Friday, August 9, 2019

Bright Red Rosé from El Capitan de Finca Adelma with Bright Seafood

Pink or orange are the common colors of Rosés. When you see a bright red Malbec Rosé, you get to wonder how this Rosé would taste...especially when it’s made out of a grape that is famous for its strength, complexity and tannin. Don’t be fooled by the charming color, the El Capitan Malbec Rosé is a weighty, a bit oaky, a bit buttery, medium-bodied Rosé that can be best paired with seafood of big flavor!
First, let’s find out what method is used to make this Rosé. According to Luis Manino, the importer of this wine, this Rosé is made using the limited skin maceration method. This method is by far the most popular method of making Rosé. The process is essentially leaving the skin of red grapes in the juice that’s crushed from the grapes to produce the color. For this Rosé, the skins are left to soak only for four to six hours, yielding the powerful and rich red hue that uniquely distinguishes El Capitan Malbec Rosé from its peers. After the limited skin maceration, the juice is then racked, or drawn off from the skins, and the Rosé-tinted wine begins its fermentation.

Mendoza Argentina-Credit: Wine Folly
Another important fact about the El Capitan Malbec Rosé is that it is coming from Mendoza Province, Argentina's most important wine region. This region accounts for nearly two-thirds of the country's entire wine production. Located in the eastern foothills of the Andes, in the shadow of Mount Aconcagua, the vineyards are situated at some of the highest altitudes in the world, with the average site located 2,000–3,600 ft above sea level. Located in the far western plain of Argentina, Mendoza has a continental climate and semi-arid desert conditions. The region experiences four distinct seasons with no extremes in temperatures which provides for a relatively consistent annual growth cycle for grapevines. The soil of the Mendoza wine region is primarily alluvial that’s loose sand over clay. Mountain rivers provide ample water supplies from melted glaciers in the Andes.
While Rosé in the US seems to be targeting on women due to its attractive colors and lighter palate, the El Capitan Malbec Rosé’s richer mouthfeel, oaky and buttery notes equally impress men. The name “Malbec” Rosé on the bottle itself already draws attention and curiosity of a lot of Malbec lovers. No doubt about it, this Rosé is medium-bodied and structured which plays out really well with seafood that’s cooked with stronger spices and bold taste.   
Crawfish becomes a very popular seafood all over the world in recent years due to its great taste at a reasonable price point. Countries like China and Norway are fond of this little critter. Crawfish cooks really fast and can be cooked well in so many different ways like stir-frying, boiling and grilling. The flavors you can add to crawfish has no limit. My personal favorite is to stir-fry crawfish in chili powder, red pepper flake…however spicy you want it to be. El Capitan Malbec Rosé is a super accompaniment to spicy crawfish. It’s chilled, it tames. It’s substantial enough so you can still taste the wine while eating the spicy seafood!
Stir-frying shelled shrimp has its big advantage as the shell has a lot of flavors and usually shelled shrimp preserves the integrity of the shrimp taste. What we have here is the crushed skin-on garlic and chili shrimp that’s finger-licking good. The main technique here is to fry up the garlic in the hot oil first to release the garlic aroma fully before tossing in the shrimp. The chili is entirely optional. As long as the shrimp is not cooked in heavy cream or greasy curry, Rosé in general can handle shrimp really well. Of course, El Captain Malbec Rosé has this structure that can handle big favor like this garlic infused shrimp.
I like to BBQ shellfish on the grill in the summer as nothing can beat the charcoal flavors. Also, while waiting for the meat to cook, tossing some seafood on the grill can get your guests some appetizers in no time. These gigantic clams were from Sandy Hook New Jersey. They are typically cut up and used for clam chowder. But for me, I love grilling it and eat it straight – tasting the freshness and ocean salt from this seafood. These big clams are a bit chewy but have this unbeatable clam taste and abundant clam juice.

Drinking Rosé is a summer routine but not so routine is to sip this exceptional Rosé with seafood feast cooked in Asian style!

