Pairing wine with Cheesecake

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Pairing wine with Cheesecake

Postby Isaac C » Wed May 16, 2012 2:10 pm

Getting ready for Shavuos - Can anyone make some recommendations for a kosher non-dessert white wine that would pair well with cheesecake and are available in the US. Or, are the only ones that would pair well be dessert wines?

Thanks,
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Re: Pairing wine with Cheesecake

Postby David Raccah » Wed May 16, 2012 2:26 pm

Three options:

1) A sweet Moscato or heavy desert wine
2) Champagne
3) A well chilled Rose with some residual sugar

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Re: Pairing wine with Cheesecake

Postby Yehoshua Werth » Wed May 16, 2012 2:54 pm

non-dessert white wine"" =

2011 C - Sauvignon Blanc = Has this perfec Blood Orange thing on the nose and Solid Acid for the CHEEES.. Just enought upfront fruit to bind the package.
2010 Odem Volcanic Chardonnay = Fruit bomb and has some decent Acid for the Cheeeeeese.

Dry would work :)

if you want a little curve and you have some spicy cheese or just a real different zone you want to go too

Mony - Gewirtzraminer
Yarden - Gewirtzraminer
Tishbi - Gewirtzraminer
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Re: Pairing wine with Cheesecake

Postby Yossie Horwitz » Wed May 16, 2012 2:55 pm

What David said. Maybe try a fruity light red with notes of strawberries, but I'd stick with the robust desert wines for the decadent and creamy richness of cheesecake.
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Re: Pairing wine with Cheesecake

Postby Yehoshua Werth » Wed May 16, 2012 3:07 pm

Sweet direction =

2011 Har Sinai White - Israel - White Port style and a little tangy witha sweet backbone with a slight acid and tannin to hold it together.

2011 Herzog Late Harvest Orange Muscat - USA- Just fun and silly.. This may be a big winner for those needing straight forward.

2009 Hafner Icewein Chardonnay - Austria - A real stormer round and rich.

2006 Balma Venitia Muscat De Beaumes DE Venise -France - Closest thing until you go over the top with a real sauterne.

All available in the USA
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Re: Pairing wine with Cheesecake

Postby Isaac C » Wed May 16, 2012 3:31 pm

Thanks for the quick responses - I think I am going to go with the dessert wines I have already - Yarden Noble Semillion Botrytis 2004 and either the Porto Cordovero LBV 2005 or the Zion Mehamartef. Might also pick up a bottle of the Yarden Blanc de Blanc 2005 (though I agree with Yossie that the dessert wines seem like a much better match). The Orange Muscat sounds interesting, that will probably appeal to the guest who don't really drink wine. Figured it would be a good conversation to start as I'm sure many of us will be having plenty of cheesecake next week :lol:
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Re: Pairing wine with Cheesecake

Postby Yossie Horwitz » Wed May 16, 2012 5:04 pm

I'd skip the Blanc de Blanc. If you are in the mood for something new and good and depending on your views on Shmittah, the Yarden T squared would be a good match.
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Re: Pairing wine with Cheesecake

Postby Gabriel Geller » Wed May 16, 2012 5:55 pm

I'd go with the Yarden Botrytis indeed or dry sparkling. I've some excellent Shavuot memories as well with the Yarden Heightswine and a well-chilled Binyamina Gewurtz Late Harvest Cluster Select should be awesome with a creamy cheesecake... 8) Oh, I'd personally avoid a port-style wine, this might be one of those "classic" suggestions but I share the general thought that those wines are better suited for chocolate-based desserts. I'm also not too crazy about the cheesecake/rosé combination, my 2 cents...
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Re: Pairing wine with Cheesecake

Postby Yehoshua Werth » Wed May 16, 2012 6:11 pm

The Ports or Port style drinks may take to much away from an amazing cheeeeesecake vs. Adding to the experience with a little bit lighter of a wine.

The Yikvie Zion thing is amazing but Most cheeeeesecakes would not stand a chance. :)
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Re: Pairing wine with Cheesecake

Postby Isaac C » Thu May 17, 2012 9:57 am

Is the Yarden t squared available in the US yet?
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Re: Pairing wine with Cheesecake

Postby Yossie Horwitz » Thu May 17, 2012 10:42 am

Yes. I served it last night at a charity event for Leket and it was extremely well-received (~$40).
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Re: Pairing wine with Cheesecake

Postby David Raccah » Thu May 17, 2012 11:11 am

Yossie - I think you mean ~50 dollars. A very expensive sweet wine that is OK, but does not blow me away. I think it needs time to settle but may well never be worthy of the cost.

