Murray's Pecorino Calabrese
In the southernmost part of mainland Italy, Calabria's version of a Pecorino is the perfect table cheese. Milk is gathered from 50 different Calabrian farms, then aged for up to 8 months. Ivory colored and aged to a firmness, the aroma of lamb-wool wafts through the air. Bite into the wedge to unleash the robust, meaty flavor of the cheese, distinctly saline as it spreads across the palate. The cheese is highly snackable, especially with a bowl of briny olives and a drizzle of balsamic. It's just firm enough to grate over pasta, too - melt over buccatini and crack fresh pepper on top.
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.
MerlotA smooth and medium-bodied wine with a more rounded flavor than other reds. Dark fruits are present but with minimal tannins and no noticeable spice.
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.
Porters and StoutsPorter, Stout, Imperial Stout
Welcome to the dark side of beer. Porters and Stouts are born of heavily roasted malted barley, which colors the beer and develops toasty flavors recalling chocolate, coffee, and chicory. Looks can be deceiving, though: dark doesn’t always mean strong. Porters and stouts can be incredibly light in body, or big boozy affairs that pour like syrup.
Pair with: A mild, creamy blue like Cambozola Black.