New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc and Pan-fried Chinese Potstickers #WinePW

Almost ten years ago, a New Zealand (NZ) Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc got me hooked on wines…the fragrance of passion fruit and elderflower, the elegant balance between sweet notes of tropical fruit like papaya and citrus notes. All these right elements from the Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc were spot-on in terms of comparing the foods I loved to eat at the time. Although my taste towards wines swifts from whites to reds since then, white wines do play a comeback to me lately as my diet has become simplier and lighter. Thanks to Lori from Exploring the Wine Glass who has partnered with NZ Wine to provide some amazing NZ wine samples to the #WinePW bloggers, we can explore these wines with diverse food pairings. I received the 2018 Huia Sauvignon Blanc as a sample and was very impressed with how this wine does wonder with a casual daily Chinese meal – pan-fried potstickers!
NZ Wine Regions - Credit:
Marlborough is NZ’s most important wine region in terms of history and high production volume and simply puts NZ on the international wine stage with its exquisite Sauvignon Blanc since 1980s. Situated at the northeastern tip of NZ, this dry and sunny region, complemented with moderate but drastic day-to-day temperature variations, is home to over 500 growers and produces around three-quarters of all NZ wines. Relieved from the extreme rain and wind, the eastern coastal area embraces cooling sea breezes and protective mountains. However, the long Indian summers occasionally create drought but also offer opportunities for a wide range of grapes (e.g., Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Riesling, and Albarino) to flourish in this type of climate.  
Sauvignon Blanc From Marlborough - Credit:
Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc remains the bread and butter performer for the industry. Many wineries from outside the region try to own or lease vineyards, or buy grapes or wine, so they can offer their own Sauvignon Blanc and strengthen their portfolio. Huia Vineyards is a proud founding member of the MANA Winegrowers collective that consists of organic farmers, who live, work and play in Marlborough and are united by a commitment to making great wines, sharing knowledge and safeguarding the land. Huia sources its Sauvignon Blanc from their two estate vineyards. Huia vineyard, which has the stony, sandy loam soils, offers a tropical fruit profile while the clay-based soils of the Winsome vineyard provide the herbaceous notes, lime, and minerality to the wine. The grapes are pressed with the vineyards kept in separate vessels. A percentage of the juice undergoes natural fermentation in a mixture of neutral to new French oak, which adds further richness and complexity to the wine. 
At Huia Vineyards, no pesticides, insecticides or herbicides
are used. Artificial additives are eliminated from the winemaking process. Biodynamic growing is integrated into the vineyard’s organic program, which encourages the free grazing of livestock, growing of botanicals, and effective use of composting. The sustainability of the land and surrounding ecosystem are supported and respected.
The Huia Sauvignon Blanc exhibits bright floral notes of elderflower and lime zest on the nose. The wine is layered with flavors like melon, gooseberry, herbal, and lime zest. It has a tad of oak which enhances rather than masks the natural flavor of this wine. The minerality of the wine adds complexity and weight to the wine that enables it to pair well with pan-fried Chinese potstickers (dumplings).
While potstickers that have seafood fillings would be an obvious choice to pair this white, I see the meatier kinds like the beef/vegetable and chicken/vegetable potstickers we have here are equally charming with this wine. The beef potstickers have intense succulent meat taste that is rich and juicy, interacting very well with the oak and minerality notes of the wine. The lime zest flavor of the wine is undoubtedly enhancing the chicken potstickers, making them light and clean. When I go for a quick summer meal plus a refreshing chilled Sauvignon Blanc, nothing is easier than these delicious dumplings that are quick to make and are substantial as a real meal.  
Unless it is wontons (dumplings that are cooked in soup), I always pan-fry dumplings using a very simple method that guarantees success in taste and presentation.
Wontons to be Cooked in Soup
In a hot cast iron frying pan, drizzle some oil and heat it to a smoking point. Line up the potstickers in the pan and cook them on high heat for 5 minutes, so the bottom of the potstickers forms a crispy crust. Add ¼ - ½ cup of water to the pan, turn the heat to medium and put the lid on the pan. After 10 minutes or until the liquid is fully evaporated, turn off the heat and let the potstickers sit in the pan for 5 minutes. The potstickers should come off from the pan easily.
For full disclosure, I rarely make potstickers from scratch. The frozen section of most grocery stores, from Asian ones where you can get the more special dumplings to mainstream super markets like Shoprite and Costco, does offer a lot of high-quality potstickers. Look for the ones that are made in USA to assure food safety. With the many styles and kinds of dumplings to choose from, these Chinese dumplings are easy and delicious daily meals that everyone should include in their food group. Adding a versatile NZ Sauvignon Blanc like Huia to your meal, a simple meal becomes a happy meal!

