Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Weekly Feature?



It was at The Wine Country holiday party that Randy announced that he would like me to do a weekly feature of the store website in the coming year, a weekly wine and cheese pairing. I dug the idea, I mean I do loves me some cheese and my inner (okay, I know it's an outie) geek truly gets off on wrapping my head around pairing ideas. "That should be fun!" I buzzily responded and returned to over drinking my Champagne. 

"I think we should start that pairing thing this week" Randy just days after the party. Huh?! You want to start that now? Right as we start having our assess handed to us in the holiday rush? Apparently the look of horror on my face was not enough incentive to sway him from his new idea and, "Yes!" with a big excited smile was what I got in return. And even though I was....well, a little less excited about taking on another duty, smack-dab in the middle of holiday craziness, well that damn smile and enthusiasm of his simply wrecks me, "Well alrighty then" was all I could say.



We've done them for a couple weeks now and I just sent off the one that will appear tomorrow on the website but as I was sitting here noshing my Triscuits, (note to self, save that term for later usage)  and mortadella on my lunch break, feeling guilty that I have not posted in over week, guiltier even that I just found out that we are going to do a January newsletter, thus meaning that I will have even less time to write, it hit me. Why not post my pairings here as well? Buys me a day or two, I get double exposure on the pairings I slave (well I don't sweat or anything but I think real hard) over and it might get me my "Wine Blogger" card back or something. You know, by having some actual wine stuff on this here wine blog. Brilliant! Or lazy but as my greasy-with-mortadella fingers fly across the keyboard and I can feel the tiny pin prick of pressure that pokes the spot in my neck that reminds me I've been a bad blogger subsides...well I'm going to go with brilliant.  Least for today...

 
Featured Wine:



N.V. Camille Saves Grand Cru Carte d’Or Brut $67.99

I often speak of the wines from Camille Saves as being, “Game changers” meaning that they have the ability to turn people from occasional Champagne imbibers to full-fledged Champagne freaks. The Champagnes from this estate are an amazing mix between full, richly textured, powerful and grace, delicacy and elegance and I find that this Carte d’Or tends to be the biggest and brawniest of the bunch.
Rich and toasty will be your first impression, not a bad way to begin I would think, but the wine seems to grow, get more layered and complex the longer it’s open. Soon that toasty note will be joined with some salted caramel and browned butter. The power softened by the aromas and flavors of warm baked apples. The flavors linger forever and paired with the right food, well mind-bending.

Cheese:



Berthaut Epoisses Affine au Chablis ($14.99)
Epoisses is a French cow’s milk cheese with a rather pungent aroma, edible rind and when fully ripened, a hauntingly creamy texture. The smell would imply a fairly strong cheese but in fact the aroma is the strongest part. The flavor tends towards the salty side, but perfectly so and that saltiness is what makes this a very wine friendly cheese. Serve at room temp to get the full effect of the astounding creaminess in this, one of my favorite cheeses, ever.

Pairing:
When picking a pairing for the week of New Year’s it took me only a second to marry Saves and Berthaut. Going for the whole, “Go big or go home” kind of kick off for the New Year. Well, maybe it's more that my mind was seeking uber indulgence, something so gloriously luscious that it is nearly dirty. Camille Saves washing down a mouthful of pungent and almost feral, gooey, plump and heavy in the mouth cheese? The powerful and succulent fruit in the Camille Saves Carte d’Or paired with the achingly creamy, meaty, salty cheese sure as shit gets my heart racing and palate watering. Don't think budgets, diets, what you should or shouldn't...do it. Just do it. 

10 comments:

ADoC said...

If you're ever stuck for a cheese pairing, we'll take a recipe/wine pairing instead! Your cooking is divine.

I know it's just one more thing on your already heaping plate, but I think we -your readers- would totally dig it.

webb said...

This sounds wonderful, and tho I will not have either, I will pretend I have both.

A plus of this new idea ... you are getting to write a post from work!

Happy New Year, Sam. Hope 2012 is filled with wonderful days for you.

