Le Tastevin Wine Club - Notes on Cheeses – October 14, 2015

These cheeses represent opposites in taste and texture, but have been selected because they are compatible with the wines we will taste tonight. Both are from pasteurized milk, one from goat's milk, the other from cow's milk.

Piave Vecchio (extra firm) is from the area north of Venice and is a full-flavored cheese similar to, but lighter and younger, than Parmigiano-Reggiano. This version is the Vecchio production which is aged 14 months. Piave shows the beginnings of crystallization but is not as hard and crumbly as Parmigiano. It has a nutty flavor, with tropical fruits and almonds, and has a very long, sweet finish. Piave has an affinity for crusty bread and both red and white wine, going very well with German Riesling and darker, full-bodied red wines such as Bordeaux and Barbaresco.

Onetik Chabrin, a firm Basque goat's milk cheese, is an origin-controlled cheese from the western Pyrenees region of France near the Basque border with Spain. It is from a large family of cheeses best represented by Ossau Iraty Brebis, Valle de Aspe, and Istara. It has been known throughout history by various names depending on which section of tthe cheese-making region it came from. It was written about in the first century. It is only available in the United States in a pasteurized version, with a natural rind (inedible) which encloses a firm, dense cheese with a nutty, olivey, fruity flavor. It is a more fine-grained and softer cheese than Parmigiano-Reggiano, with a sweeter, less-salty, gentler finish. Bordeauxs such as Chabrin and Ossau-Iraty go well with these Basque cheeses.

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