the last bite

Perfect Pairings

December 04, 2015
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Illustrated by Katie Eberts
Compiled by Ann Hostetler, Illustrated by Katie Eberts
Some things just go together: sugar and spice, coffee and donuts, milk and cookies. But even classic combinations can be tricky when it comes to more complex flavors, like those found in wine and cheese. We decided to make it easy on ourselves and ask the experts. Try these matches made in heaven and delight your guests with your pairing prowess! 
One of my favorite local wine and cheese pairings is Evergreen Lane’s Mattone with Domaine Berrien Cellars Pinot Noir. Mattone is a Taleggio-style cheese: a pungent washed-rind cheese that contrasts beautifully with the distinct fruity flavors of the Pinot Noir. I love this pairing for the holidays because it is big, bold and decadent—perfect for celebrating with friends and family. 
—Brad Fuller,
My current favorite cheese is P’tit Basque, a semi-firm sheep’s milk cheese from the French Pyrenees. Mellow on the sheep flavor, it has a hint of caramel and a flavorful lingering sharpness. It stands well on its own, but is complemented by a flavorful deep red such as Fruit Hills’ Cabernet Franc or Two Shades of Red (Merlot and Cab Franc blend). 
—Rachel Shenk, The Wedge, Goshen, IN
Evergreen Lane’s April Showers is a favorite choice for the holidays. Aged for 10–14 days, this 100% cow’s milk crottin develops a white rind in the style of Brie or Camembert and has a firm interior with hints of lemon and salt. It works well as a party or dessert cheese, paired with almonds and fruit. Wyncroft’s Avonlea Chardonnay is an excellent accompaniment. Wyncroft wines are only available by the case; their Marland retail label may be easier to find in stores. 
—Chef Jenny Drilon, Bentwood Tavern, New Buffalo, MI
We like Turtle Run Winery’s Dry Tortuga (from Corydon, IN, and available at City Wide Liquors in South Bend) with our family farm’s J2K Capraio Chèvre. The wine is crisp, fruity and dry, while the cheese is tangy, tart and softly spiced. The two flavors together offer sweet tartness that is light on the palate without an overwhelming aftertaste so you are ready for the next bite! Our chèvre is available in many flavors including our new Blood Orange Spice, which uses spices from South Bend’s Terra Spice Company. 
—Joe and Jody Klinedinst, Oh Mamma’s on the Avenue, South Bend, IN
Article from Edible Michiana at
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