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 >

October Collector’s Wine Club: Iowa

Collectors Wine ClubBandeau Cave

Extrait BlancDomaine Chante Cigale
Extrait Blanc
Châteauneuf du Pape, France

Rich WineStylesRICH WINE STYLE

Vinified, aged in an ovoid concrete vat and selected from an outstanding terroir: this wine is truly “Haute Couture”. This Blanc Extrait has a very pure nose, mineral and saline coated by a fruit white white flesh; powerful, elegant and creamy mouth feel. Pairs well with Provencal and Mediterranean cuisine, foie gras, lobster, scallops, and king prawn.

“Freshly cut pear, fairly full in body. with a pear juice texture and flavor. Acidity is low but balanced, with a little positive bitter twist accentuating the freshness. Fairly long finish, not hugely deep, but very well put together Organically grown on clay soils in lieu-dit Palestor to the north of the village. Fermented then matured for 10 months, half in demi-muid, half in concrete tank.” – 93 pts, Matt Walls – 2018 En primeur tastings, Rhône Valley

“The 2018 Châteauneuf du Pape Blanc Extrait is 80% Roussanne and 20% Grenache Blanc, with roughly half made in demi-muids and the other part in concrete. A bit reticent right now, with just hints of pineapple and tangerine, it’s full-bodied but tightly wound and tense, seemingly in need of time to unwind. It’s by no means unapproachable now, but it should be better in a year or two and will drink well for close to a decade.” – 91+ pts, Joe Czerwinski – The Wine Advocate 2019

Terroir: Clay – Limestone 70% (lieu dit: Palestor), Rolled Pebbles 30% (lieu dit: Cabrières)
Age of Vineyard: 40 years old
Varietal: 70% Roussanne, 30% Grenache Blanc
Aging: 9 months on fine sediments
Aging Potential: 10 years
Serving Temperature: 50-53.6° F
Production: 1,700 Bottles

About Domaine Chante Cigale

Domaine Chante Cigale has been in operation in Southern Rhone Valley for more than 150 years. Founded in 1874, Hyppolite Jourdan named roughly 28 hectares of family property Clos Chante Cigale. In 1936, the same year the Chateauneuf de Pape AOC was created, the estate was renamed to Domaine Chante Cigale.

Today, Domaine Chante Cigale is one of the most important family estates of Châteauneuf du Pape.  Alexandre Favier is now carefully running the winery by keeping up with the winemaker’s tradition of the family.

The Estate now stretches over 40 hectares on the Châteauneuf du Pape appellation, divided into 45 parcels, scattered all over this exceptional terroir.  The diversity of its soils and of the grape varieties allows the elaboration of a unique and exceptional wines.  Alexandre Favier and his team are taking good care of every step of the wine production themselves, respecting the spirit of the Domaine. 

Domaine Chante Cigale VineyardsDomaine Chante Cigale Harvest

 

Bold wine Style logoExtrait RougeDomaine Chante Cigale
Extrait Rouge
Châteauneuf du Pape, France

BOLD WINE STYLE

A genuine and rustic wine that will go through decades. Showcasing a deep, red color, with a complex nose of black fruit and licorice. The Extrait Rouge has a very powerful mouth, that is fleshy and concentrated, with very fine and dense tannins. Pairs well with roasted meat, pigeon, lamb, pecking duck and sheep’s cheese.

A broad, muscular style, with chestnut and tobacco leaf notes and roasted cedar accents framing a large core of lightly dried plum, red currant and blackberry fruit. Cuts a broad swath on the finish, offering a long echo of humus. Will likely age toward a more rustic profile. For fans of the style.” – 92 pts, JM 2017

The smallest production cuvée is the 2015 Châteauneuf du Pape Extrait. An uncommon blend of 70% Mourvèdre and 20% Grenache, aged in demi-muids and older barrels, its deep ruby color is followed by rich, concentrated and ripe aromas and flavors of blackcurrants, toasted spice, licorice and roasted herbs. This big, mouth-filling and structured 2015 will need to be forgotten for 3-4 years and will have two decades of overall longevity.” – 92-94 pts, Jeb Dunnuck – The Wine Advocate 2016

Terroir: Rolled Pebbles (lieu-dit: Le Calada)
Age of Vineyard: 100 years old
Varietal: 80% Mourvèdre, 20% Grenache
Aging: 30 months in demi muid
Aging Potential: 15-20 years
Serving Temperature: 60.8-64.4° F
Production: 800 Bottles

