December Cheese Club: Iowa

Cheese Clubletivaz-cheeseGenillard Philippe and Marianne
L’Etivaz AOP
Ormont-Dessus, Switzerland

L’Etivaz AOP is a hard alpine cheese produced by hand in over 100 creameries in the Vaud Alps between May and October using raw milk, under an open fire and the traditional recipe. The long ripening process brings out the rich, powerful aromas which come from the large amounts of herbs the cows consume. This is an excellent dessert cheese, fondue, or cheese that will compliment many cuisines. Members will enjoy two distinctive varieties of the L’Etivaz AOP, both a floral and onion style.

WINE & CRAFT BEER PAIRING: When pairing wine with this cheese, reach for a Crisp Chardonnay, a Fruity Barbera d’Alba, or a Fruity Pinot Noir. For beer, grab something light and crisp, such as a Hard Cider.

WINESTYLES: Crisp or Fruity
BEERSTYLES:
Crisp and Clean

PRODUCTION:
The Alpine pastures are situated at an altitude of between 1,000 to 2,000 meters. The raw milk comes from cows which graze on the natural pastures of the Vaud Alps and Alpine foothills. It is these pastures, rich in wild flowers, that create the aroma and provide the unique flavor of L’Etivaz AOP. To make the cheese, t
he milk from the evening milking is stocked in churns until the following morning, when the cheesemaker skims off the cream with a ladle. The evening milk and morning milk are then poured into a copper cauldron. The milk, enriched with lactic bacteria obtained from the production center itself, is gently heated to 89.6°F over a wood fire. The cheesemaker then adds the rennet, which consists of natural enzymes extracted exclusively from the abomasum of young calves. After stirring the milk for a few minutes the cheesemaker stops the mixer and allows the milk to rest so that it can curdle.

The cheesemaker then stretches a cheesecloth on a rod, slides it under the curds and lifts out the cheese mass which he then puts into a mould and presses. The wheel of cheese thus formed must subsequently be turned over several times. The producer then puts the L’Etivaz AOP casein mark on it as well as his initials in order to be able to guarantee traceability. The wheels remain in the press until the following morning. Weighing between 33 and 84 lbs., the wheels are rubbed with cheese dairy salt and kept at the alpine production center for a maximum of 7 days. For more information, click here.

 

 

Monthly Cheese ClubDon’t let your Wine Club go home alone!

Join our Cheese Club and bring home a match made in heaven!

If you enjoy pairing cheese with wine, this is your club!  Each month you’ll discover specialty and artisan cheeses to pair with your Wine Club. Monthly cheese selections are chosen by your local WineStyles participating location. It’s the perfect opportunity to Taste, Learn and Enjoy® amazing artisan cheese every month! Only $19.99/month and your wine won’t be lonely!  Click to learn more >

November Cheese Club: Iowa

Cheese ClubCrucolo Il Piu SaporitoRifugio Crucolo
Crucolo Il Piu Saporito
Scurelle, Italy

Crucolo “Il Piu Saporito”, which means “more tasty”, is a semi-hard, mild asiago cheese coming from the Trentino region in northern Italy. The milk to make this cheese is selected from the cows that roam the pastures beneath the Trento Mountains. Crucolo has a surprisingly tangy finish to its creamy flavor.

The center is white and buttery with diffused and uniform holes, making for a very characteristic cheese. The sub-crust is evenly distributed – an indicator of great attention to detail during the ripening period. The ripening process lasts over 60 days, and must be performed under optimum temperature and humidity conditions. In the aging period, the cheese forms are wetted and washed with water, then turned twice a week. The final product boasts flavors that are sweet, slightly sour, and perfectly salty with a slight bitter-spicy note.

WINE & CRAFT BEER PAIRING: Reach for our November Wine Club wine, Finca Buenaventura Aureo Cabernet Sauvignon, when pairing with this cheese. For beer, grab a Hard Cider or a Porter when pairing with this cheese.