Disclosure: The wine in this post is a sample. The ideas are my own.
Check out other #WinePW bloggers's NZ wine pairings:
  • Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla will be making Hāngī in a Dutch Oven + Gimblett Gravels Malbec 2017
  • Linda of My Full Wine Glass will be posting New NZ wine, old Sicilian dish (#WinePW)
  • Jane of Always Ravenous will be pairing New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc Paired with Fresh Flavors of Late Summer
  • Cindy of Grape Experiences will show how to Beat the Heat with New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc and Chilled Cucumber Soup with Mint
  • Gwen at Wine Predator will be pairing New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc with Zesty Arugula Kale Pesto Pizza and Salad #WinePW
  • Jennifer of Vino Travels Italy demonstrates Seeing the Potential of North Canterbury, NZ at Mt. Beautiful Winery
  • David of Cooking Chat will be pairing Tomato Caprese Salad with Pesto and New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc
  • Pinny of Chinese Food and Wine Pairings will be serving New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc and Pan-fried Chinese Potstickers
  • Wendy of A Day in the Life on the Farm will be Discovering New Zealand Wines
  • Sandra of Wine Thoughts will be taking A Tropical Staycation with Spy Valley E Block
  • Cynthia and Pierre of Traveling Wine Profs will be sipping New Zealand Chardonnay with a view of... The Pyrenees #WinePW
  • Rupal the Syrah Queen will be drinking New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc with Grilled Mediterranean Swordfish
  • Nicole at Somms Table will be sharing Memories of New Zealand's South Island with Waipapa Bay Wines.
  • Lori of Exploring the Wine Glass, is thankful that Humans May Only Be 5%, But They Make Great Wine #WinePW

Friday, July 12, 2019

Bodegas LAN Rioja Crianza and Thick-Cut Sirloin Steak on the Grill #WinePW

I always feel I get the best bang for the buck when I drink Rioja wines from Spain. This old world charm always has the complex flavor that’s appropriately oaked and structured, but is affordable for everyday consumption. Thanks to Jeff Burrows from Food Wine Click, some of us were able to obtain a sample from Bodegas LAN and have a great wine to start the feature blog about Rioja wine and summer BBQ. 
The Denominación de Origen Calificada Rioja is located in the north of Spain, on both sides of the River Ebro. It is divided into three large zones: Rioja Alta, Rioja Alavesa and Rioja Oriental (Baja). In the highlands of Alavesa and Rioja Alta the remnants of the westerly winds from the Atlantic cool the vineyards. The harsh winds from the north are filtered by the Pyrenees and by the Cantabrian mountains. The result is a cold winter, mild and sunny spring, hot summers, and mild autumns with cooling night-time breezes. Although the highlands have a typical continental type of climate, a more Mediterranean climate rules in Rioja Baja with hot, dry summers with many hours of sunshine. 
Photo Credit: Fernando Beteta
Each of the wine zones has its characteristics. Rioja Alta and Alavesa, at the highest elevations, are considered to be the source of the brightest, most elegant fruit, while grapes from the warmer and drier, Rioja Oriental, produce wines with deep color, great body, and richness.

LAN, composed of the initials of the three provinces that make up the D.O.Ca. Rioja: Logroño (now La Rioja), Álava and Navarra, started their winemaking in 1972. Viña Lanciano is the name of the 72 hectares vineyards embraced by a curve of the River Ebro, on the natural border between the Rioja Alta and the Rioja Alavesa. A privileged location, sheltered by the Cantabria Mountains, which creates a different microclimate in each of its 22 parcels. It is also naturally protected from frost and extreme summer heat.

