Where Cheese Meets Wine & Falls in Love

Advertisers and marketers have been on a "local" drive for the past two years or so. They encourage us to buy local, anything from produce to automobiles. Whilst I fully support local industries and their products, it is important to be careful, as sometimes looks can be deceiving. For example, some produce says it is locally grown, but it is not. The next question that needs to be asked: is this situation the same in the wine industry? There are hundreds of "local" wineries around the country. I frequently get asked in the store by vacationers if we have local wine. Be very careful consumers; in particular areas of the country certain grape varietals do not grow. Therefore, I have to wonder, if these grape varietals cannot be grown locally, then how are local wineries producing them. Many wineries will not tell you that they source their grapes from regions such as California, Washington State and Oregon. But because they do, the wine is only produced and bottled locally. So - local does not tell the entire story. It could be termed a local wine via California, but some wineries don't want to tell you that. Next time when visiting a "local" winery be sure to ask them where they source their grapes and if ANY are grown locally.

In keeping with homegrown and locally made, I am proud to announce that my wife and I welcomed our new baby daughter Kenslee Jade into the world on August 5th. There's nothing like having "Irish twin hand grenades" in our home. (editor's note: The term Irish twins describe two children born to the same mother within 12 months of each other) Welcome to this great world little one.Welcome!

Wine of the Month
Concha y Toro Casillero del Diablo
Cabernet Sauvignon 2008  

This is the most famous variety from Casillero del Diablo. The 2005 vintage was awarded by "Decanter" as the best on the planet. The 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon comes from the Central coast in Chile. Acknowledged worldwide for the quality of its Cabernet Sauvignon, this valley is blessed by its proximity to the Andes Mountain range. The vineyards, located on the Maipo riverbanks, receive melted waters rich in minerals and oxygen. Combined with the warm Chilean climate, this creates Cabernet Sauvignons that are strong in character, offering subtle bouquets and fruity expressions. This Cabernet Sauvignon is aged in small 70% American oak barrels for a period of eight months. The color is intense ruby red. The aroma is gorgeous with lovely bright cherries, black currants and dark plums with toasted oak. This wine is medium bodied with silky tannins and a long, ripe fruit and berry aftertaste, with impressive balanced fruits. Drink now.

Cheese of the Month
Saga Blue Cheese
Saga Blue cheese is a Danish brie cheese that is classified as a blue cheese. It is made as a double cream cheese from cow's milk. The cheese contains a delicate blue mold that may not appear typical of other varieties of blue cheese. Very soft textured with a mild tangy flavor, this blue cheese is soft and creamy. With an edible white-mold rind, Saga Blue cheese pairs well with sweeter white wines, such as Rieslings, or medium-bodied red wines, such as Cabernet Sauvignon.  

Recipe of the Month

Shallots and Blue Cheese

1 Ω pounds medium shallots, peeled, halved lengthwise
4 Tablespoons olive oil
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs made from French bread
1 Ω pounds bow-tie pasta
2 pounds thin asparagus, trimmed, cut diagonally into 1 Ω inch pieces
1 pound Saga blue cheese, cut into Ω inch pieces
Salt and pepper to taste
Yields:  6 servings

Preheat oven to 375∫ F. Toss shallots with 2 Tablespoons olive oil on baking sheet. Spread in a single layer. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake until tender and golden brown, stirring occasionally, about 35 minutes. Stir 2 Tablespoons olive oil and breadcrumbs in skillet over medium heat until crumbs brown, about 4 minutes. Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water, about 10 minutes. Add asparagus. Cook until asparagus is crisp-tender and pasta is tender, but still firm to bite, about 4 minutes. Drain pasta and asparagus. Transfer to large bowl. Immediately add blue cheese and shallots. Toss until cheese melts and pasta is well coated. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to individual bowls. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs. 

I trust you have enjoyed part 28 of our journey. Please feel free to email me with any comments or queries at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or drop by in person at Piggly Wiggly Shelter Cove. A native of South Africa and the Deli, Cheese and Wine Manager of the Piggly Wiggly at Shelter Cove on HHI, Kent Zimmerman is a Licensed Sommelier and Fromager Master.

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