Cheese for Spatlese Riesling

by Joe Colosi

In honor of their second place finish in this year’s Euro Cup, we opted this week to drink German Riesling. I prefer to drink Riesling before or after a meal, and with the right cheese, it can play a part in a tasty appetizer or dessert. Hunter and I, with special guests KB and JZ, found several fine pairings.

Carl Reh 2006 Trittenheimer Altarchen Spatlese Riesling: This inexpensive Riesling offered subtle aromas and pale yellow hues. After a healthy swig, soft flavors of apricot and tart apple fueled the smooth sweetness. On the whole, the wine was medium-bodied and very quaffable.

The fluffy texture and silky finish of Nevat con Pujol matched the intensity of the wine’s flavor. The cheese, which is made from Spanish goat-milk, appears and tastes like a cloud. The final flavors of the pairing, while pleasant, did not add much to either the cheese or the wine. Coach Farms Triple Cream provided the wine with just the right amount of creamy sweetness, allowing it to taste more refined and elegant. The tangy goat cheese and wine mixture felt like cement in the mouth for a moment, before gently dissipating. Hunter and I both enjoyed this pairing, though it definitely worked better without the cheese’s rind.

Pont L’eveque, a brine washed cow milk cheese from France, offered a more typical paring to the wine. However, the funky edge to the cheese impacted the wine favorably for only a moment before deteriorating into a suspect flavor. A sweeter Riesling would probably work well with Pont L’eveque. The cow’s milk double cream cheese Edel de Cleron worked hand in hand with the wine on every level. The apricot flavors were amplified and nectarines highlighted an increased citrus taste. This pairing is ideal for a sunny day in the summer.

The Verdict: Coach Farm’s Triple Cream, Edel de Cleron

This week we tasted a good example of a cheap find in a Pennsylvania Liquor store. The wine was easy to drink and many cheeses worked with its mild sweetness. Stay tuned for next week, when we sample an example of a Pennsylvania Liquor store’s ineptitude and poor wine keeping.