Monday, September 13, 2010

Day Two Hundred and Sixteen : White Port Marriage Mondays

What's your after dinner drink of choice? Sherry, Port, Dessert Wine, a Liquor? You name it, there's an extensive variety of drinks served specifically after the meal to aid digestion and to relax.

In case you couldn't guess my favorite after dinner drink by the title of today's post, let me give it away -- White Port!

Port hails from the Duoro Valley in the north of Portugal. Produced from grapes grown in this region, it is then fortified with a natural grape spirit which halts the wine's fermentation, leaving a nice amount of residual sugar and a higher alcohol content. It tends to come in ruby, tawny, pink, and white varieties -- ranging from sweet to dry. It is the sort of drink to enjoy while relaxing into a big ole leather club chair in front of a fire with a good mystery novel.

White port has the perfect mixture of sweetness and dryness to it, a nice woody caramelly sort of finish yet full of musty burnt sugar notes. Definitely a great candidate for cheese pairing! So lets get going!

Contestant Number #1: Appenzeller - Hailing from the great nation of Switzerland, this cheese is anything but neutral. Yes, it is a classic Swiss alpine style cheese in many ways, but this contestant takes that Swiss cheese thing to a whole new level. Bathed in an unusual mixture of wines, spirits, and herbs, those flavors take hold of this cow's milk paste and render the four month aged cheese into the perfect blend of herbaceous, nutty and milky notes. Do those nutty notes in contestant number one have what it takes to reveal our White Port's nuances?

Contestant Number # 2: Pont L'Eveque - Landing back on French shores with Contestant number two, this cow's milk washed rind cheese has been made for centuries in Normandy. Don't be deterred by the orange exterior or the interesting stench coming from this cheese, it is supremely gooey with a nice grassy bite, yet smooth, creamy, and even somewhat sensuously sleek. It is the sort of cheese that announces its presence on arrival for all the right reasons -- the perfect guilty pleasure sort of cheese.

Contestant Number # 3: Cambozola - Produced in a nation known for its beers and meats, this Blue-Brie style cheese shows that Germans can cut it when it comes to cheesemaking. If you break it down -- it's obvious from its name that it has elements of Camembert and notes of Gorgonzola. On the tongue, it sure has got that creamy sticking to the roof of your mouth sort of feeling of Brie with the nice spicy bite and pucker that comes with a good punchy blue cheese. Sure to delight! But will it delight our White Port? Only time will tell.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Blog Archive