Samantha Dugan said...

ADoC,
Awe, you are too sweet. We've talked about doing that for the site as well but it has yet to come to fruition. Guess we shall see if anything comes from the cheese and wine dealies. Not sure if this space is right for that kind of thing, hell not even sure I will post another one of these really. I was swamped, not seeing any light at the end of the tunnel and feeling guilty so I went for it!

webb,
I don't think I shall ever be able to post from work! I did write the original piece at work but punched out for lunch before tweaking it a little to be more my voice for this space. Just not thinking my bosses want me blogging on their time, can't say I blame them.

I hope you both have a wonderful New Year's Eve and Day and I sincerely hope to see you both in 2012!

Anne said...

I love that you get to kill 2 birds with one stone and we the readers, benefit!!:)
BTW, bought Camille Saves Rose haven't opened it yet, but so excited to try it!

Winey the Elder said...

'sure as shit.....'
Eureka! A wine/cheese reviewer I can relate to. A hedonistic indulgence from the get go; it can only go downhill from here and I look forward to the slide, ride, twists and other 'mind-benders' that follow. Thanks for the double duty. It is sincerely appreciated and appropriately adored.

Winey

Samantha Dugan said...

Anne,
I confess to whispering a, "Yes!" when I read that you had a bottle of Saves Rose waiting for you. Please tell me you will be drinking it soon and sharing your thoughts with me. Not that you asked but being the bossy bitch that I am I would suggest a few things to fully appreciate a wine, (bubbly yes but wine first in the case of Saves and many other growers)like that. First of all use a real wine glass, or at least pour some in a real wine glass. I know and understand the idea of flute, it's a sexy and traditional glass, but as with any great wine Camille Saves Rose needs room to open, spread out and breathe...dumping in a flute will in fact muzzle it. Secondly, have some salty snacks on hand. Nothing over done; chips, cheeses (not goat) and maybe some simple meats like salmon, roast beef or cured hog. Again, this is a serious wine and it will shine with the right food. If you do fruit or chocolate, just lie to me and say you didn't. Lastly, let the wine warm up a little. Too cold simply covers the complexity, weight and finish. Ever lick a frozen steak? I like to chill the wine all the way but sip the first glass slowly and never put the bottle back into the chiller. Um, yeah....bossy much?! Forgive my dorkdom and enjoy!

Winey,
Yeah, I did tweak the post a little from the one that will be showing on our website. "Sure as shit" might not fly in some groups but it is what I would say in the store to most. I adore the idea of starting the night in complete indulgence, sets the tone and after the craziness of the holidays, I am so ready to surrender myself to any rabbit hole that wine and cheese will take me.

Ron Washam said...

My Gorgeous Samantha,

I drink everything that bubbles out of a flute--Champagne, Diet Coke, Alka-Seltzer, snot balloons... It's just so much classier that way.

I love the Champagne/cheese pairing! I call it "Mission Epoisses-able." Man, that joke sucks.

I love you!

Your HoseMaster

Anne said...

Thank you Samantha! Please be bossy any time!
I will let you know how the Camille goes, going to wait a bit because allergies and stuffed noses have hit both hubby and me so I want to experience this when we can appreciate it.

Happy New Year!

Anne

Valerie said...

As luck would have it my local wine purveyor is pouring Champagne at a tasting this afternoon. The Saves is at the top of my list & hope she has it. She's where I go for my French fix, and incidentally the fine lady who helped Santa-Stud pick out that Cornas for me. Wishing you a delicious couple of last days of 2011 and an even bubblier 2012!

Samantha Dugan said...

Ron My Love,
Hate to say it but, lips that touch flutes shall never touch mine....especially if there are snot balloons involved! I love you.

Anne,
Well please be sure to let me know what you thought when your sniffles have subsided. Oh and should you need, Ron has a glass for that...

Val,
Now if YOU don't tell me what you think I might just have to fly to CO and shake it out of you! Cannot wait and a very happy New Year to you, you stud.