LAN Crianza 2015 Wine Note (from Bodegas LAN)

GRAPE VARIETIES: 96% Tempranillo and 4% Mazuelo.

VINEYARDS: Selected vineyards in the Rioja Alta and Rioja Alavesa, aged between 10 and 20 years. Chalky-clay soils, located on well-drained slopes with good sun exposure.

WINEMAKING: Traditional winemaking, destalking - crushing. Fermentation in stainless steel tanks. 15 days’ maceration, with continuous pumping-over to optimize color extraction.

Aging: Aged for 14 months in hybrid oak barrels (a mixture of American oak staves and French oak bases), that LAN pioneered the use of, followed by nine months’ bottle conditioning.

TASTING NOTES: Bright cherry red with a garnet rim. An elegant nose with predominant notes of red and stone fruits: strawberry, raspberry, and peach. Patisserie and cream enveloped in elegant notes of vanilla and caramel and a subtle hint of cinnamon. It is flavorful and expressive on the palate. It is immediately inviting, enveloping the palate and leaving a long and pleasant aftertaste.
Without much hesitation, I have grilled a thick-cut of sirloin steak to pair with the LAN Crianza 2015. I generously seasoned the steak with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper right before putting it on the hot grill. A summer weekday steak dinner accompanied by a glass of LAN Crianza – a happy combo that I can eat, sip, and repeat on a regular basis!

Disclosure: The wine in this post is sample. All opinions are my own.

Check out our fellow bloggers' Rioja and BBQ!

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Sipping the Day Away with Prosecco DOCG #ItalianFWT

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the entire Prosecco region in Italy and the 10th anniversary of the Prosecco Superiore DOCG region. Camila from Culinary Adventures has invited the #ItalianFWT bloggers to celebrate this special occasion with the samples procured by Liz from What’s In That Bottle?. Thank you The Consorzio of Prosecco Superiore DOCG for sending me these marvelous Prosecco Superiore DOCG samples: 2017 Bortolotti Rive di S. Stefano Montagnole Brut, Il Colle Brut, and 2018 Grappoli Di Luna Brut Millesimato La Vigna di Sarah. These wines are elegant bubbles that are brut, citrusy, food-friendly, and perfect for sipping the day away!
Conegliano Valdobbiadene is a small wine zone in the Veneto that’s located between Venice and the Dolomites, in northern Italy. Only in this zone, it produces the “Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG”, which is a wine that is exclusively sourced from 15 communes: Conegliano, Valdobbiadene, San Vendemiano, Colle Umberto, Vittorio Veneto, Tarzo, Cison di Valmarino, San Pietro di Feletto, Refrontolo, Susegana, Pieve di Soligo, Farra di Soligo, Follina, Miane, and Vidor.

Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG represents the top-quality expression of Prosecco. The zone where this wine is made has been recognized as one of the world’s 22 most outstanding wine landscapes. The production regulations restrict the sparkling version to be made in three styles: Brut, Extra Dry, and Dry. Glera grapes, the obligatory base, need to make up to 85% or above of the Conegliano Valdobbiadene DOCG sparkling wines. Blending with local indigenous varieties, Verdiso, Bianchetta Trevigiana, Perera and Glera Lunga for up to a maximum of 15% is permitted. The style of Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG can come from adding these local grapes which have their unique characters. Verdiso adds salinity. Perera increases the wine’s perfumes and fruitiness.  Bianchetta Trevigiana makes the wine mellower.

