Much to my cardiologists chagrin, I love Cheese and as a general rule the stinkier it is the better I like it. Additionally, you may have picked up over the course of the last few months that I am pretty partial to Wine as well. A match made in heaven right (or at least a match that could deposit me there sooner than I would like)? Not so fast!  Some wine and cheese pairings do not really go together very well at all, and some get along about as well as the Capulets and Montagues. Here are some parings Kim and I enjoy;

·       Cabernet, Zinfandel, Merlot, Bordeaux – Try some hard, but on the milder side cheeses. Maybe a Cheddar or Gruyere or perhaps nicely aged Gouda. They all match up perfectly.

·       Chardonnay- try a tangy stronger type goat cheese - yum.

·       Sauvignon Blanc – A milder goat cheese works real nicely with this one. The slight acidity and fruitiness of the wine works nicely with the slight saltiness of the cheese.

·       Shiraz or Petit Syrah – You can generally go after the mature Cheddars and more full bodied cheeses, but keep them on the harder side. This is a classic match up!

·       Dessert wines, Sauternes, Sweet Rieslings, some of the German Auslese wines – Go great with the softer blue cheeses, Stilton, Gorganzola etc. Desert baby, forget the ice cream or chocolates and bring it on!

Brie ... I am completely stumped. I have tried it with everything. It just sits there like a big goey lump in my mouth and the wine does all it can to avoid it. Maybe I’ll try it someday with something overly acidic like Chenin Blanc but until then, eat the brie with a cracker or hunk of bread and a good hoppy India Pale Ale. Wine does nothing for it, and it does nothing for wine.

All this being said, eat whatever cheese and drink whatever wine you like, It’s completely up to you and your taste buds.

Life is short, enjoy the wine and have a piece of cheese with it!

Caymus Vineyards
2009
Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Caymus is my benchmark for Napa Valley Cabernets. It represents to me what Napa Valley Cabernet is all about and they have been doing it since the early 70’s when Chuck Wagner, their owner and vintner took over the property and the winemaking. Chuck is still hard at it and the 2009 vintage is one of his best efforts in several years. Dark inky black with great long legs and a finish that is almost like drinking liquid silk. The slight hints of spice mixed with a touch of chocolate and dark fruit balance perfectly and make this cabernet one that I would drink every night if I could afford it. You can pick it up for around $55-$60 which is a nice change of pace as the price of Caymus has come down over the years from nearly $100 just a little while back. I would place this Caymus against any other Napa Cab, regardless of pedigree…Diamond Creek, Araujo, Harlen Estate have absolutely nothing on the 2009 Caymus and it is literally 1/6th of the cost. Easy to find, a bit tough on the budget, but worth every penny, enjoy.

DM