Sure, there are more important things happening in the world today, but this ranks pretty highly, if you ask me: It’s National Cheese Lover’s Day.
Now, I know what you’re thinking because I’m thinking it, too: Every day is cheese lover’s day. But today is special in that you have an excuse other than “because I feel like it” for sitting in your bathtub gnawing on a two-pound brick of cheddar.
While there’s no wrong way to enjoy cheese, there are certainly better ways to enjoy cheese. Namely, paired with wine.
With this in mind, we hit up winemaker David Scheidt of Mastro Scheidt Family Cellars in Healdsburg, California, to give us some suggestions for how to pair his wines with some of our favorite cheeses for the ultimate cheese plate. And then we went out and bought wine and cheese to taste in the FresYes office because science.
Here’s what David told us:
As with any cheese plate, a mix of various nuts, especially local almonds and pistachios, adds depth and texture. Naturally, the pairing of a French baguette or rustic Italian loaf of bread is always welcome on a cheese board. I prefer California Flatbread, a mixed seed cracker, to add yet another layer of crunchiness to complement the nuts.
The Cheese: Sartori BellaVitano Gold. Creamy, nutty flavors make you almost believe you’re eating a young Parmigiano Reggiano, So, to stay regionally complementary, a Sangiovese is the proper pairing.
The Wine: 2015 Mastro Scheidt Sangiovese, (available at Sierra Nut House and The Annex Kitchen in Fresno, and The Schoolhouse in Sanger). Sangiovese is a great alternative to Pinot Noir. Sangiovese has less tannin and greater red fruit qualities that make it a great bottle of wine from the start of the meal through the finish.
The Cheese: Cypress Grove Midnight Moon will pair the best with my overall suggestion of preparing a cheese plate of various crackers, bread, and nuts.
The Wine: 2013 Mastro Scheidt Cuvee (available at Vino and Spirits and Cracked Pepper in Fresno). Easy to pair and drink with a wide variety of cheeses, meats, and meals.
The Cheese: Somerdale Cotswold. We kept buying Cotswold over the Christmas season to pair with Cabernet Sauvignon in almost every gathering. It’s the richness of the cheese combined with the chives that make you think about shredding this cheese over baked potato.
The Wine: 2013 Mastro Scheidt Cabernet Sauvignon, Dry Creek Valley (available at The Market). Going back to the baked potato idea with Cotswold, this Cabernet shines with steak and grilled meats.
While we weren’t able to secure all of David’s fantastic suggestions (ran out of time, sadly), we did manage to grab a bottle of his 2013 Mastro Scheidt Cabernet Sauvignon and the Cotswold cheese. Both were amazing, as expected. The wine was rich and peppery (bear with me; I’m no wine-describing expert) and the cheese? Well, it’s cheese. It was heaven.
We also grabbed a bottle of Madera-made CRU Pinot Noir and some goat cheese, which were also very much appreciated in the office.
Thanks to David Scheidt for his suggestions. To learn more about David and his wines, check out this profile FresYes did in 2014.
We hope you have a glorious National Cheese Lover’s Day.