A few days ago, something unprecedented happened to the Wine Spectrum team. It started out like any normal day. We were tasting the 2021 Domaine Curot Sancerre, one of our newest additions to the portfolio. Around the room, the expectations were that we’d all jot down a few notes, share a few tasting notes we picked up on, and then move on to the next bottle.
What happened was very different. It started innocently enough. One of us said, “this wine really makes me want cheese.” Noses dove back into glasses, and sips were taken with that phrase rattling around in our minds. From that moment, it was futile to resist… We needed cheese and we needed it fast. Luckily for us, there is an exceptional cheese shop just a few blocks away, so a tribute was selected to venture out and return with, we’ll admit it, way more cheese than polite society would permit.
What was it about this wine? What could have possibly led to such an overwhelming craving? The answer is deceivingly simple: this is a really, really good Sancerre. The high acidity and lean minerality seemed crafted specifically for cutting through cheese’s richness. The citrus tones are awash with delicious salinities, for example, a thinly-sliced peel of Moroccan preserved lemon. There are peppery and herbal notes that are uniquely poised to add intrigue and complexity to a cheese pairing.
Without further ado, here are the cheeses we indulged in:
VALENÇAY: A perfect place to begin. In addition to wonderful wines like this Sancerre, the Loire Valley is known for extraordinary chèvre. The enchanting aromas of grass and sweet cream were brought further to life by the wine’s balanced, ripe fruit.
HUMBOLDT FOG: We have to represent our California cheese friends! Considering the classic pairing of Sancerre and goat cheese, we thought we could get away with having two on the board. It was extraordinary how this cheese brought the wild herb notes more forward than the Valençay. We shouldn’t have stopped at just two.
BEEMSTER CLASSIC AGED GOUDA: One of our team members had one request for the cheese run. “Get one of those goudas with the yummy cheese crystals.” Luckily, the cheesemonger knew exactly what that meant. And they were right. With every bite, a cheese crystal bursts like a firework. When that mingles with the liveliness of the wine…it’s a supernova.
TROU DU CROU: This was quite possibly a bit of sacrilege. A cheese hailing from Burgundy with a wine from the Loire? We got away with it. At the cheese shop, this was selected to bring out the nutty, almond-skin notes of the wine. It did that, and so much more. This was the first cheese to disappear.
QUESO DE VALDEÓN: This Spanish blue has been the go-to blue for a few years now. With a thin drizzle of honey, all of the flowers of the Loire were in bloom.
Is there a cheese board or two in your future? Pick up a case of the 2021 Domaine Curot Sancerre to go with them. When your inner cheese monster takes over, try and keep it classy.