Bearing strong resemblance to Parmigiano-Reggiano, Grana Padano is made throughout the Po River Valley in northeastern Italy. Produced from the raw cows' milk of two milkings, which is then partially skimmed, Grana Padano is cooked twice and bathed in brine before it is left to age. The resulting rind is firm, waxen and deeply straw-colored, protecting a fragrant, dry, flaking paste with sweet, nutty flavor that is never tangy. Grana means ''grain'' and, as the name implies, the cheese has a fine granular quality with a sweet, nutty little bite. Ours is aged for at least 20 months, and it's a great grate. If you're adding it to your cheese plate, try pairing with a Barolo, or an amber ale.
Just the Facts
BourbonThink: Caramelly, crystalline cheeses have the strength to stand up to bolder booze. With sweet bourbon, these cheeses become almost like dessert.
Cabernet SauvignonFull-bodied with no shortage of flavor. This grape is grown in almost every climate, which means lots of diversity across bottles.
Old World Cabernet: Earthy with aromas of leather, hay, and dark dried fruits. Sometimes a hint of eucalyptus or violet.
Pair with: Cheese with flavor that can stand up to this big wine. Alpine style cheeses like Comte or Challerhocker and some sweeter blues like Bleu d’Auvergne would make a good match.
New World Cabernet: Characterized by bold oaky flavors and high levels of tannins. These wines are about as full-bodied as you can get, very jammy with flavors of reduced fruit.
Pair with: Sweet clothbound cheddar or a Grana style cheese like Parmigiano Reggiano or Podda Classico.
Pale Ales & IPAsHoppy Beers - Pale Ale, IPA, Amber, Red Ale
Hops, glorious hops! Think of hops as the seasoning for beer: they lend the bitter yin to balance malt’s sugary yang. In IPAs and other hoppy beers this humble flower takes center stage. Flavors range from grassy to grapefruit, earthy and dry to resinous pine, depending on which hop varietals are used.
Pair with: Cheeses with enough body to stand up to the bitterness, like clothbound cheddar or aged Gouda.
Pinot GrigioA lighter, crisper white wine. Tends to be refreshing and fruity, with aromas of stone fruit, peach, quince, and lemon.