One of the great parts of my job is getting out and meeting the employees of the stores that sell our wines. It’s always great to see people who enjoy what they do so thoroughly! Smaller chains, especially – you find a passion with employees that you rarely find at your huge chain grocery stores.
And Sunshine Foods in St. Helena is no exception – everyone seems genuinely excited about helping people and selling quality products.
So, as a part of my Store Education Program, I took some wine to Sunshine Foods to have employees taste the blends, get their feedback and input, and explain the concept behind the product and brand. I was excited to learn that many of the employees had already actually used the product in their own recipes and loved it! One lady reported that our Blend #3 made her beef stew “spectacular!”.
When I met up with the staff in the Cheese Department (and Sunshine Foods does indeed have an impressive cheese selection), not only were the wines a big hit – I was told that they would pair really well with the cheeses Sunshine Foods offers.
“What a great blog post!”, I thought. I asked for more info and learned *lots* about cheese flavors and how they work with different wine styles.
I consolidated this info and I hereby present to you: Cheese pairing guidelines for each of our four blends!
Blend #1: Blend of Pinot Noir
“The earthiness of this wine will go really well with washed rind cheeses or stinky cheeses. Langres, Champagne – which isn’t too stinky would go great with this wine. Would also work really well with the earthiness of a good Brie.”
Blend #2: Blend of Sauvignon Blanc
“Very nice with goat cheeses, as their acidity will balance well with the acidity of the wine (Sauvignon Blanc usually has a higher acidity). Soft cheeses will also go well with this, for the opposite reason: They actually cut the acidity of the wine and bring it into balance. Think triple cremes, or Humbolt Fog. Nutty, buttery and rich cheeses would also go well…Aged Gouda, for example.”
Blend #3: Blend of Zinfandel
“The fruitiness of this wine will go really well with harder cheeses like Parmigiano. Other cheeses that would go well: Pecorino, Piave, and Montaggio. Anything dry and nutty.”
Blend #4: Blend of Viognier
“Brie style cheeses will go well with the fruity notes of this wine because of Brie’s mushroomy qualities; think Brie de Nagiais. The washed rind flavors would go well with this flavor profile because of its fuller flavors.”
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