Vacherin Fribourgeois Alpage
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There is a connection between a cheese and where it comes from, and the Vacherin Fribourgeois is the prime example of that fact. As the cows graze on the grasses in the Alpine foothills, their milk develops notes of the earth around them, as they have done for generations. The grass and wild flowers of late spring and summer make up the cows' diet, bringing a bright acidity and fresh vegetal flavors into the mix. When the Vacherin is formed, the scent of grass and summer hay permeates the air, transporting the senses to these mountain pastures with each bite of this washed rind. The firm but open paste develops buttery cashew flavors that a big and bold Bordeaux compliments best.
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.
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.
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.