This blog is now retired. My new site is at: Predictably Irrational.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Spanish Wine and Cheese Night

Friday evening I decided to have wine and cheese for dinner. I have been on a Spanish wine kick for quite awhile, so I decided I would make the entire theme Spanish. Where else does one go for great cheese? Well, at least here in Raleigh, it's Whole Foods.

I picked up four cheeses, all Spanish. Here's a description of each one. And by the way, so far, I haven't met a cheese I didn't like:

Manchego - well, a natural choice for Spanish cheeses! One of Tim's favorite and is always a must. This cheese, as I describe to my girls, is like the Spanish version of parmesan. It is made from sheep's milk. It's not as hard as parmesan; more creamy. But it has a nice saltiness to it, like Parmesan has.

Cabrales - this is a blue cheese made with goat and cow's milk; this blue cheese has a nice spicy bite to it.

Mohan D.O. - not sure what the "D.O." stands for, but that's how it's labeled. This cheese is a soft cheese made from cow's milk, that to me, has a very buttery, salty taste. The rind is orange because it is rubbed with paprika and oil. As with most of these cheeses, I tend to eat the whole thing, including the rind. The Manchego rind is a bit to tough to eat so I tend to knock that part off.

Drunken Goat: great name, huh? The first time Tim and I had this was at Enoteca Vin. I was very happy to see it at Whole Foods. The rind is purple because it is soaked in wine. As the name suggests, it is a goat's milk cheese that is also a bit soft and also creamy. I didn't detect any bite to it but found it very buttery-tangy tasting.

The wines that I picked up at Whole Foods were perfect and surprisingly cheap. I don't remember which one cost which, but I got one on sale for $5.99 (classified as a Customer Favorite) and the other was $7.99. I called myself pretty lucky to find these two:
2005 Dehesa de Rbiales Alaia - Vino de la Tierra de Castilla y Leon
2006 Protocolo - Vino de la Tierra de Castilla

I didn't take my wine notes to describe them as I should have but all I can say is they were both wonderful and I would definitely serve these for special occasions, even with the great prices.

To round off the meal, I threw in un-Spanish-like stuff like chicken sausage (with red pepper and basil), exotic olives and a really good olive oil with Farmer's Bread. I didn't much care for the Farmer's Bread so I'd have to try something different next time.

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