This creamy, labor-intensive cheese is made of pasteurized cow's milk from the northern Italian region of Veneto and features one of Italy's most beloved exports - truffle. Sottocenere means "under ash", referring to the layer of ash this cheese is aged and rubbed in, sealing the aromatics of this particular cheese inside its succulent paste. Aged in a coat of nutmeg, coriander, cinnamon, licorice, cloves, and fennel, the Semi-Soft paste is laced throughout with slivers of black truffle. Delicate, aromatic and unusual, Sottocenere is a silken indulgence perfectly suited to the sparkle of Lambrusco and an earthy spread of foie gras.
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Just the Facts
Chenin BlancCrisp and acidic with light minerality. You may smell stone fruit, apples, pear, quince, even some fresh herbs.
Pair with: Tangy Loire Valley goat cheese to bring out crisp, mineral qualities in both. Something like Selles-sur-Cher will work perfectly!
PortVintage Port possesses extraordinary power, with deep fruit, spice, and chocolate. Full bodied with integrated tannin, vintage Port needs a powerful cheese to stand up to its strength. Anything mellow or subtle may get brushed aside.
Tawny Ports change flavour profile depending on their age; at 10, 20 and 30 years old. The traditional 20 year-old version, which I will focus on, is usually sweeter with secondary characters coming to the fore. It is a superb alternative to other sweet dessert wines, such as Madeira or late harvest Riesling and Tokaji.
TempranilloMedium-bodied with flavors of cherry, as well as some cranberry which lends bright acidity. Cinnamon and clove spices, and earthy, leathery flavors balance things out.