Le Tastevin Wine Club - Notes on Cheeses - March 13, 2014

Uniekass Robusto Aged Gouda - described by the makers as "the Dutch cheese that thinks it is Italian" and we don't think there's a more accurate description out there. Created by the well-known Dutch cheese company, Uniekass, Robusto is a semi-firm cheese reminiscent of Parmigiano-Reggianowith a texture and mouth feel typical of a one- or two-year aged Gouda (although it itself is only aged nine months.) It is a pasteurized cow's milk cheese with just the right amount of the flavor of butterscotch on the finish to make it more interesting and versatile at the same time - think mellow, nutty, and buttery with a mild presence of salt crystals, and its semi-firm and smooth nature allows for cutting, grating, melting ...just about any way you could think of using a cheese! Try pairing it with a bold red wine such as Pinot Noir or a Syrah.

Kerrygold Dubliner Aged Irish Soft Cheddar Mixed With Irish Stout - In honor of St Patrick's Day which is coming up soon, we offer a classic combination from the capital city of Ireland, Kerrygold's original all-natural, aged Dubliner Irish Cheddar Cheese with Irish Stout combined into a new, unique cow's milk cheese. This cheese is a seasonal variety only available around St. Patrick's Day. The green celebratory wax is not edible, just for effect. The classic flavor combination brings out the sweet, nutty, rich flavor of Dubliner Cheeseand swirls and tumbles it together with the malty, caramel, bitter flavor of a perfect pint of Irish Stout. Although we had Dubliner last year while I was out with knee surgery, the chance to sample their Cheesewith stout was something completely different.

Alternate cheese

Raclette - a versatile mild cheese from the mountains of Savoie and is similar to other cheese from that area such as Morbier and Emmenthaller. Like Morbier it a washed rind cheese accounting for its somewhat pungent aroma. Raclette is the top selling cheese in France and Switzerland, most likely due to its popularity when melted over food. (Think of enjoying a Croque Monsieur Sandwich in the cafe's of Paris with a glass of red wine!) In the United States it is the cheese normally used in fondues. Heating releases the flavor of this cheese although on a cheese plate it goes well goes with fruity whites and lush red Burgundy and Merlot based wines due to the cheese's creamy and mild taste. In France, most Raclettes are raw cheeses, but in Switzerland they are pasteurized. Ours is a Swiss pasteurized version since raw Raclette is harder to find due to strict American regulation of raw cheeses. The French word "racier" meansto scrape, as Alpine cheesemakers originally made their meals by scraping this cheese off rocks in their smoldering fires.

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