WINESTYLES: Bold
BEERSTYLES:
Fruity and Spicy

ABOUT RIFUGIO CRUCOLO:
The company takes its name from the place where it was built, and still today is the restaurant Rifugio Crucolo, on the “top” of the mountain in the heart of Val Campelle- halfway between the Valsugana and the Lagorai mountain range.

The Crucolo Refuge has entered the register of historic businesses, as it has remained in the same family management since 1782. Thanks to the love and loyalty of customers, the Crucolo company continues to grow each year. Today, they are exporting their own brand of cured meats, cheeses, and liqueurs worldwide.


GarrotxaSant Gil d’Albió
Garrotxa
Catalonia, Spain

Gorratxa, pronounced ‘ga-ROCH-ah’, is a semi-ripened cheese with a natural flowery rind. Made with pasteurized goat’s milk, it is creamy and compact texture in the cut. This moist and cakey Catalonian import is fast becoming Spain’s most famous goat cheese. Crafted in the foothills of Northern Spain, Garrotxa offers a white pepper piquancy and looks like a river-stone. Its milky, delicate taste is not at all typical of a goat’s cheese. The full-bodied cheese is rich in flavor with a soft paste and a moist, creamy, yet almost flaky, texture. It is covered by a velvety grey mould coating that lends it a woody aroma, yet the rind is not ideal for eating. Garrotxa’s flavor is reminiscent of damp earth underlined by slightly nutty & herbal essences.

HOW IT IS MADE:
Made with pasteurized goat’s milk, then aged for several weeks in caves to ensure the delicately, cakey texture won’t harden up.

WINE & CRAFT BEER PAIRINGS: For wine, pair with a Cava or the Finca Buenaventura Aureo Chardonnay from this month’s Wine Club. The clean, lactic qualities of the cheese strike harmoniously with the fruitiness of these two wines.  For beer, look to pair with a Farmhouse Ale or Sour from our Sour, Tart and Funky or Fruity and Spicy sections.

WINESTYLES: Silky, Nectar, or Bubbly
BEERSTYLES: Sour, Tart and Funky, or Fruity and Spicy

ABOUT SANT GIL D’ALBIÓ:
Sant Gil d’Albió is a family business in Catalonia, Spain, with 35 years of experience in the production of artisanal cheeses. Currently produce close to 90,000 kg (about 198,416 pounds) of cheese a year; their products are made in an artisanal way, producing only the highest quality of cheeses. Sant Gil d’Albió exports about 40% of their production, mainly shipping to the United States and throughout Europe.

Sant Gil d’Albió is a dynamic, growing company; expanding their range of products and modernizing their facilities, without forgetting their roots. They are a leading company in the production of artisanal cheese in Catalonia, receiving various awards for the quality of their products, including Garrotxa cheese, Lactium d’Or 2019 award.

The family business is part of the ‘Lal de Cabres Catalanes’ label, a group of farmers and cheesemakers that defend the consumption of products made with local milk. They continuously maintain the quality of all cheeses and ensure all products are sold at a fair price.


Monthly Cheese ClubDon’t let your Wine Club go home alone!

Join our Cheese Club and bring home a match made in heaven!

If you enjoy pairing cheese with wine, this is your club!  Each month you’ll discover specialty and artisan cheeses to pair with your Wine Club. Monthly cheese selections are chosen by your local WineStyles participating location. It’s the perfect opportunity to Taste, Learn and Enjoy® amazing artisan cheese every month! Only $19.99/month and your wine won’t be lonely!  Click to learn more >

November Sweet Club

Sweet Wine ClubIl MoscatoMionetto
Il Moscato
Veneto, Italy

BUBBLY WINE STYLE

Founded in 1887 by Francesco Mionetto in the small village of Valdobbiadene, Mionetto has an established reputation for quality, tradition and innovation. In the heart of the Prosecco region, Mionetto produces exceptional wines with consistent national and international acclaim.

