape from the area of Scansano. Scansano is a town within the Maremma area in the southern part of Italy's home to Sangiovese, Tuscany. People from Scansano and Maremma call the Sangiovese grape "Morellino".
This is barely a glimpse into one example of the less than encouraging path that is understanding Italian wine. Hundreds of grape varieties, often with several names, and more often one can find underlying century old debates as to the authenticity of the grape itself. Some folks from Scansano would take offense were you to call their signature grape "Sangiovese".
Like all crafts, definition rarely applies. Declarative statements are quickly presented with exception and ensuing compromise is challenged by innovation. Take, "Perazzi" for instance, a Tuscan wine using primarily the signature grape of its neighbor to the north, Chianti. One might expect medium body, dried red fruit, spice, and acidity. I Perazzi, however, is blended with Syrah and the Marmemma is soaked in sun and heat, making the resulting wines much more fruity and dark than their northern counterparts. I Perazzi has a brooding red and blueish color and medium plus body. Its nose carries some of the signature Tuscan dust, but also has youthful dark fruit and slight pepper spice. In the mouth, I Perazzi is a trip through the mid-summer farmer's market. Plum, Blackberry, and very ripe strawberry and cherry are balanced by spice and acidity and a surprisingly long finish.