PAIRING # 1 :
TRADER JOE’S COASTAL SAUVIGNON BLANC, 2009 ($4.99) & LA BUCHETTE ($4.99)
A crisp refreshing and light white wine with hints of citrus, tropical fruit, and a grassy flinty finish. It’s simple, straightforward, easy drinking, and light on the wallet. Great with salads, seafood, and aged goat cheeses like La Buchette. La Buchette is Trader Joe’s version of the well-known aged bloomy rind Loire Valley goat cheese, Bucheron. This version comes in a smaller 4 ounce log, soft ripened and aged to perfection. Lactic, creamy and bright with that classic aged goat cheese citrus tang. Think Sancerre and a Chevrot!
PAIRING # 2 :
PROJECT HAPPINESS SYRAH, 2007 $5.99 & EITHER:
TRADER JOE’S TOMME DE SAVOIE ($7.49 PER LB) OR TRADER JOE’S RAW MILK CAVE AGED BLUE CHEESE ($6.99 PER LB)
A big yellow smiley face on an otherwise completely black bottle, doesn’t that just make you happy looking at it? A nose full of red fruit, black cherries, plums, hints of leathery-ness and a nice light smoky finish. This is drier than most Syrahs you will find out there but at a much lower price point. Great with heavier pasta dishes, gamey meats, and stinky or blue cheeses. Here we’ve got two options – you can go with Trader Joe’s Tomme de Savoie, made here but in the traditional French style. Tomme de Savoie is a semi-firm cow’s milk cheese made in a tomme style, using the left over skimmed milk from the production of richer, more buttery cheeses. Barnyardy, gamey, and earthy is one route to go with the Project Happiness Syrah. The other route is a spicy, piquant, and classically creamy blue which will coax out the red berry and black cherry notes in the wine.
PAIRING # 3 :
VILLA CARLOTTI PROSECCO ($5.99) & GOAT MILK BRIE ($2.99 PER ROUND)
That classic Italian bubbly is less in your face full of bubbles than say a Champagne, but delicious in its own right – a great New Year’s Eve option. It’s full of apple and pear notes with a nice dryness that begs for an utterly decadent and creamy cheese, a brie or a triple cream is a great choice. Here I’ve chosen Trader Joe’s Goat Brie as it echoes the lightness in body of the Prosecco, yet it still has a nice creamy weight to it. Goat’s milk makes that classic Brie style cheese, grassy, citrusy, with hints of green apple. Available in small rounds -- great for hors d’oeuvres for a small holiday get-together with friends.