Mionetto’s Il Moscato has a bright, golden, straw yellow color; persistent nose reminiscent of aromatic grapes; elegant, sweet, delicate palate. Overflowing with stone fruit aromas such as peach and apricot, with slight floral overtones On the palate, it tastes of bright juicy fruit with a refreshing zing from the delicate bubbles. The persistent, fine bubbles enhance the taste experience.

Food Pairing Recommendations: Ideal with fruit, pastries and tarts.

WineStyles’ Wine and Cheese Pairing: Sweet wines from our ‘Bubbly’ section pair well with soft or pungent cheeses, such as a Brie and Camembert. Learn more about our wine and cheese pairings here.

Analysis:
7% alcohol / volume
Varietal: Moscato
Residual Sugar: 70 g/l
Acidity: 6 g/l
Winemaker: Francesco Mionetto

ABOUT THE WINERY:
In 1887, master winemaker Francesco Mionetto opened the winery in Valdobbiadene, in the heart of the Prosecco area, just north of Venice. His love and passion for the region and its wines are still to this day a fundamental value for this unique winery. Mionetto has become a flagship for the area and a shining example of Prosecco production on the international scene.

From the very beginning, Mionetto has always been a modern and innovative winery able to anticipate trends, while maintaining a strong bond to the traditions of its homeland, a feature which still today sets it apart from other sparkling wine producers.

PRODUCTION:
In 1982, the Mionetto family introduced autoclave fermentation by switching to the Charmat method, which allows for better preservation of the flavors and aromas of Prosecco and other sweet wines. After an initial soft pressing and the temperature-controlled first fermentation that takes place at the facilities of their selected producers, using the Charmat method, the second fermentation takes place in autoclaves instead of individual bottles. This additional temperature-controlled fermentation is recommended in order to help maintain the freshness and aroma of the grape in the bottling phase.

The winemaker’s job is not only to produce a high quality sparkling wine, but to maintain the relationships with local farmers who provide the grapes. Mionetto is fortunate to have relationships with vineyard owners that date back for generations. The strength and longevity of these relationships are what greatly affect the quality and quantity of grapes provided to a winery. 

THE TERRITORY:
Mionetto has become a flagship for the area and a shining example of Prosecco and Moscato production on the international scene. The beauty of the hills takes in many physical forms. While some slopes roll gently towards the valley, others are much steeper. For protection from the prevailing cold alpine winds and icy rains from the North, vines are on Southern slopes. Southeast slopes are best; they face the morning sun, benefiting from the early sunlight and a morning jolt of CO2, needed for sugar production. The climate is generally temperate: the area is protected by the Alps to the North and warmed by the winds of the Adriatic Sea to the East, mitigating the temperature in summer and producing rainfall that favors the proper growth of vines. In late summer, the area is characterized by great temperature variations between day and night, enabling the growth of aromatic substances in the grapes as they mature. Learn more here.

Croft Fine Tawny PortCroft
Fine Tawny Port

Douro Valley, Portugal

NECTAR WINE STYLE

Vivid tawny-red color. Nose of ripe mellow fruit with aromas of figs and prunes set off by an attractive woody and spicy character. Smooth and round on the palate, full of rich jammy flavors.

Food Pairing Recommendations:
Ports are very versatile and can be used for cooking sauces to roasted beef or lamb; or added in desserts for dimension and silkiness.  When simply drinking this port, keep it for desserts, or pair with more savory dishes such as Pâtés, Blue Cheeses, or Walnuts. Check out Croft’s recommended recipes and pairings here.

WineStyles’ Wine and Cheese Pairing:
Sweet wines from our ‘Nectar’ section pair well with strong cheeses, such as a Stilton and other Blue cheeses. Learn more about our wine and cheese pairings here.


