Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Day Two Sixty Six - Epoisses Results

How funny is it that the week I decide to do an Epoisses Marriage Mondays, Artisanal Cheese's online store sends out an email about a fifteen percent discount on stinky cheese...coincidence?

I like to think that great cheese minds think alike...on that note, lets get right to our results, there won't be a recipe provided today because to be quite honest, Epoisses is best served with crusty French bread. It sure is one of those cheeses that assumes the spotlight and rightfully so. Move over food pairings, this is a cheese that is all about the right beverage.

Lets first get to the contestant that simply doesn't work -- Contestant Number 3, Sauternes. Although delish, a nice glass of this dessert wine has such a weight to it due to the residual sugars present that it will weigh down the Epoisses, not what you want that's for sure! Earthy, stinky and barnyardy are simply not meant to go with sweet and syrupy. Each is fantastic on their own but has too much of a commandeering presence to work hand in hand.

Moving onto Contestant Number 2, Red Bordeaux. This is a tricky match, because in all reality, this could work, stinky cheese with a big red wine, the fruitiness of the wine would complement the barnyardy yeastiness of the cheese. Each is full in body and flavor and results in a pairing where each is somewhat similar to the other -- riding along side by side but not necessarily interacting to their fullest. The ideal red wine for that purpose is a Red Burgundy -- obviously due to terroir, the cheese is made in the same region as the wine and each with its distinctive nuances plays wonderfully off the other for a late Fall pairing. But because red burgundy wasn't an option, that leads me to believe that Contestant Number One took the prize this week!

Pinot Blanc did in fact take the prize this week as the unusual pairing option for Epoisses -- it's semi-sweet floral and fruity characteristics are the perfect counterpart to the pungent washed rind-ness of the Epoisses -- the wine will lighten up the cheese a bit and will bring out hidden flavor moments that say pairing a Red Burgundy won't. Why you may ask? Well because this my friends is a case where opposites attract in terms of body and flavor. It is an important lesson to remember when pairing wines and cheeses.

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