Let me start by saying this – I am by no stretch of the imagination a wine expert or taster.
But I do come from a family that includes a few great wine makers, and I know a good wine from a bad wine. In my career I have edited enough wine fact sheets and attended enough cellar tours to have some sort of wine appreciator’s credit… I have worked with everything from the BIG (Nederburg) the small – but brilliant -(AA Badenhorst Family Wine) and the big name quality brands (like Graham Beck) and I have always called myself a freelance food and wine critic (it’s tongue-in-cheek but it is also a dream…)
So that is why i was stoked to be invited to the launch of Adoro ‘s new wine made especially for cheese pairing. The launched was organised by professional acquaintances Erica and Illanda of Meles PR and hosted by L’Aperitivo in Loop Street.
The venue is very inspired by European wine bars and hits the nail on the head. The wine list is good (well I LOVED seeing the Secateurs Chenin on the list, thumbs up!) they stock a great selection of unique Cape boutique-style wines. It is the creation of brothers Andrea and James Gargiulo.
On the night, surrounded by big names in wine blogging and writing, we tasted 6 cheeses with the Adoro Natural Sweet Mourvèdre 2009.
The wine is made from 100% Mourvedre grapes from the Swartland (all roads leads back there at the moment for me, Home sweet Home). It is not fortified and as Ian Naude (winemaker at Adoro) said “smells like a port, but tastes like a wine”. With 13.5% alcohol and 55g/l residual sugar it does fall within the sweet wine sphere, but it also has a nice off-sweet profile.
Ok, onto the cheese. We paired it with:
a cow’s milk cheese with natural colorants that was aged for 6 months; a great white gouda that blends in nicely with the Mouvedre.
A Fairview Roydon Camembert
a bit bland but still the wine did better than expected in the affinity with this soft cheese, aged for 4 weeks.
Or as Norman McFarlane tweeted: Roydon camembert & adoro ’09 mourvedre: strawberries & cream.
An Italian Asiago
my personal favourite, the asiago is aged for 12 -14 months, this combination works great, the wine gets up waves its little arms and demands attention… Good complexity, a nice lil bite and a great combo…
I didn’t enjoy the pairing with Italian Taleggio
like Harry Haddon tweeted: The Taleggio pairing with the Sweet Mourvedre is like a slap in the face. Bam. flavour! Bam Bam! Other flavour! not fun.
here the wine is spicy…
Then came the slightly salty Gruyere
a swiss cheese matured for 4 – 6 months, which made the wine sweeter than before.
And last, but surely not least was the big test, the Italian Gorgonzola
a creamy blue cheese, cheese milk, matured for 6 – 8 months, together they were stunning, or as i see in my scribbly notes “I could drink this all eve!” Really amazed at how well this pairing worked.
Gorgonzola was the winner on the eve, by popular consensus.
I had fun and am proud to bring you my first wine taster blog. Cheers!
See the (taste and) tweets from the eve at #adorocheesewine
70 Loop Street, Cape Town
Tel: 021 426 1001, Email: andrea@l’aperitivo.co.za