Autoclaves - Photo Credit: Italian Wine Central
The sparkling wines are made using the Italian/tank method – the use of large pressurized tanks called autoclaves, in which the base wine is added along with sugar and yeasts. This method has the full intention of keeping the authentic aromas of the grapes in the neutral stainless steel tanks, preserving the wines’ inherent floral notes and fruitiness. Subsequently, during re-fermentation of the wine, the yeasts use the sugar to produce carbon dioxide, which generates elegant bubbles that are typical of Conegliano Valdobbiadene DOCG. 
Photo Credit:
How do these wines taste? Well, they are somewhat similar, but the subtleness differentiates one Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG from another. 
2017 Bortolotti Rive di S. Stefano Montagnole Brut
Alcohol: 11.82 %                                
Residual sugar: 4,50 gr/l
Nose: clean, hints of pear
Palate: fresh, green apple, solid acidity
Il Colle Brut
Alcohol content: 11%
Residual sugar content: 10 – 12 gr/l
Nose: green apple, bright acidity
Palate: crispy, dry, well balanced, smooth, and harmonious

2018 Grappoli Di Luna Brut Millesimato
Alcohol content: 11.5% 
Residual sugar content: 5 gr/l
Nose: mushroom, briny
Palate: yeasty, briny, rich and creamy with persistent finish

It’s a lazy summer day and I can’t think of any other effortless accompaniment  than a platter of antipasto to pair with these Prosecco Superiore DOCG sippers. These crisp, lighter-alcohol and citrusy bubblies really rock the Prosciutto, Soppressata, Milano Salami, Coppa and aged cheddar by taming the saltiness of the food and enticing you to sip, eat and repeat! In addition to the laughter, the sound of lip-smacking as well as the “mmm yummy” from good wines and foods fills the summer patio!

Disclosure: The wines in this post are samples. All opinions are my own.

Check out what other Prosecco Superiore DOCG my blogger friends are drinking at:
  • Wendy, of A Day in the Life on the Farm, says Summertime and the Living is Easy with Prosecco DOCG in My Glass.
  • Jill, of L'Occasion, asks Looking for Freshness? Check out Prosecco DOCG.
  • Rupal, the Syrah Queen, writes Prosecco Elevated - Sipping Prosecco Superiore DOCG.
  • Jane, of Always Ravenous, pours Prosecco Superiore Paired with Italian Small Bites.
  • Deanna, of Asian Test Kitchen, is Pairing Cartizze Prosecco DOCG Beyond Oysters.
  • David, for Cooking Chat, says Prosecco Superiore: The Special Italian Sparkling Lives Up To Its Name.
  • Liz, of What’s in That Bottle, is Discovering the Delights of Prosecco Superiore.
  • Jeff, of FoodWineClick!, goes Beyond Apertif, Enjoy Prosecco Superiore at the Dinner Table.
  • Martin, of ENOFYLZ Wine Blog, encourages Getting to Know Prosecco Superiore.
  • Pinny, of Chinese Food and Wine Pairings, is Sipping the Day Away with Prosecco DOCG.
  • Gwendolyn, of Wine Predator, shares 3 Prosecco DOCG and Calamari with Lemon Caper Sauce.
  • Linda, of My Full Wine Glass, offers Take-aways from a week of glorious Prosecco DOCG.
  • Jennifer, of Vino Travels, declares Prosecco DOCG is more than just Prosecco.
  • Susannah, of Avvinare, is Taking A Closer Look At Prosecco Superiore DOCG
  • Kevin, of Snarky Wine, declares Vintage Prosecco DOCG: Quality Matters.
  • Cindy, of Grape Experiences, posts What a Girl Wants: Gourmet Popcorn and Prosecco DOC and DOCG.
  • Li, of The Wining Hour, asks you to Step Up Your Game with Prosecco Superiore.
  • Camilla, of Culinary Adventures with Camilla, is Climbing the Prosecco Hierarchy: To Prosecco Superiore di Cartizze with Steamed Clams, Smoked Scallops, and Capellini.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Say “Je t’aime” to a Pomorel Bordeaux, a Loire Rosé and an Assortment of French Cheese #Winophiles

