Le Tastevin Wine Club - Notes on Cheeses - April 29, 2009

Tonight we add something different to our cheese tasting: the addition of a third cheese for your sampling. The cheeses are from Whole Foods in West Bloomfield. The French "epi" loaves are once again from The Give Thanks Bakery in Rochester.

Taleggio is one of Italy's few washed rind cheeses. Welcome to stinky cheese 101. It is made from raw cow's milk from the region of Lombady, aged at least 60 days to allow it to be sold in the United States, and was quite popular in Roman times as evidenced by its repreated references in the works of icero, Pliny and Cato. Taleggio has a thin, golden-orange crust with a greyish bloom and a strong, pungnet smell typical of cheeses repreatedly washed with brine. Under the rind is a semisoft, creamy cheese with a surprisingly gentle, buttery flavor. The taste is fruity and slightly salty and tangy, becoming increasingly full-flavored, beefy and earthy as it ages. Taleggio is Northern Italy's best-kept secret and is considered the most refined and sophisticated of all Italian cheeses. It goes well with many fruity, lighter wines, both reds and whites.

Murcia Curado is a mild, smooth Raw Goats' Milk cheese from the marshy areas of the otherwise hot, arid, barren southeast coast of Spain. It is better known by its marketing name Naked Goat Cheese (queso de Murcia curado), and is made by the same producer of its better-known, wine soaked relative, Drunken Goat Cheese (queso de Cabra al Vino). It is produced from raw Murciana goat's milk and is a rustic, firm, dense cheese with a soft, fruity taste. It is a relatively mild cheese and goes well with delicate fruity red wines such as burgundies.

Queso Ibores is another raw goat's milk from the Extremadura primordial sheep county in Spain. It is a semifirm, zesty, aged cheese which also goes back to Roman times. It is similar in style and taste to Spanish Garrotza. Ibores is rubbed with olive oil and sweet paprika, giving it a complex, somewhat spicy flavor. It is smooth with small eyeholes, and tastes a little salty and acidic with earthy notes, but is balanced by an underlying sweetness. It has an aftertaste of dried fruits with reminders of wildflowers, and while it is definitely a goat's milk cheese, it stops short of being too "barnyardy." Ibores is considered to be a very wine-friendly cheese, and despite its complex flavor, it goes well with a wide variety of both red and white wines, including Burgundies, Barbarescos, Merlots and Rhones.

Page last updated: April 27, 2024 (EB)