Toast Your Valentine with Wine and Cheese

Toast Your Valentine with Wine and Cheese

valentinescheeseIt seems obvious—this most twosome-est of holidays should feature awesome duos of wine and cheese. Especially since many cheesemakers create special cheeses for just this time of year. Here are a few, along with the ideal wines to go with them.

You’ll find plenty of heart-shaped goat cheeses right about now, but one of our favorites is Coach Farm, a classically clean, grassy, fresh-tasting chèvre. To sip alongside it, you can’t beat sauvignon blanc, universally considered a perfect pairing with fresh goat cheese, the tangy notes of the cheese complementing the super-acidity of the wine. A few favorites:

MATANZAS CREEK Sauvignon Blanc 2012 (Sonoma County, CA) $21
QUIVIRA Sauvignon Blanc “Fig Tree Vineyard” 2011 (Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, CA) $22

And look for Capriole Goat Cheese’s pink peppercorn heart, a heart-shaped chèvre dusted with crushed peppercorns. It goes especially well with OBERON Sauvignon Blanc 2012 (Napa Valley, CA) $18.

Another heart-shaped favorite, a triple-crème brie from Cowgirl Creamery, is Heart’s Desire—their Mt. Tam cheese dressed up for Valentine’s Day. You can’t beat brie and chardonnay—though this lighter, fresh-tasting brie, works especially well with a similarly light, crisp styles of the wine, such as:

PLUMPJACK Chardonnay Reserve 2012 (Napa Valley, CA) $48
MENAGE A TROIS Chardonnay 2011 (CA) $12
SOFIA Chardonnay 2012 (Monterey County, CA) $19

Truffles, thought to be aphrodisiacs, make perfect sense for Valentine’s Day—and can be found in many cheeses. Two favorites include Carr Valley Cheese Black Sheep Truffle and Memoire Truffle Gouda. Pair them with earthier, richer chardonnays like:

FRANCIS COPPOLA DIAMOND COLLECTION Chardonnay “Gold Label” 2012 (Monterey County, CA) $16
SIMI Chardonnay Reserve 2011 (Russian River Valley, Sonoma County, CA) $26
FOLIE A DEUX Chardonnay 2012 (Russian River Valley, Sonoma County, CA) $18

And what’s Valentine’s Day without chocolate? Vella Cheese Company Dry Monterey Jack is coated with cocoa—which doesn’t make it chocolaty per se, but gives the cheese a deep earthiness and intensity. That plus the aging make it a relatively rare case of a cheese that pairs well with a bold, fruity red without too much tannin. Here are two well-priced examples:

NOBLE VINES Red Blend “1” 2011 (California) $15
CHATEAU STE. MICHELLE Red Blend “Indian Wells” 2011 (Columbia Valley, Washington) $20

What pairings will you be enjoying for Valentine’s Day? Let us know below.

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