During one of my many last minute grocery store runs to Nugget Market, they were hosting one of their daily cheese tastings. I stopped by to sample what was available. I heard the hostess explaining what it was, but I really wasn’t listening. I just popped the cheese in my mouth and was pleasantly surprised by its phenomenal flavor. These cheese was an English Cheddar by Red Dragon. It was infused with wholegrain mustard and ale, which bursts with a tangy, almost spicy flavor.
I immediately thought that a great compliment to this cheese might be a nice Merlot to calm the tangy taste of the cheese. I went to the Merlot section of the store. Not looking for anything in particular. Just something under $20 that I had never tried before. I decided to go with one from Frei Brothers, priced well at $15.99. It was also an option from my favorite California wine region, Sonoma.
Name: Frei Brothers Reserve
Varietal: 100% Merlot
Appellation: Dry Creek Valley (Sonoma County)
Aromas and Flavors: Oak, Blackberry, Chocolate, Dark Cherry, Coffee
The wine paired amazingly well with the cheese. When you get that burst of mustard from the cheese, the dark notes in the Merlot smoothed out the flavor. This wine and cheese pairing went fast. I will be back for more.