26
Apr
10

wine and cheese please

What can get any better than good food and good wine? Okay, great food and great wine! But even they are subject, like many sensory things, to time and place and those we surround ourselves with. When we have these elements just right even the most pedestrian things can seem extraordinary and merely good things can become great things.

So, there I am, sitting crossed legged on my living room floor at the coffee table with the love of my life sitting right there beside me. In front of us a feast of our favourite cheeses, salami, Roasted Red Pepper stuffed Olives, fresh bread and, of course, vino! Are all of these the best there is? That’s a matter of opinion, but given the time, place and company, they were the best that night!

We went to Whole Foods to pick up some of our favorite cheese, Drunken Goat, and while there we decided to see if we could find some semi dry Jack cheese like the kind we get at our favorite little cheese maker in Sonoma, Vella! Low and behold they actually carried the Oro Secco, which is Vellas dried 7 month aged Jack that is a wonderful golden-yellow colour with just a hint of bite. It went great with the Volpi salami and the olives. And everything went great with the wine that I brought home…

2007, Finca Relsalso, Tempranillo, Ribera del Duero

The grapes were sourced from vines ranging in age from 5 to 15 years old and the wine was aged for 4 months in new French oak. It has a lively deep ruby colour that glints like a liquid gem. The nose is ripe with red berry aromas and underlying notes of dusty minerality and spice that are very evocative of the place where this wine came from. I could almost smell the dry sun-baked soil and smell the vines on the warm breeze. On the palate this wine didn’t disappoint and was almost Bordolaise with powdery minerality and dry earth notes taking the lead with rich dark fruits bringing up the rear to deliver a luscious mouthfeel supported by well-integrated, soft, almost silky yet chewy tannins. And the finish was long and warm with just enough hint of acidity to keep the fruit flavours alive. It’s character really played well with the soft and creamy nature of the Drunken Goat cheese and had wonderful contrast to the shaper Oro Secco and Olives. The tannins were perfect match for the fatty goodness of the salami as well and if I closed my eyes I felt like I could have been sitting somewhere in Spain!

This is another wine that is restoring my faith in wines from the region as it seems winemakers there are returning to more classic styles of wine that use French oak in moderation instead of over oaking in American oak. And it’s still a bargain at $15.00

So, was the meal great in its own right? I say yes. Was it because of time and place and company, again I say yes. Does it matter which one? Not in the slightest.

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