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.
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.