In the ever-expanding epicurean world, the relationship between wine and cheese is as important as ever. They are two of life’s greatest culinary pleasures, especially when paired together. In the spirit of the month of love, we’ve embarked on a delicious endeavor with Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese, a producer of artisanal and natural cheeses from the northern California coast. We’ve combined the talents of these local cheesemakers with Frank Family’s artistry in winemaking to discover several perfect matches from contrasting pairings to textural treats. Here are five wine and cheese pairings that proves the old adage of “what grows together, goes together.”
Lewis Vineyard Chardonnay with TomaProvence
Perhaps one of the most nuanced and approachable wines in the Frank Family portfolio, the Lewis Vineyard Chardonnay is also quite flexible when it comes to pairing with cheese. The TomaProvence makes for an excellent match featuring a blend of rosemary, basil, marjoram, and wild thyme. The cheese’s creamy, butter notes meld into herbaceous, Mediterranean flavors that perfectly mirror the wine’s richness and depth.
Brut Rosé with Bay Blue and TomaTruffle
The Frank Family Sparkling Brut Rosé is a beautiful and truly special wine with an amazing ability to pair seamlessly with food, especially cheese. The Bay Blue makes for an interesting pairing partner whose pleasing yet slight funkiness in flavor emphasizes the wine’s bready qualities. “The sweet and fresh notes of the Brut Rosé balances nicely with the dense and fudgy texture of the cheese along with umami flavors on the front,” said Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Executive Chef, Jennifer Luttrell. The texture is also fun to play with here, noticing how the creamy and soft cheese juxtaposes the small, finessed bubbles.
For a more complex flavor profile, try also the savory, truffle-studded TomaTruffle. The rich, earthy tones of the Italian black truffle and the softness of the cheese bring out the exquisite texture of the wine. “The effervesce of the wine helps lift the bold flavors of the cheese off your tongue so you can keep going back for more,” said Luttrell.
Zinfandel Port with TomaRashi
Not to play favorites, but Frank Family’s Zinfandel Port with TomaRashi is one of the most striking combinations we’ve experienced. The TomaRashi is a semi-hard cheese with a blend of gentle heat, umami, and nutty flavors that derive from Shichimi Togarashi, a Japanese spice blend containing nori, toasted sesame, poppy and hemp seeds, chili flakes and ginger. Its buttery texture and slightly spicey flavors blend seamlessly with the port’s fruit, sweetness, and viscosity. “We LOVE pairing TomaRashi and Port together – the bold sweetness of the wine helps to mellow out the spiciness of TomaRashi and neither flavor overpowers the other,” said Luttrell, “It’s the perfect pairing!”.
RHF Cabernet Sauvignon with Aged Gouda
The black fruit notes and big mouthfeel of the RHF Cabernet Sauvignon allow it to stand up to some pretty powerful cheeses. Reach for aged, hard, and dry cheeses like Point Reyes’ Aged Gouda. As the gouda ages, flavorful crystalized proteins form which offer delightful texture, a slight salinity, and punches of butterscotch that demands a bold wine like the RHF to stand up to it. “The fruit in the wine provides a nice balance to the richness of the cheese,” said Luttrell. The rich texture and nutty, caramel flavor of the cheese also works delightfully with the cabernet, coaxing subtle vanilla notes on the wine’s palate.