Analysis: 20% alcohol / volume
Varietal: Blend
Residual Sugar: 100.6 g/l
Acidity: 3.37 g/l

Production:
The Fine Tawny is drawn from a reserve of fine wood ports which have been aged for up to three years in seasoned oak casks, each holding about 650 liters of wine. The individual wines are then blended to guarantee consistency of quality and house style. Croft Fine Tawny is bottled for immediate drinking.


ABOUT THE WINERY:
Croft is one of the most distinguished of all Port houses. Founded in 1588, it is the oldest firm still active today as a Port wine producer. The company is renowned above all for its Vintage Ports as well as for its range of wood aged reserves and tawnies, time-honored styles refined by skill and experience passed down the generations.

As important as its history, traditions and vineyards, is the fact that Croft remains a family company, dedicated to the production of the finest Ports of all styles, from full bodied reserve Ports to the iconic Croft Vintage Ports prized by the connoisseur and collector.

Love the Sweet life?
“Wine” not try our Sweet Club! 

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Sweet Club

October Bubbly Club

Bubbly Wine ClubDOC BrutScarpetta 
Prosecco
DOC Brut
Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy

BUBBLY WINE STYLE

This Prosecco comes from the Grave del Friuli, Italy’s newest DOC region for Prosecco. Light, bright and sparkling appearance, with aromas of juicy melon, white flowers and hazelnut. This light, dry and vibrant Prosecco makes the quintessential aperitivo with flavors of green apple, honeydew melon and fresh cut flowers. Pair with anything from a bag of chips to a light appetizer – enjoy on its own, or while dreaming of relaxing in the Piazza San Marco in Venice.

Analysis: 12% alcohol / volume

Production:
The grapes Glera (the noble grapes of Prosecco) and Chardonnay are fermented in stainless steel, kept at very low temperatures and then brought into the Charmat Method, also known as Metodo Italiano. From there, they are further aged in bottle.

Rosé Brut TimidoScarpetta 
Timido
Rosé Vino Spumante Brut
Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy

BUBBLY WINE STYLE

This sparkling rosé comes from the Grave del Friuli and is made from 100% Pinot Noir. It has a bright pink, rosy and vibrant appearance, with aromas of strawberries and fresh cut flowers. On the palate, this wine is crisp and dry with delicate flavors of juicy strawberries and fresh herbs. This Spumante Rosé is great to have before or after a meal; its wonderful with salads, plates of salumi or a lovely grilled salmon.

Analysis: 12% alcohol / volume

Production: The grapes are fermented in stainless steel and produced in the Charmat Method (also called “Metodo Italiano”); this is the same method used in Prosecco production. The wine is then aged in stainless steel and in bottle.


ABOUT THE WINERY:
Years ago, travels took the winery to the northeastern Italian region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia. A passion for creating wines from this unique region eventually led Scarpetta to expanding into all of Italy. True to Italian traditions, part of everyday meals include drinking good wine, great conversation, and little moments of celebration. Scarpetta was created as an homage to this lifestyle. Scarpetta refers to a small piece of bread used to soak up the last bit of delicious sauce on your plate that you can’t possibly leave behind.

Italy is as diverse in its wines as it is in its cuisine, which is why we’ve developed a passion for combining regional wines with provincial recipes. There’s an old food and wine pairing motto that says, “if it grows together, it goes together.” Our hope is that Scarpetta wines will bring this story of the Italian table to life. Our wines are meant to be enjoyed with good food, but more importantly shared — from special occasions to everyday adventures.

 

Flora ProseccoCol di Luna 
“Flora” Prosecco DOC
Veneto, Italy

BUBBLY WINE STYLE

Made in the pre-Dolimites of Vittorio Vento, Italy, this is a ‘Brut’ nature Prosecco. On the palate, it is bone-dry, with flavors of mountain flowers, mixed with honeysuckle and wild tart apples. The crown cap closure keeps the wine fresh and fizzy – more ideal than the classic cage and cork method, as it is quick to open and easily enjoy.