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Re: Pairing wine with Cheesecake

Postby Yossie Horwitz » Thu May 17, 2012 11:24 am

I liked it. A lot. I got it for much closer to $40.
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Re: Pairing wine with Cheesecake

Postby Gabriel Geller » Thu May 17, 2012 12:34 pm

Tasted the T square at ISRAWINEXPO but didn't write anything about it, wouldn't be honest on my part as Port styles wines in general are not my glass of wine... I don't hate it, I just don't really enjoy it.
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Re: Pairing wine with Cheesecake

Postby Gedalya P » Thu May 24, 2012 2:02 pm

For me, whites:
Har Odem White Port
Yarden Desserts
Golan or Dalton Moscato
Viognier
Gewurtztraminer
Alma White
Agur Blanca

And, of course, Auchentoshen Scotch, because the name in Scottish means "corner of the field", which is the story of Ruth on Shavuos.
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Re: Pairing wine with Cheesecake

Postby Yehoshua Werth » Thu May 24, 2012 2:48 pm

Agur Blanca

Wow what a great one.

Only with it had distribution in NY..


Have one bottle chucked away maybe this Yom tov would work :)
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Re: Pairing wine with Cheesecake

Postby Yossie Horwitz » Thu May 24, 2012 3:50 pm

Haven't tried the Odem Mountain White Port but Yehoshua's post has inspired me to put the Adir Blush Port on my Shavuot weekend list.
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Re: Pairing wine with Cheesecake

Postby Andrew B » Thu May 24, 2012 4:11 pm

I tried the 2006 Balma Venitia Muscat Beaumes de Venise last night. I found it totally undrinkable. Searing alcohol and sour fruits. So, if this was your plan, maybe have a backup bottle ready.
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Re: Pairing wine with Cheesecake

Postby Adam M » Thu May 24, 2012 4:48 pm

Hey Isaac - I would have fun experimenting with this. I'm a bi surprised to hear recommendations for sweet dessert wine or port as I tend to try to drink these wines with dessert foods that are less sweet than the wine. So if the cheesecake will be less sweet than the wine, I can see a possible good pair. But if not, I would certainly try this but wouldn't bank on fireworks in your mouth.

I would try some outside-the-box ideas, like a rich bordeaux or other red blend, which goes really well with rich, soft cheeses. Or perhaps a red zinfandel, a malbec or possibly even a carignan blend, which tend to have sweet notes.

I'll bet that at least one of these outside-the-box ideas will surprise you.

Great idea.

Enjoy!
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Re: Pairing wine with Cheesecake

Postby Alexander F » Thu May 24, 2012 6:16 pm

I find that reds and rose do not pair well with sweet cheese cakes. IMHO, champagne is a perfect match. Especially, champagne with those yeasty notes of cheese cakes and fresh baked bread. Yarden BdB does not have these (at least at that extent), but its acidity still makes it a good match, I had it with a cheesecake in the past and it worked out very well.
I have a feeling that Carmel Kayoumi Riesling as well as any Mosel Kabinett/Auslese Rieslings would be great. Alsace Riesling might have too much acidity. I also enjoy having desserts with Golan Moscato, which is a simple wine that is OK to be masked by sweeter food. Same applies to other wines made in this style, Italian and Israeli Moscatos such as Carmel Young and Dalton as was suggested earlier. But, the sweet dessert wines are IMHO easily shadowed by the cake's sweetness. Better not waste those precious (and typically expensive) bottles of sauternes, ice and straw wines. Even Yarden Heightswine or Yarden Botrytis are better with a less sweet cheese cake, like Adam suggested. Also, I'd second Gabriel's note on Biniyamina LH Gewurz and of cause the similar wine from Carmel, but again with less sweet cheesecakes than those often found in US. Here in IL, there are many cheesecakes that are not overly sweet.

As a wishlist, I would like to experiment with any of William Fevre's Chablis Grand Cru (his 1er crus are too acidic to have with desserts, at least when young) and any of the better Mersault. So, if anyone has a spare bottle....

I would not suggest an oaked Chardonnay, but Gewurz might work out. Sauvignon Blanc should be fine, but those on the fruity side, like Recanati and from NZ.
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Re: Pairing wine with Cheesecake

Postby David Raccah » Thu May 24, 2012 8:35 pm

Adam Montefiore created a lovely Jerusalem Post on this overall subject (cheese and wine)

http://www.jpost.com/LifeStyle/Article.aspx?id=271165

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Re: Pairing wine with Cheesecake

Postby Adam M » Thu May 24, 2012 11:03 pm

Nice article, but I strongly disagree with its fundamental rule of thumb that red wine doesn't go with soft cheeses such as Brie or blue cheese.

