This month Josh and Ziggy, our representatives from the Deli and the Wine Department respectively, tried pairing Seeing Red Cabernet and Perrydale Aged Gouda from Salem’s Willamette Valley Cheese Company.
Josh says: Perrydale ($18.70/lb.) is the Kiva’s newest offering from Salem’s Willamette Valley Cheese Company. A blend of sheep’s milk from Roseburg’s Catsby Farm and local cow’s milk, this cheese is made in the style of a gouda and aged for one year. The aging process yields a beautifully complex flavor, but with a still-tender creamy paste; however, the most exciting aspect of this cheese is its use of sheep’s milk from one of Oregon’s two commercial sheep dairies.
Pairing notes: The mellow acid of the wine and the slight tang from the sheep’s milk worked well together to balance the creamy richness of the cheese.
Ziggy says: Seeing Red ($13.75) is Columbia Valley juice from Cartel Wine Group. SeattleMagazine describes Cartel Wine Group as modern-day négociants who buy the wine left over after blending from large established Washington wineries and blend this high-quality surplus themselves. The result is an affordable wine with the flavor profile of a more expensive bottle.
Seeing Red is a lovely wine for autumn–very fruity and rich, with notes of cassis, ripe berries, herbs, and smoke. My tasting partner and I also found a hint of astringency and a slight trace of bitterness–both qualities which can be a plus in a food wine. (Other foods which might pair well with Seeing Red include red meats and stews, hearty tomato-based dishes, and sharp cheeses.)
My tasting partner disdains the “stinky” cheeses that I love, and Perrydale pleased us both. We found it to be strong but not overwhelming, mellow, a little musky and mildly fragrant with a round, creamy, complex flavor profile. I think it would pair very well with a number of medium- to full-bodied Spanish or Italian red wines. While it might work with some robust whites and even sweet wines, I think it will go best with red.
Perrydale and Seeing Red made an enjoyable match. The cheese brought out tannic notes from the wine; the wine brought out complex and subtle herbal and bitter notes in the cheese. Lovely as an intriguing appetizer; satisfying as a savory dessert.