Everyone loves a good comeback story, especially us! We couldn’t resist featuring a former “has-been” on The Haute Life– Folks, reintroducing rosé!
Once viewed as a wash up from the 80’s who could only get into dive bars or hang out with Aunt Marge, this formally ostracized wine that people primarily knew as “White Zin” is now the bell at every summer party. Seen on patios across the land, rosé has made comeback history!
This June, the month of roses, we’re paying tribute to rosé with a lesson on how to pair the rediscovered and now refined wine with one of our other favorites -cheese!
For this task of a summertime wine and cheese pairing, we turned to cheese master Brad Wasik, of Wasik’s Cheese Shop in Wellesley. If you love cheese and you’ve never been to Wasik’s – GO! The cheese selection and knowledge are unparalleled. Now, on to the good stuff!
Pairing Rosé and Cheese
When we asked Brad how to select a rosé and then pair with cheese, he gave us sound advice- start with the classics. For the wine, choose a rosé from Provence, France, which in his opinion produces the very best rosés in the world. Even better, look for a rosé produced in Bandol (an appellation within Provence). This is the sweet spot for the best rosé in the world!
So, we have a direction with the wine, what about the cheese?
Goat cheese (chèvre) is a true classic. According to Mr. Wasik, the best goat cheeses are produced in the Loire Valley of France. Brad says putting a classic Provencal rosé next to a traditional Loire Valley goat cheese is a match made in heaven! Oh boy, now we’re starting to get ideas about light salads, sprinkled with goat cheese, with a lovely glass filled with pretty pale pink wine standing proudly aside of it. Thanks, Brad for the idea!
So, we’ve placed our sure bet with the chèvre; now it’s time to up the ante. Mr. Wasik tells us to expand our pallet, an excellent place to start is with sheep’s milk cheeses from The Basque Region of Spain.
Classic manchego from Spain is a hit with almost every rosé! Want to push those chips further? How about a true farmstead cheese like Ossau Iraty or Abbey de Beloc from the Basque. They tend to be a little funkier than manchego. Those salty, funky, and farminess flavors in the cheese will pair well with the fruit in the rosé. Farm and funk? We love it Brad!
A few lovely hunks of Manchego Cheese
The Hard Stuff
True cheese addicts want the “hard” stuff. Not to say we don’t appreciate the classics, we are just always seeking something new, something progressive. For those of you who are like us and want to challenge the rosé, Brad says he loves a hearty sarrotxa (harder goat from spain). Another option is a gentley washed rind cheese, like this soumaintrain from Burgundy. Here, Brad is operating on that same idea of harmonizing salty with fruity.
A Soumaintrain with a Lovingly Washed Rind
The Glamorous Life
Cheeses can be glamorous, and they come in the form of decadent brie and triple cremes. Brad says these buttery cheeses will work with a rosé just as well. Here he’s shared a picture of a very pretty and sinful brie from Lyon, France. But, Brad says you can also try something from California or Oregon. Cheeses from the west coast tend to have a bit more fruit and roundness than the French. Hey, why not buy one from each region and have a taste test? Man, now that sounds like a Sunday Funday!
Live the “Haute Life” with this Brie from Lyon, France
As always, a huge thanks to Brad Wasik for sharing his knowledge, time, and photos and to the rest of Wasik’s Cheese Shop for being so awesome! We hope you’ll have fun putting together your rosé and cheese patio party. 😉
Wondering where you can find more of these fantastic cheeses? Head to Wasik’s!
Wasik’s Cheese Shop, 61 Central, Wellesley, MA 02482