Cheese is a staple in my house. I usually keep Kerry Gold Dubliner Cheddar cheese handy as it’s versatile and affordable. On special occasions, when really good wines are poured, matching the wines with really good cheeses, ideally from the same country origin, is a no-brainer! Martin Redmond from ENOFYLZ Wine Blog has invited the #Winophiles blogger friends to drink French Wines and eat French cheeses. I can’t say “oui” fast enough! I’m also grateful to receive samples from VinConnexion via Lynn Gowdy from Savor the Harvest, contributing to the “wine” part of the successful marriage. 
The Château de Sales Pomerol 2010 is a red blend comprising of 82.5% Merlot, 12.5% Cabernet Franc, and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. It was aged mainly in old barrels for up to three years, with a tad of new barrels. On the nose, this Pomerol Bordeaux reveals pleasant light wood smell which resembles opening up a new cardboard box. The aroma of dark fruit follows, leading up to touches of spices and a trace of oak. The tannin is consistently forefront, and the frame is light, wrapping up with lengthy and memorable finishes. This Pomerol is an elegant, rounded and mature wine that is well-suited for pairing with a wide array of French cheeses.  
Chateau de Sales
Château de Sales is the largest estate in the Pomerol appellation. It is the only Bordeaux estate to be entirely transmitted from one generation to the next since the 15th century and is currently jointly owned by 14 cousins within the family. The family management enables consistency across quality controls, image and brand building as well as the reflection of the terroir.
The Le Cocagne Gris Rosé 2018 from Les Vignerons du Vendômois - Cave Coopérative du Vendômois is made from 100% Pineau d'Aunis, an indigenous red grape grown in Loire Valley. This Rosé has stone fruit on the nose and palate. Its minerality beams through and adds body to the wine. While it’s cool, dry and crispy, its acidity and texture help cut through the cream and fat of the French cheeses, and in some cases/cheeses, the Rosé plays a big role in taming the briny and intense flavors.  
I have tried French cheeses before. While I always focus on the taste, I’ve never really paid too much attention to what kind they are. For this post, I do a deeper dive on how the various popular French cheeses taste, what texture they have, and most importantly, and how well they pair with the Pomerol and the Rosé that inspire this pairing! As an easy reference, a scale denoted with five thumbs up (👍👍👍👍👍) is to determine the compatibility and synergy of the pairing – 5 being superb to 1 being less desirable.  Also check out my "cheesy" photo captions for the cheeses!
Roquefort is a vibrant, intense, tangy and salty blue cheese that is made of sheep milk (i.e., an adaptable breed of ewes, Lacaunes). The cheese is aged for a minimum of three months, achieving the well-balanced taste that’s a sought after worldwide. It gains its reputation as the King of Cheeses for its distinct taste and look. The ivory-colored paste with emerald-green veining and mold are iconic, and what makes this cheese so famous. Roquefort cheese is crafted with liquid Penicillium roqueforti found in the damp caves and is combined with the ewes' milk in the natural limestone caves of Roquefort and cellars.
Roquefort - King of Cheeses
In 1925, Roquefort was the first cheese granted the AO distinction, and later in 1996 was given the European distinction P.D.O. (Protected Designation of Origin). The stone fruit and acidity of the Rosé have the advantage to balance out the tangy and briny Roquefort, inviting more eating of the cheese along with the sips. The Pomerol is also a pleasant accompaniment to this delight.
  • Pomerol's Compatibility with the Cheese: 👍👍👍 
  • Rosé's Compatibility with the Cheese: 👍👍👍👍👍

Brie de Meaux is a French brie cheese of the Seine-et-Marne region and a designated AOC product since 1980 and a protected designation of origin (AOP) since 1996. Its name comes from the town of Meaux in the Brie region. 
Brie de Meaux - Prince of Cheeses
Its texture is soft-ripened, creamy and mild with the rich flavor of raw and whole cow’s milk. It is encased with a bloomy rind that is to be consumed with the soft cheese inside. This cheese has been declared the Prince of Cheeses! Both the Pomerol and Rosé work very well with the creamy Brie. 
  • Pomerol's Compatibility with the Cheese: 👍👍👍👍
  • Rosé's Compatibility with the Cheese: 👍👍👍👍👍