Bandeau DomaineAbout Chateauneuf-du-Pape

In the 14th Century, under the reign of Pope John XXII, the Avignon village became the summer residence of the papacy. As for the precious nectar produced in this area, he granted it the rank of “Vin du Pape”, opening the doors of the great European courts.  More than likely, during Gallo-Roman times the vines covered the territory of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. However, the first written evidence of its existence dates from 1157. In keeping with local tradition and planting himself, Geoffroy, bishop of Avignon, had a vineyard within the territory of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. However, it’s the popes from the fourteenth century that were the real promoters of the wine growing business of the appellation.

By the 19th Century, the wines were very well known, enjoyed by famous people, poets, literary and cultural associates in Paris.  By the 20th Century, winemakers were anxious to defend the growing reputation of the Châteauneuf-du-Pape wines, the beginnings of the current system of AOC.  The 1919 wine appellation law on “designations of origin” was too general and didn’t prevent fraud. The constituent meeting of the “Châteauneuf-du-Pape winegrowers union” took place in October 1923. After several years of legal proceedings, the decree of the appellation is published and Châteauneuf-du-Pape becomes the first wine-making AOC of France on May 15, 1936.  Still in force today, it continues to protect and guarantee the quality of Châteauneuf-du-Pape wines. The vineyards now cover 7900 acres in the towns of Châteauef-du-Pape, Bédarrides, Courthézon, Orange and Sorgue.


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Crispy Sea Bass with Soba Noodles

Sea-bass-soba-noodlesINGREDIENTS:
•  1/2 pound soba noodles
•  2 tablespoons sesame seeds
•  1/4 cup chicken stock or low-sodium broth
•  2 tablespoons soy sauce
•  1 teaspoon sugar
•  1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
•  3 tablespoons vegetable oil
•  1/2 pound young bok choy, sliced 1/2 inch thick on the diagonal
•  1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
•  1 large garlic clove, minced
•  3 scallions, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
•  Four 6-ounce sea bass fillets, with skin
•  Salt
•  1/4 cup rice flour

DIRECTIONS: Bring a medium saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the soba and cook until al dente, about 3 minutes; drain. Rinse the soba under cold water and drain, shaking off any excess water. In a small skillet, toast the sesame seeds over moderate heat, stirring, until they begin to pop, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool.

In a small bowl, combine the chicken stock, soy sauce, sugar and sesame oil. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil. Add the bok choy, ginger, garlic and scallions and stir-fry over high heat until the bok choy is crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Add the soba noodles and cook, tossing, for 2 minutes. Add the soy mixture and bring to a boil, tossing. Remove from the heat and keep warm.

Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Season the fish with salt and dust with the rice flour. Add the fish to the skillet, skin side down, and cook over high heat until crisp, about 4 minutes. Flip the fillets and cook until just opaque throughout, about 2 minutes longer.

Transfer the soba and bok choy to shallow bowls and top with the fish, skin side up. Sprinkle with the toasted sesame seeds and serve. Recipe courtesy of Chasing Venus

ChasingVenus_Sauv_blancChasing Venus
Silky_StickerSauvignon Blanc
Russian River Valley, CA

Sourced fruit from the cool Russian River Valley, this beautiful wine’s perfumed aromatics indicate immediately that it is pure 100% California Sauvignon Blanc. Grapes from the Chalk Ridge Vineyards were used in making this inaugural Russian River Valley Sauvignon Blanc.  The ideal growing season was typical of the appellation: cool, foggy mornings followed by warm, sunny afternoons.  The fruit was picked at optimum maturity with a just a hint of botrytis. Fermentation was slow and cold (50°F) to retain the varietal flavors.  A bouquet of honeysuckle, gardenia and citrus blossom fills the glass.  Crisp and mouth-watering, this pretty wine will pair with oysters on the half shell, spicy Thai spring rolls or a salad of endive, goat cheese and crisp green apples.

