Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Day Two Hundred and Seventeen - Results

It's results time! Don't worry there won't be any interruptions like with last night's US Open Men's Tennis Final. Good for Nadal though, quite the smashing success Grand Slam summer, right? Anyhow, enough about tennis, let's get down to the good stuff and the results from this week's Marriage Mondays, who is excited?

Contestant Number # 1: Appenzeller - Fabulously nutty is this contestant but it just isn't the right type of fabulous for our white port. The residual sugar and musty flavors of the port will clash royally with the caramelly creaminess of the cheese. This is the perfect sort of cheese for fondue and is often found melted in a nice pot perfect for dipping purposes. I tend to think Appenzeller works best with Alsatian white wines. However in the winter time, it can be paired successfully with certain medium-bodied reds, like for example Merlot.

Contestant Number #2: Pont L'Eveque - This king of gooey-ness is such a decadent treat but not the right sort of treat for our white port. To pair a beverage with Pont L'Eveque, you need something that will balance out the creaminess of the cheese in all the right sort of ways, say for example Champagne. Our white port is a little more viscous than a glass of bubbly and viscous liquids do not typically tango successfully with cheeses like Pont L'Eveque. Coupled with the fact that the barnyardy characteristics of the cheese simply miss the ball with our port.

Contestant Number #3: Cambozola - Therefore by deduction, it seems that our Blue-Brie mixture takes the cake this week. The piquant edge of this cheese will find its match in the residual sweetness of white port where as the creaminess of the bloomy rind will find its counterpart in sumptuousness of the port. Each, so round and full, these are two elements that have many similarities with just the right number of striking differences to create a successful pairing.

So what other sorts of cheeses could you pair with white port if you wanted to make a dessert cheese plate?

I would suggest most blue cheeses as a good pairing concept, for many of the same reasons that Cambozola works. Or potentially a nice creamy ricotta or even a soft ripened goat cheese like a Chabichou de Poitou. Should you want to go the harder cheese route, I think Barely Buzzed, a semi-firm cow's milk cheese that is rubbed in a blend of Lavender and a blend of Indonesian, Central and South American coffee beans would be super fantastic, really unusual, and interesting!

If you are looking for a new after dinner liquor or a unique aperitif, pick up a bottle of white port the next time you are at the liquor shop, you might be surprised as to how much you like it!

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