Camembert is a moist, soft, creamy, and surface-ripened cheese that’s made from cow’s milk. It was first made in the late 18th century at Camembert, Normandy, in northern France. The production of Camembert cheese has now transcended the AOC designation. 
Camembert - C-/D-reamy Talker
The fresh Camembert cheese is bland, hard, and crumbly in texture. Young Camembert has a milky and sweet taste. As the cheese matures, like the President Camembert, it forms a smooth, runny interior and a white bloomy rind outside. It has a rich, buttery flavor and a tad sweetness to it. The rind is bloomy white caused by a white fungus, called Penicillium candidum. The rind can be eaten as well. The Pomerol and Rosé work pretty well with the creamy and sweet Camembert. 
  • Pomerol's Compatibility with the Cheese: 👍👍👍👍 
  • Rosé's Compatibility with the Cheese: 👍👍👍👍👍 

Bûcheron is a goat's milk cheese native to the Loire Valley and is semi-aged, ripening for 5 to 10 weeks. Bûcheron has an ivory-colored pâte surrounded by a bloomy white rind. Soft, but semi-firm in texture, this cheese we have here has a strong taste of goat. The gaminess of this cheese interacts well with the Pomerol as well the Rose, but differently. The Pomerol makes the Bûcheron less “goat-like” and brings out the tangy taste of the cheese. The Rose enhances the creaminess of the cheese but cleanses the palate afterward.
Bucheron - Goaty Delight
  • Pomerol's Compatibility with the Cheese: 👍👍👍👍  
  • Rosé's Compatibility with the Cheese: 👍👍👍👍👍 

Fourme d'Ambert is one of France's oldest cheeses. It originated from Auvergne, dating back to Roman times. It is made from raw cow's milk from the Auvergne.  The semi-hard cheese is inoculated with Penicillium roqueforti spores and aged for 1 to 4 months. This cheese has been protected by its own AOC since 1972.  Although this cheese is most often produced with pasteurized milk by industry and Cooperatives, more recent artisanal production has begun using raw milk. 
Fourme d'ambert - Stinky Indulgence
The Fourme we have here has an animal and ammonia smell and flavor to it. I totally see why some people would be turned off by it. However, someone like me finds this cheese extremely wild and tasty. Biting into the spread of this cheese on plain crackers and sipping the Rosé, the combination of all these is an indulgence (for stinky food lovers)!
  • Pomerol's Compatibility with the Cheese: 👍👍👍 
  • Rosé's Compatibility with the Cheese: 👍👍👍👍 

Comté is a made from unpasteurized cow's milk in the Franche-Comté traditional province of eastern France. It has the highest production of all French AOC cheeses. The cheese is aged between 2 and 24 months. The cheese is made in discs with a diameter between 40 cm and 70 cm, and around 10 cm in height. This piece, which is from Jura, is earthy and nutty, working pretty well with the spice and dark fruit notes of the Pomerol.  
Comte - Nutty Happiness
  • Pomerol's Compatibility with the Cheese: 👍👍👍👍👍 
  • Rosé's Compatibility with the Cheese👍👍👍

Mimolette is a cheese traditionally produced around the city of Lille, France. It’s made of cow’s milk and is aged for 2 to 24 months. Looking like a cratered, dusty cannonball, Mimolette is infamously tricky to open for its super-hard, craggy outercrust. 
Mimolette - Tough Guy with a Soft Heart
The appearance and floral aroma of the rind is the work of tiny mites. Cheese mites are small little bugs that live on the surfaces of aged cheeses, munching the microscopic molds that grow there. The French call them tiny affineurs for their essential role in the aging process. Its electric-orange paste has sweet, caramelized depth and smooth, fudgy finish. I found both the Pomerol and Rose are equally pleasant with this cheese. The Pomerol seems to bring out more the salty flavor of the cheese.
  • Pomerol's Compatibility with the Cheese: 👍👍👍👍👍 
  • Rosé's Compatibility with the Cheese: 👍👍👍👍 

To me, French wines and French cheeses are an inherently good match that is meant for each other. The Château de Sales Pomerol and the Le Cocagne Gris Rosé validate their rooted bond with French cheeses!

Disclosure: The wines in this post are samples. All opinions are my own.

For more French wines and French cheeses, check out my blogger friends' posts below: