If you've been to England, you've probably seen it around: the carrot-colored paste and those royal blue veins. The orange color comes from annato, a natural, vegetable food coloring found in many cheeses. Full-flavored and unpressed, this bright orange cheese has a surprisingly smooth texture. A golden, russett rind forms after each cheese is made by hand, creating a sharp, tangy cheese that stands out among its blue brethern. A peppery Pinot Noir balances out the robust flavor of this cheese lingering on the palate.
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Just the Facts
Pinot NoirLighter bodied and delicate. Old World style generally offers more funk, New World more fruit.
Old World Pinot: Flavors of fresh cherries and raspberry balanced by a barnyard funk and high minerality. Sometimes has floral aromas, reminiscent of rose petal.
Pair with: Almost anything! Works with funky Frenchies Epoisses and Langres, or mild natural rinds like Tomme de Savoie.
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.
RieslingThis food-friendly wine ranges from super sweet to quite dry. Acidity, minerality, and aromas of tropical fruit are almost always present.
Dry: Characterized by bracing acidity and stark minerality. Tropical fruit on the nose, stunningly balanced flavor overall.
Pair with: This versatile wine works equally well with a fresh chevre (bringing out acidity) as it does a stinker like Willoughby (playing up the sweet/salty contrast).
Sweet: The other end of the spectrum offers a cloyingly sweet, syrupy wine. Aromas of ripe peaches and tropical fruit dominate, along with floral, perfumed accents.
Pair with: With something this strong it’s best to contrast the sweetness with something funky or salty: A pungent washed rind like Grayson or a punchy blue like Bleu du Bocage.