Northern Michigan Wine (& Cheese): Wine and cheese, gastro-centrically speaking, are two of humanity’s greatest achievements. Whether made from a gamay grape or a Nubian goat, these heritage sciences span the entire flavor spectrum, harnessing descriptors both beautiful and profane. In their complicated delights, both embody the nebulous philosophy of terroir, the notion that a food, or wine, communicates the place it comes from: a particular Alpine meadow or, say, a south-facing slope near Grand Traverse Bay. Paired well together, wine and cheese are a bifurcate portal into the sublime, so join us this month as we sip through some of the North’s finest cheese-friendly vinos.
Textbook aromas of apple and pear take on spicy vanilla nuances from time in the barrel, giving the wine a rich texture and length on the palate.
Cheese pairings: Brie, cambozola, Camembert
Ripe yellow orchard fruits dominate this sweet and sexy late harvest riesling that is finely balanced with enough acid to keep the finish fresh.
Cheese pairings: raclette, Gorgonzola dolce latte, Muenster
This freshly bottled pinot blanc is full of flashy tropicalia and citrus hints that are anchored in a luxurious mouth feel that ends crisp.
Cheese pairings: Ossau Iraty, Taleggio, Gruyère
Great definition in its pronounced aromas of ripe black cherry and spices. An exceptionally ripe vintage gives the wine additional texture and viscosity.
Cheese pairings: Camembert, Gouda, aged chèvre
Partially fermented pinot meunier and merlot are blended with local cherry brandy and barrel aged for 11 months to achieve a Northern interpretation of Portugal’s finest. Rich flavors of dark cherry compote and cocoa.
Cheese pairings: Stilton, Roquefort, aged Cheddar