Analysis:
12% alcohol / volume

ABOUT THE WINERY:

For generations the Col di Luna family has been dedicated to wine-growing and has lived on this hills passionately cultivating their land and growing the traditional local grapes. Love for making wine has been a part of the family heritage from the distant 1780s, when Antonio Maria Casagrande Cosmo moved from Venice to the hills north of the city and planted their first vineyard.

Col di Luna is located in the Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco producing area. Due to its geographic position, this beautiful and unique area has an enormous potential for the production of distinctive great sparkling Prosecco wines. They believe good wines come from grapes which bear the characters of the place they originated from and that’s why Col di Luna allows their wines to naturally express the earth that grows them. The harvest begins in the middle of September. Testing for the proper ripeness of the grapes begins at the end of August. When it is confirmed that the level of sugar and acidity is ideal and stable, the harvest starts.

Col di Luna believes that man is an important and irreplaceable link in the life cycle of grapevines, so, all harvesting is done by hand. The grapes are then taken immediately afterwards to the cellar for processing. Their production areas extend over 9 provinces in Veneto and Friuli. The most important production area is the province of Treviso. Col di Luna is located in the very hearth of the traditional area for glera production.

Bubbly Wine Club Learn more about our Bubbly Club >

October Sweet Club

Sweet Wine ClubLa Cantina Pizzolato - Moscato DolceLa Cantina Pizzolato
Moscato Dolce
Treviso, Italy

NECTAR WINE STYLE

The Organic and Vegan Dolce, or sweet, Moscato Sparkling Wine of the “So Easy” line is one of the trendiest wines in La Cantina Pizzolato’s range. Bright gold color. Aromas of honeysuckle, ripe apricot, and angel food cake with a round, vibrant, sweet medium-to-full body and a smooth, refreshing, medium-length peach nectar, sweet apple, orange marmalade, and honey finish with no oak flavor. A balanced and floral Moscato that is sure to please fans of the varietal.

Food Pairing Recommendations:
This wine can be served with all types of desserts and especially with creamy desserts. Suggested also as an aperitif with some fresh fruit or herbal and spicy cheeses.

WineStyles’ Wine and Cheese Pairing: Sweet wines from our ‘Nectar’ section pair well with an herbal cheese, such as a gorgonzola. Learn more about our wine and cheese pairings here.

Analysis:
6.5% alcohol / volume
Appellation: Moscato I.G.T.
Varietal: 100% Moscato (Muscat)
Residual Sugar: 89 gr/l
Acidity: 5.4 gr/l
Critical Acclaim:

  • Silvier Medal at AWC Vienna 2017
  • Silver Medal at IWSC International Wine&Spirits 2017
  • Diploma di Merito at Mostra Vini Triveneto of Camalò 2018
  • Silver Medal at 42° Mostra del Vino of Candelù 2017
  • DAMA D’ORO and PREMIO “TULLIO DE ROSA” as Best Sparkling wine at Enoconegliano 2017
  • Admission to the book 5StarWines of Vinitaly 2018 with 90/100
  • Bronze medal at Decanter World Wine Awards 2018

 

Production:
Using soft pressing, the must remains in steel pressurized tanks, with Charmat method for 2 months, reaching up to a pressure of 2.5 atm. The bottle has been covered with a sleeve that recalls the bubbles with a floral design and communicates its personality from the first impact. Packaging is completely recyclable as the sleeve can be removed.

ABOUT THE WINERY:
Founded in 1981, the company initially focused on the cattle industry and the cultivation of kiwi, peaches, strawberries, apples and pears. Grapes and wine eventually became their top selling products. In 1987, the winery started to bottle their own way – mainly producing Verduzzos, Merlots and Cabernets. Motivated by the belief that everyone should have the opportunity to drink healthy wines, the winery obtained their organic certification in 1991, the year in which the certification system was born in Italy. By 2012, the Pizzolato winery had achieved their Vegan certification. Since then, many sustainable choices have been consolidated, towards a organic innovation of the entire winery, as well as of the product.