Winemaker: Dan Cederquist
Appellation: Russian River Valley, CA
Vineyards: Chalk Ridge
Varietal Blend:  100% Sauvignon Blanc
Analysis: 14.3% alc/vol, 3.14 pH, .65 TA
Aging: 100% Stainless steel tanks

McPherson Chardonnay Pairing Recipe

Black Cod with Black Olive Sauce and Lemon Gremolata

olivesauce-cod-fishINGREDIENTS:

  • Zest of 2 lemons (and juiced)
  • A sprig of fresh rosemary, leaves picked
  • Four Black Cod fillets (4-6 oz each)
  • Olive oil

BLACK OLIVE SAUCE:

  • 2 large handfuls of good black olives, stoned and very roughly chopped
  • ½ a fresh red chili, deseeded and finely chopped
  •  A small handful of fresh herbs (basil, marjoram and parsley), finely chopped
  • 1 celery heart, yellow leaves chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  •  A couple of glugs of extra virgin olive oil
  • Balsamic vinegar

LEMON GREMOLATA:

  • 1 bunch Italian (flat-leaf) parsley-chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
  • Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS:

Prepare Grill. Blend tablespoon of salt with the half of lemon zest and rosemary and rub this all over the fish fillets. Chill for an hour.

Black Olive Sauce- Mix all the ingredients except the vinegar together. Add vinegar to taste.

Lemon Gremolata – With remaining lemon zest, combine with all ingredients.

Pat the fish dry with some kitchen paper, wiping off the excess salt and then pat it with a little olive oil. Grill over medium coals for about 3 minutes on each side, depending on the thickness. Serve the Cod on the Black Olive Sauce and garnish with Gremolata. Recipe courtesy of McPherson Winery.

MCF_Chard_smallMcPhersonSilky_Sticker
Chardonnay
South Eastern Australia

With a focus on traditional winemaking craftwork and state-of-the-art technology, McPherson wines are made to be easy-drinking, fruit driven styles with generous mouth-filling flavors. For almost 40 years the McPherson family have been committed to producing high quality wines with an affordable value. This wine was crafted from 100% Chardonnay grapes, sourced primarily from vineyards in the Murray Darling region, located within South Eastern Australia. Grapes were picked and crushed during the cool of night so as to retain their fresh, varietal flavors. A delightful, fruit driven wine displaying aromas of tropical fruits and peaches with just a hint of lightly toasted oak. McPherson Chardonnay is a versatile wine that pairs well with a wide range of foods. Try with roast chicken and grilled fish.

Winemaker: Jo NashJo-Nash
Appellation: South Eastern Australia
Varietal Blend:  100% Chardonnay
Analysis: 13.5% alc/vol
Critical Acclaim: Victoria Wine Show 2012

“The palate exhibits fresh, ripe Chardonnay flavors of melon and fig with a delicate, creamy texture and a crisp, clean finish. Subtle oak handling complements, rather than overpowers the wine”.

Dobbes Family Estate Viognier Pairing Recipe

Stir Fried Pork with Ginger

Pork_Ginger_stirfry_smallINGREDIENTS:

• 1/4 cup chicken stock or low-sodium broth
• 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
• 1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce
• 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
• 3 Thai chiles or 2 jalapeños, minced
• 2 large garlic cloves, minced
• 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
• 1 3/4 pounds pork tenderloin, sliced crosswise 1/8 inch thick
• 1 pound Asian eggplants, cut into 1-inch dice
• 1 cup coarsely chopped basil
• 1 kaffir lime leaf, very thinly sliced, or 1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
• Lime wedges, for serving

DIRECTIONS:

Heat a large wok or skillet over moderately high heat for 5 minutes. In a small bowl, mix the stock with the oyster and fish sauces. Add the oil to the wok and swirl to coat. Add the chiles, garlic and ginger and cook for 30 seconds. Add the pork and stir-fry for 3 minutes. Add the eggplant and stir-fry until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the sauce mixture.

Remove from the heat and stir in the basil and lime leaf. Transfer to plates and serve with lime wedges. Serve with white rice or rice noodles.

DFE_Viognier_NV_smallDobbes
Family Estate Viognier

Rogue Valley, Oregon

Silky_Sticker“Bright gold in color, the nose reveals aromas of lychee and ripe white peaches. The characters are very clean and true to the varietal. This is a medium-bodied wine with silky fruits and balanced acid. On the palate, pronounced flavors of peach cobbler are balanced by acidity that seems to sustain the finish for some time.” – Joe Dobbes, winemaker

Winemaker: Joe Dobbes
Appellation: Rogue Valley, OR
Varietal Blend:  100% Viognier
Analysis: 13.5% alc/vol