We enjoyed our latest quest for Wow! pairings of specific wineries’ wines with specific cheeses as we also savored the spectacular views from Glacier Point in Yosemite National Park. This time our approach was to purchase two flavorful wines from the Curry Village Store, which we paired with three delicious cheeses purchased from two stores in Sonoma County: Raley’s Supermarket in Windsor and COSTCO in Santa Rosa. Of course we kept the cheeses and wines at cool temperatures until the unveiling and pairing 3200 feet above Yosemite Valley with Half Dome, Vernal Fall, Nevada Fall, and much of the spectacular valley floor in easy view.
As a special bonus, daughter Rhonda, her daughter Serena, and hubby Anthony joined in this spectacular tasting.
Here are the highlights of this venture as we continue to experiment in pairings, looking for those that give us that exhilarating experience of “Wow!, this wine and cheese combination is fantastic!” We hope that you are finding your “Wow!” pairings too.
We bought two wines in Yosemite: 2008 Delicato Family Vineyards Shiraz (vinted and bottled in Manteca, California in San Joaquin County), and 2009 “Yosemite” Chardonnay which was produced and bottled by Chateau Lasgoity in Madera, California in Madera County.
The three cheeses we sampled with these two wines were the following: Kerrygold Swiss (from Ireland}; Bel Gioioso Sharp Provolone (crafted in Wisconsin); and Cotswold Double Gloucester with Minced Onion and Freeze Dried Chive (from England).
Our Wow! combinations discovered in our current venture to Yosemite National Park
As we sat on granite benches at Glacier Point, we all swirled, sniffed and sipped these special wines, savored these delicious cheeses, and then recorded our various responses to these combinations. We discovered several Wow! experiences.
(As we have mentioned in previous venture reports, there are no “wrong answers” in Wow! pairings. One person’s individual taste buds, olfactory nerve cells, and mind-state can produce a Wow! response to the interaction of specific wines with specific cheeses while another person may not get a Wow! experience from that combination, but does find a Wow! effect from a completely different wine and cheese pairing. In other words, all of your Wow! pairings are valid.)
Barbara experienced two “Wow!” interactions both with the sweet nutty taste of the Swiss cheese with first the subtle flavors of the Chardonnay and then with the Shiraz with its complex aromas of spice, blackberry and cherry and lingering finish with some spice and oak nuances . Barbara described the interaction of the Swiss cheese with the Shiraz as producing a buttery new combined flavor and an interesting effervescence at the back of her tongue.
Norm’s two Wow!’s were the combination of the Chardonnay with the Swiss cheese, which formed a perfect balance of parallel flavors; and the Shiraz with the Cotswold cheese which also created a very pleasing balance with a soft mouthfeel and lingering, satisfying aftertaste.
Rhonda’s most dramatic Wow! combination was the Shiraz with the Cotswold cheese. She enjoyed an exciting long-lasting aftertaste of a new evolving flavor.
Serena’s favorite pairing that gave her a Wow! sensation was the Shiraz with the Swiss cheese. The wine dramatically enhanced, but did not overpower, the smooth, subtle cow’s milk cheese and produced a well-balanced taste sensation.
Anthony’s Wow! combination was the Shiraz with the Sharp Provolone cheese. He described a new tangy flavor from the interaction of wine and cheese, and he enjoyed a pleasing aftertaste that lingered.
On to future Wow! pairing discoveries
So that’s our report on this venture. We are thoroughly enjoying our visits to wineries and cheesemakers/cheese vendors and picturesque locations for our tasting experiences, and we hope that you are also venturing to find your special Wow! wine and cheese pairings. When you do, let us know what you have discovered.
Here’s to your exhilarating quest!