Owner, Settimo

Owner, Settimo Pizzolatool

The present owner, Settimo Pizzolato, has many years of experience enriched by five generations that preceded him. His organic farming allows him to have good health and the ability to enrich the organic treasure that his company has. He balances the ecosystem of his land with the organization of his winery to create a wine that is a result of healthy natural grapes from his vineyards. These grapes create a wine that will remind you the tradition and well being when you taste it. Learn more about Pizzolato Winery here.

It’s been more than thirty-five harvests and I feel like I have lived so many lives; each year, each vintage is an adventure in itself, difficult, unique and unforgettable. We want to produce a wine that is suitable for everyone, can be paired with every meal, vegan or not; the most important thing is that it must be a good wine. – Settimo


Botani MuscatJorge Ordóñez & Co.
Botani Muscat Frizzante

Sierras de Málaga, Spain

NECTAR WINE STYLE

A delicate, lightly sparkling wine with a flowery, exotic nose characterized by aromas of lychee and stone fruit. This wine is 100% Muscat of Alexandria – one of the oldest clones of the Muscat family and one of the only remaining genetically unmodified vitis vinifera cultivars remaining in the world today. The seafaring Phoenicians transplanted this grape from Alexandria, Egypt to Málaga 3,000 years ago.

Food Pairing Recommendations:
Enjoy this versatile liquid gold nectar of the gods on its own or with strong cheeses, figs, pâtés, pastries and desserts. This wine should always be enjoyed well chilled.

WineStyles’ Wine and Cheese Pairing:
Sweet wines from our ‘Nectar’ section pair well with strong cheeses, such as a blue cheese. Learn more about our wine and cheese pairings here.


Analysis:
9.5% alcohol / volume
Denominacion de Origen: D.O. Málaga & D.O. Sierras de Málaga
Varietal: 100% Muscat of Alexandra
Critical Acclaim:

  • 89 pts. Jeb Dunnuck
  • 89 pts. Wine Enthusiast Magazine
  • 87 pts. Robert Parker Wine Advocate

Production:
Planted on multiple old mountainside vineyards. The vineyards in Málaga are the most extreme in all of Europe. The mountainside vineyards are planted at inclinations of up to 70°. There is no terracing, ladders, or mechanization to assist with the harvest. The winery uses traditional dry farmed viticulture and organic Gobelet trained vines. Everything is cultivated completely by hand, with minimal human intervention; the majority of the vines receive no treatments whatsoever. Primary fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks using wild yeast. Secondary fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks following the Charmat method of sparkling wine production.

ABOUT THE WINERY:
Sierras de MálagaBodegas Jorge Ordóñez Málaga, located in Ordóñez’s hometown, was founded in 2004- a partnership between Ordóñez and the Kracher family of Austria. The winery was founded with the goal of resuscitating the centuries long tradition of winemaking in Málaga, which was destroyed by the phylloxera plague in the 19th century. It was Jorge’s dream to champion his home region and restore it to its former glory.


Jorge Ordóñez Málaga produces its dry and sweet wines from Muscat of Alexandria; one of the world’s only remaining ancient (genetically uncrossed) grape varieties and the most important for commercial wine production. The Muscat of Alexandria vineyards used by Jorge Ordóñez Málaga were planted between 1902 and 1974 on un-terraced mountainside vineyards. The vast majority of steep vineyards in Europe have terraces or are mechanized in some way to protect workers and assist with harvest; the vineyards in Málaga, however, have remained untouched. All pruning and harvesting is done by hand, and mules carry six 33 pound boxes up the slopes at a time. An absolutely heroic form of viticulture.

Love the Sweet life?
“Wine” not try our Sweet Club! 

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Sweet Club