Friday, July 30, 2010

Bees and Cheese

This week we're doing a great cultural pairing of Old World wine and New World innovative cheese.

Domaine de Beaurenard is a family run estate that has been producing wonderful Chateauneuf du Pape and Cotes-du Rhone Villages wines for 7 generations. The estate was originally called "Bois Renard" (wood fox) but the name slowly transformed in Beaurenard over the years, although the Coulon family still uses "bois Renard" for their special cuvees.

The fruit of this estate is 100% hand-picked and sorted to separate the best grapes from immature or damaged clusters. Using only indigenous yeasts the Coulon family have made wine the sameway for generations. Based in the philosophy of minimal intervention and combined with a few modern technology upgrades they continue to create natural wines that truly express the terroir of the region.

The 2009 domaine de Beaurenard Rose is comprise of Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah. The grapes are de-stemmed, gently crushed and are placed in a vat-just like it would be if making red wine. The skins are bled of color by staying in contact with the juice for 24-36 hrs. This process is known as the saignee method and the contact imparts the rose color and lends the terroir and fragrances of the grapes tot he wine. In essence it has the body of awhite wine with red wine aromas and flavor characteristics.

This wine should be served chilled and has aromas of strawberries and raspberries. On the palate it exhibits vibrant fruits found in the nose with a chalky minerality and a dry finish. It pairs nicely with charcuterie, saltier cheeses, seafood and roasted pork dishes.

The cheese this week comes to us from Beehive Cheese Company in Utah and is called SeaHive.

This Cheddar-like cheese is hand-rubbed with Beehive wildflower honey and Redmond sea salt from Redmond, Utah. The sea salt contains unique glints of color due to the more than 50 natural trace minerals. Back in 2005 Tim and Pat with the help of the Western Dairy Center of Utah State University opened up their shop. Beehive Cheese is among only a few artisan cheesemakers working in Utah, and make some of the most innovative cheeses we've tasted.

This cheese has a creamy and sweet component with a slight tang, and a deliciously salty (but not too salty) finish. The mild acidity of the wine plays nicely with the creaminess and dry finish of the cheese and compliments the sea salt .

-Cesar, Jamie, Jill