Murray's Parmigiano Reggiano Whole Wheel
A distinctively buttery aroma hints at the barrage of nutty sweetness and spice followed by a salt-caramel finish. Is an 80-pound wheel of that too much of a good thing? Absolutely not. We select parm that has been aged for 24 months—any younger and we miss the intensity, any older and the salt and sandy texture overwhelms. Those white specks there are clusters of amino acids. They reflect proper aging and create a delightful crunchy texture. You can put parm on anything, but there's so much here that you can also put yourself on parm. It makes for a lovely throne, as well as a striking display for celebrations. Crack it open for a wedding, anniversary, birthday, graduation, cheese decathalon, film wrap party, mock trial verdict rendering, really anything that finds a lot of people in one place with the need for something to congregate around. As a bonus: the wheel comes with a free set of professional parm knives.
Just the Facts
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.
ChiantiChianti is named for a region in Italy, and is actually made from a blend of grapes (mostly Sangiovese). This dry, medium-bodied wine has a distinct herbal quality (think rosemary and oregano) with flavors of dried plums and cherries.
Farmhouse Ales & SoursFarmhouse, Saison, Bière de Garde, Lambic, Sour Beer
Farmhouse ales, instead of being driven by malt or hops, depend on the yeast for their distinctive spicy, floral, and tart flavors. Commonly made by brewers in France and Belgium, farmhouse ales are usually light in color and body and quite effervescent. From time to time, brewers allow wild yeasts to ferment the beer, resulting in a brew that falls somewhere in between pleasantly bright to bracingly sour.
Pair with: Mushroomy Brie Fermier or funky, bacony Epoisses are matches made in heaven.
MalbecThis rustic wine is inky and dark, full-bodied with plenty of tannins. Fruity flavors of plums and berries are contrasted by spice and leather.
Pair with: Equally toothsome cheeses like Boerenkaas Gouda.