Exceptional Cheese & Wine from the Iberian PeninsulaBy: Calvin Mayne | VP of Food
On: June 20, 2012
Spain, a sun-drenched land that evokes thoughts of bulls, art, siestas, and treasured architecture. But I cannot think of Spain without thinking of Sherry, olives, Tortas de Aceite de Ines Rosales, olive oil, Marcona almonds, and, of course, cheese and wine! Neighboring Portugal has its fair share of rustic but exceptional food and drink. Here are some of our favorite things to enjoy from the Iberian Peninsula.
This complex goat cheese is made from pasteurized milk inoculated with the same mold used to make Roquefort, which adds to its complexity and distinctive appearance. It is slightly sharp, rich, creamy, and delightful when paired with olives and a fresh crusty bread from our Bakery.
That’s what you get when you take a lovely, firm goat cheese and immerse it in red wine! Not too mild, nor too strong, this goat cheese from the Murcia region of Spain is soaked in red wine two or three days, giving the outside of the cheese a thin purple rind. A real crowd pleaser, it has a slight sweetness and it’s perfect paired with Marcona almonds, chorizo, and a Garnacha.
Coinga Mahón D.O. Curado
A cow’s milk cheese from the Mediterranean island of Menorca, Mahón is ripened in underground caves and has an intense, slightly salty flavor. Best served on a cheese plate or melted on a hamburger, and paired with a dry rosé or Sherry.
Aged to perfection for 10-12 months, this cheese has the typical texture of a Manchego but is even smoother and creamier. The best of its category, drizzle a touch of quince paste on a slice of the cheese for a real treat. If you want nirvana, add a touch of Serrano ham and a glass of Tempranillo.
Casa de Mendivil Velho
We fell in love with this cheese at the Fancy Food Show this winter in San Francisco! Velho, meaning old and a designation given to cheese aged at least 90 days, is quite flavorful, refreshing, and reminded us a lot of the wonderful Portuguese wine Vinho Verde.
Protocolo 2009 Tinto
Made from 100% Tempranillo grown at high elevation, it is reminiciant of a soft Côtes du Rhône that is perfect for an everyday dinner wine. Black cherry and plump plum fruit abound here, and it has a touch of herb and tannin in the finish lending it well to grilled meats. $8
Sierra Sol Tempranillo
From the Spanish vineyards of Dayton's own Dr. Juan Palomar. This blend of Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot is medium bodied, well balanced, and a superb food wine! $9 save $3
Dr. Palomar has made a beauty of a wine here! A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, with a bit of Tempranillo, meld together very well to make a rich yet balanced wine that is drinking extremely well. Perfect for robust food pairings. $18
This Spanish wine is awesome! Rich and deeply layered with black cherry, plum, and cassis fruit with nuances of leather, cedar, licorice, tinderbox, and sweet vanilla/oak. $15
Balnea Verdejo Blanc
A beautifully crisp and dry wine from the region of Castilla y León, Rueda, it is estate grown organically, hand harvested, and a tremendous value. Full of bright lime and grapefruit flavors, it is perfect with a delicate fish dish, salad course, or on its own. $10
Botani 2008 Moscatel Seco
A really unique white wine, Botani is light, but quite flavorful, and can hold up to bold dishes. It is made with Muscat of Alexandria, and in the nose through mid palate your senses make you think it would be sweet but it finishes extremely clean and quite dry. It is perfect paired with sushi, simply prepared shrimp, or a cheese plate. $15