Wine and cheese are a natural match. Here we assess three wines that were specifically chosen as high potentials for their ability to complement cheese.
In this case, we focused on bold wines that were said to be excellent pairings with sturdy hard cheeses. This tasting was conducted at Eno, a wine and cheese and chocolate tasting restaurant that is based in about half-a-dozen locations across North America. Their approach is unique in our experience: you create a custom pairing of wine, cheese and/or chocolate from a wide assortment.
Let’s see how the tastings worked out…
Twisted Oak Red Wine
By way of background: Twisted Oak Red from Calavaras County in the Sierra Foothills of California is a blend of mourvedre, syrah and grenache grapes. It is finished at a hefty 14.1% alcohol.
In the glass: Twisted Oak Red shows as a medium deep burgundy in the glass.
On the nose: Aromas are smoky and sweet with fruit.
On the palate: The first element on tasting Twisted Oak Red is the notion of a full, open-knit sweater – hearty and comforting. There is a flush of black currant flavor over your tongue, supported by lacy tannins that move the flavors along.
And the finish: The finish, supported by these tannins, lasts a satisfyingly long time.
In summary: Nice experience, one I would return to, yielding three stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale, with a plus for its intensity.
Find Twisted Oak Red at WineZap.
Alain Jaume & Fils Reserve Grand Veneur Cotes du Rhone
By way of background: Alain Jaume & Fils Reserve Grand Veneur Cotes du Rhone is a fairly typical Rhone blend of approximately 80 percent grenache and 20 percent syrah.
In the glass: Reserve Grand Veneur CdR shows as deep burgundy.
On the nose: The aromas are reminiscent of beaujolais, purple and bright.
On the palate: The brightness comes through on the palate, bringing high fruit, mostly ripe red currant.
And the finish: Is also clean and bright, modest in length.
In summary: Nice one-time experience, two stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale, with a plus for its general pleasantness.
Find Reserve Grand Veneur at WineZap.
Kana Katie Mae White Rhone Blend
By way of background: Kana Katie Mae is a white wine made from Rhone-style varietals riesling and pinot gris grown in the Yakima Valley of Washington state. We were tasting the 2004 vintage, which already had a couple years of bottle age.
In the glass: Katie Mae showed as a dusty yellow.
On the nose: A slight bit of cat pee up front, followed by butter and butterscotch aromas and a touch of light funk.
On the palate: The palate came across as deep and even at first, with a slighly slick, motor oil element coming through as well.
And the finish: Finish was hearty and lengthy.
In summary: Overall, I would return to Katie Mae, earning it three stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale.
Find Kana Katie Mae at WineZap.