Tonight's class focused on a variety of summer-suitable sparklers (from light to heavy; white to red; brut to sweet) along with corresponding cheeses for pairing. There were a few wines on our list that I was quite familiar with already--Riondo, Gruet, Saint Hilaire--and many that I'd be tasting for the first time. My first notation of the evening was: when pairing wines with cheese, pair the similar attributes.
E. g.: fresh with fresh, light with light.
Our first wine of the evening, Riondo 'Spago Nero' prosecco--a fresh aroma and clean smell--paired nicely with our fresh mozzarella. (it would also pair well with a lobster or crab cocktail)
From this class, I came away with two favorite wines (and one cheese). The first wine: Monterey County, blanc de blanc, Francis Coppola, 'Sofia,' 2010. ($20)
|a lovely label, with tiny, circular cut-outs|
This California sparkler is a very interesting blend of grapes including riesling and muscat, among others. The 'Sofia' gives off a very flowery bouquet and the taste is not much different from its smell (which a few said was like perfume). A "lady's" wine--perfect for an afternoon brunch. Pair it with something very fragrant--a fruit salad with fresh basil perhaps. However, Sofia may not be for everyone...
MY second favorite sparkler of the evening was the "premium cuvée," 'The Proposition,' Hesketh, NV. ($17)
|pink and sweet|
This wine (made from chardonnay, semillon and shiraz grapes) was somewhat sweet and as with most sweet wines, would pair well with spicy foods.
Bright, lively, pink colour. Aromas of fresh strawberries with a hint of lemon. The palate starts sweet with fresh chilled strawberry sorbet flavours, some citrus notes, with firm tannins providing middle palate structure followed by a dry, slightly grippy finish reminiscent of fresh strawberries.
I definitely plan on seeking this bottle to enjoy with David...
As for the cheeses, I thoroughly enjoyed both the fresh and aged goat cheese (especially the latter). But the most notable cheese of the evening, for me, was the fleur verte--fresh goat cheese covered in herbs de Provence and pink peppercorns. (and shaped like a flower)
Out of all the cheeses we tasted, the fleur verte was the best match for the Sofia. (the aromatic thyme is very present in the herbs de Provence).