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Wine and Cheese Pairing

The Wine: Château St. Jean Sonoma 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon ($30)
The Cheese: Cabra al Vino, “Drunken” Spanish Goat Cheese

The Château St. Jean Sonoma 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon ($30) is a classy California Cab, with intense aromas of blackberry, dark cherry and petunia, and a pleasing dose of wine-cellar oak. Maybe it’s because I’m watching the U.S. Open on TV right now, but I’m also smelling new tennis ball, like when you first pop open a fresh can of Dunlops. While I’m normally put off by intense oak, this wine has the backbone and structural integrity to stand up to the oak aging – 15 months in French and American oak barrels. Just as it does on the nose, the flavors hold together well, with a slightly sweet cassis core mingling with oak and black leather jacket. The blend of 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot rounds out the complexity and tannins.

The Château St. Jean really elevated this week’s cheese, a Vino Cabra – or “Drunken” Sheep’s Cheese – from the Murcia region of Spain. The cheese has a beautiful, edible purple rind from being soaked for two to three days in red wine and then aged for 75 days. Because of the rind color, the Cabra has the appearance of a pungent cheese, but its flavor rather delicate. Like most sheep’s cheeses, it has a bit of a bite on the first taste, but the sharpness quickly gives way to a smooth and long finish. Along with a mouthful of the St. Jean, the Cabra’s flavors linger on and on, as the wine’s tannins take the cheese to new heights, filling in any gaps in the cheese’s flavor.


“Wine and Cheese Pairing”

  1. Blogger E.S.B. Says:

    If you love cheese and wine pairings, Pair It! iPhone app has over 300 cheeses to match with. Http://pairitapp.com