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Wine and Cheese Pairing: Tour de Vin, Final Stage

Spanish rider Alberto Contador cycled into Paris still wearing the yellow jersey to take his second Tour in France. So in homage to Contador’s victory, I’m ending my Tour de Vin tasting adventure with a Spanish wine and pairing it with a delicious Spanish sheep's cheese.

The wine: Fuentes Priorat Les Mines 2005 ($15) is a bold wine at 14.5% alcohol. The Grenache blend exhibits aromas of dark chocolate, dark fruit and spices. The name Les Mines refers to the terrain of the winery, which is built on an old mining territory with a slate and quartz mix, producing wines with intense mineral flavours and deep fruitiness. I liked the wine’s plum and bitter chocolate flavours, and its satisfying richness.

The cheese: I paired the Mines with a Don Heliodoro Romarin sheep’s milk cheese with rosemary rind. This fragrant cheese is a bit like a Manchego, but less crumbly. The texture is soft enough that you can slice it easily, but dry enough to create a nice, slight crumble in your mouth. It has a little kick to it, but it’s overly powerful. The rosemary rind infuses the whole cheese with a herbaceous flavor that melds well with other fruity and floral notes. The Romarin tastes good on its own, but its dryness begs it to be washed down with some good Spanish wine, which is exactly what I did with the Mines. The spicy, rich red takes the rosemary flavors of the cheese to new heights and the floral flavors of the cheese round out the boldness of the wine.

Cheers to you, Alberto.

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“Wine and Cheese Pairing: Tour de Vin, Final Stage”