We have enjoyed some lovely weather around New York City for the past several months. After Sandy, we have had little to complain about. During the last few hours of summer it has seemed more like November. The cooler weather is good for many things, including the cheese appetite. It may not be quite as good for the Sauvignon Blanc fans, those that would prefer to have a chilled glass by the side of the pool. For many however, the weather matters little – this varietal is a favorite, even in February.
If other foods rise to the Sauvignon Blanc occasions only sporadically, it is nice to know that cheese can meld well with this grape in greater frequency. The goat cheeses are practically a given. As it turns out, the sheep cheeses favor this varietal too. About the only major cheese family that seems to shun Sauvignon Blanc is the family of blues, unless the wine happens to be one of those rare expressions of a “dessert” Sauvignon Blanc.
So among the goat cheeses you can count on Hoja Santa or Humboldt Fog to pair well with this grape. And from the sheep department the Abbaye de Belloc or the Pecorino Sardo make great partners. A Brillat Savarin (cow) triple crème makes a surprisingly nice mate, and in mixed milk bloomies, try the Nancy’s Hudson Valley Camembert. The wash rind cheeses can pair well too: try Epoisses, which likes just about any wine you throw its way. One of the bigger surprises is what Sauvignon Blanc can bring out of an older Gruyère or Comté. The phenomenal Cheshire, or one of the great British Cheddars, Westcombe or Keen’s, can marry well with Sauvignon Blanc too.
So as the days of Sauvignon Blanc begin to slip away, you can count on a number of cheeses of all stripes (save for the veined blues, not those stripes) to make for a memorable sunset.
- Max McCalman