The coordinates to some of the world’s more famous wine regions share striking similarities to our own northern climes. Crisp, fresh Sauvignon Blanc and Muscadet reign supreme in France’s Loire Valley, while goat cheeses provide a perfect regional pairing. In Upstate New York & Vermont, crisp air, apples and white grape varietals are virtually synonymous with the region. Today we explore a pairing that is similar to their European counterparts but is all Northeastern in attitude.
Vermont Creamery ‘Coupole’
This delightful morsel comes to us from Vermont Creamery, purveyors of all things goat-y and wonderful. Vermont Creamery was born out of a French chef’s need for fresh goat cheese and they’ve been delivering ever since. The Creamery itself uses milk from 15 family-owned goat farms across Vermont to provide tasty goat’s milk treats from your classic salad toppers to stand alone cheese board superstars like this one. Named for its resemblance to a snow covered dome, Coupole’s wrinkly rind covers a rich creamline and fresh tangy paste. The edible rind adds depth, with notes of mushrooms and earth while the paste is milky and smooth with a bright, grassy hint. If you’re not into eating it directly off a spoon (we don’t judge), pop it on a plate with some tart pears, toasted pistachios, prosciutto, and your favorite Island-harvested honey. I’m no scientist, but that should just about cover all the major food groups.
Thirsty Owl ‘Appalachian Bottom Dweller’ Dry Riesling
This week we’re pairing Coupole’s many delicious traits with a new wine we’re pretty amped about; Riesling from the Finger Lakes region of New York. The Finger Lakes are New York’s biggest American Viticultural Area (AVA) and Riesling is the frontrunner of the many grapes grown in the region. Due to the area’s geological history and formation over the last Ice Age, the fast draining soil is perfect for grape growing, as is the cool but temperate climate maintained by the lakes themselves. Riesling may have a rap for being sweet and cloying, but over the past decade, Finger Lakes Riesling has become refined and refreshing; perfectly capable of standing up to other European whites. This dry Riesling is a new release from Cayuga Lake’s Thirsty Owl Winery. Crisp & dry with hints of green melon, this wine is positively shimmering with mouthwatering acidity and minerality. Heightened due to the use of grapes only grown in one specific mineral-rich acre of the winery. This minerality works perfectly with Coupole’s rich, creamy paste and the signature goat tang is delightful with this Riesling’s fruity nose. Ripe citrus zest and scant residual sugar keep this tasty sipper dry, balanced and perfect for a mushroomy, salty Coupole. Nothing quite like this match made in the Northeast!