Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Award-Winning Pairings: French Cheese & Wine

With a history dating back some 6,000 years, few foods go as well together as cheese and wine. In ancient Greece, citizens even set shavings on top to enhance the flavor. Nowadays, there are classes to help people learn to make perfect pairings beyond matching wine and cheese by region or that reds prefer hard cheeses while whites tend to do best with soft.

At the Stirling Club, Ramon Triay, director of food and beverage, has arranged a French wine and cheese pairing at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 10 to be held in the north lounge of the Stirling Club. Participation is only $35 with Stirling Club Wine Society members receiving half off. Reservations are required and seating is extremely limited.

Featured Wine Selections For Cheese Pairings

Champagne, Louis de Sacy, NV. From Verzy, this cuvee offers wonderful spring fruit notes of strawberry and pastry. The region is located in northern France and is well known for its patchwork of hamlets, villages, and slopes planted with grapevines.

Château de St. Martin, Cotes de Provence, Rose, Grand Reserve, 2009. From Provence, France, Château de St Martin is known for its 12th century cellar and wooded parkland. It is also known for its cultural depth as a true rose.

Saumur Champigny, Domaine de La Perruche, Loire Valley, 2008. Saumur-Champigny is located between Anjou and the Touraine and its minerally, usually austere red wine comes from Cabernet Franc.

Château Les Hauts-Conseillants, Bordeaux, 2008 Simply put, it is one of the most consistently graded wines to come out of the Bordeaux region of southwestern France.

Château Trianon, St. Emilion, Grand Cru, 2004 This serious wine with an excellent body and well-extracted tannins as might be expected from the famous appellation from the east.

Château La Varière, Coteaux de Layon Le Savetier, Loire Valley, 2008 From an area often called the "Garden of France," the valley is an enchanted land of vineyards, flowers, and rolling green hills.

These wines will be matched to a mild Brie made near the Champagne region, a special cellar-aged wash rind cheese, various hard cheeses, and a mild French blue cheese. Accompaniments will include dried fruit, fruit paste, and toast points. The event will conclude with a traditional crème brûlée.

Non-Stirling Club members may contact Kathleen Gustafson, executive membership director. Stirling Club members may refer guests for consideration.
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