Sometimes…ok, all the time this time of year, we are ready to get into our PJs around 4 o’clock at night and peruse the fridge and wine cabinet for something that pairs perfectly with fuzzy slippers and the Queen’s Gambit. Is this you too? Great. Keeping reading for an easy, comforting pairing just right for these cozy nights.
Cobb Hill Ascutney Mountain, Vermont
This firm, Jersey cow cheese hails from Vermont, but is as classically delicious as any imported Alpine-style cheese you know and love. Cobb Hill is a small cheesemaking operation from Hartland, VT that began making award-winning Ascutney Mountain in 2000 using fresh, raw milk from Cedar Mountain Farm’s Jersey cows. Cedar Mountain’s cows are well known for their rich and creamy milk, perfectly suited for cheesemaking. Not surprising once you taste Ascutney Mountain, it only took until 2005 for it to start winning awards. Ascutney is modeled after a classic Alpine cheese; a Swiss Appenzeller recipe, complex with rich butter and cream notes accented with grassy, earthy tones and hazelnuts. Aging for 9-10 months makes this cheese sweet and nutty with a prolonged tangy finish that perfectly lends itself to topping your favorite comfort foods. We’re thinking French onion soup, mac & cheese, or au gratin potatoes.
Camp Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma County, California
Alpine cheeses like a big, fruity, juicy red and boy, so do we. This Cabernet Sauvignon comes from Camp wines, a label under Hobo Wine Company that focuses on showcasing Sonoma County and proving that approachable, affordable wines and high quality wines are not mutually exclusive. They work with lesser known, responsibly farmed vineyards to produce wines that are ready to drink, food friendly and have gone through fermentation with native yeasts and no commercial fermentation aids. Camp’s Cabernet Sauvignon is full bodied and bold but has plenty of fruit on the nose, think ripe red and black fruits with plum, blackberry, raspberry and cherry. Spice and earth cut the rich fattiness of Ascutney while the bright fruit plays delightfully with its sweet tang. The slight oaky and leather tones balance out all that juice and keep this Cab structured and focused with a delightful spice, the perfect companion for all those hearty, warm, cheese filled dishes we love so much this time of year.
If you’re looking for a cozy weeknight pairing, you’ve found it.
Written by Erin Hepinstall, Wine and Cheese Supervisor