I patronize a very high-end artisanal cheese shop close to my home just a few blocks away from the UN and, from time to time, will purchase artisanal cheese made with vegetable rennet and take them home and nibble on them with several bottles of diffent wine. The owners of the shop, who live, breath, eat and smell like cheese, are just as much wine pairing pros as artisanal cheese pros. They believe firmly that a traditional red Bordeaux is a perfect pair for a traditional blue cheese. I have tried this and can attest that it indeed is true, at least to my palate. I would encourage people to try this for themselves.

I also have had amazing experiences pairing full-bodied reds, including Bordeaux and Cabernet, with soft cheese including those made from cow's milk, goat's milk, and yes, stinky sheep's milk. A simple google search will uncover numerous articles that maintain this same proposition.

I think that cheese and wine pairing does adhere to some very basic general rules of thumb such as that

-sharp, hard cheeses pair well with very acidic whites such as Sauvignon Blanc and dry Riesling and
-aged firm to soft cheeses can pair well with full bodied reds,

And then there is an entire universe in between these two maxims that completely depends on one's own individual palate and the very specific wine being used. For example, a full bodied cab with generous tannis and oak may pairmuch differently relative to a more mature cab with less tannins and more chocolate, vanilla and/or smokey notes.

The article goes on to say that only lightly oak chardonnay's tend to pair well with soft cheeses. If this is true, how does it explain the near out of body experience I had at the Castel winery in which, during the tasting session, Ruth served St. maure, which is a soft aged goat's milk cheese, with the Castel C. The wine and cheese in mouth together created a synergistic buttery sensation that set off fireworks in my mouth. Now to say the Castel C is "lightly Oaked" is, I think, a slight understatement.

If I were to write an article regarding pairing wine with cheese, I would use very specific examples of specific wines and specific cheeses. Even cheeses change flavor as they age. The last time I was in the cheese shop, I asked about some Californian aged semi-soft goat cheese. It was sitting out on the counter top along with about 50 other cheeses. The shop owner remarked that this particular cheese was "showing really well right now," as if there is an evolution and aging process that cheese goes through similar to that of wine. This makes total sense when you think about it, but I hadn't really appreciated it until then.
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Re: Pairing wine with Cheesecake

Postby Elie Poltorak » Thu Jun 14, 2012 5:22 am

Adam M wrote:Nice article, but I strongly disagree with its fundamental rule of thumb that red wine doesn't go with soft cheeses such as Brie or blue cheese.

I patronize a very high-end artisanal cheese shop close to my home just a few blocks away from the UN and, from time to time, will purchase artisanal cheese made with vegetable rennet and take them home and nibble on them with several bottles of diffent wine. The owners of the shop, who live, breath, eat and smell like cheese, are just as much wine pairing pros as artisanal cheese pros. They believe firmly that a traditional red Bordeaux is a perfect pair for a traditional blue cheese. I have tried this and can attest that it indeed is true, at least to my palate. I would encourage people to try this for themselves.

I also have had amazing experiences pairing full-bodied reds, including Bordeaux and Cabernet, with soft cheese including those made from cow's milk, goat's milk, and yes, stinky sheep's milk. A simple google search will uncover numerous articles that maintain this same proposition.

I think that cheese and wine pairing does adhere to some very basic general rules of thumb such as that

-sharp, hard cheeses pair well with very acidic whites such as Sauvignon Blanc and dry Riesling and
-aged firm to soft cheeses can pair well with full bodied reds,

And then there is an entire universe in between these two maxims that completely depends on one's own individual palate and the very specific wine being used. For example, a full bodied cab with generous tannis and oak may pairmuch differently relative to a more mature cab with less tannins and more chocolate, vanilla and/or smokey notes.

The article goes on to say that only lightly oak chardonnay's tend to pair well with soft cheeses. If this is true, how does it explain the near out of body experience I had at the Castel winery in which, during the tasting session, Ruth served St. maure, which is a soft aged goat's milk cheese, with the Castel C. The wine and cheese in mouth together created a synergistic buttery sensation that set off fireworks in my mouth. Now to say the Castel C is "lightly Oaked" is, I think, a slight understatement.

If I were to write an article regarding pairing wine with cheese, I would use very specific examples of specific wines and specific cheeses. Even cheeses change flavor as they age. The last time I was in the cheese shop, I asked about some Californian aged semi-soft goat cheese. It was sitting out on the counter top along with about 50 other cheeses. The shop owner remarked that this particular cheese was "showing really well right now," as if there is an evolution and aging process that cheese goes through similar to that of wine. This makes total sense when you think about it, but I hadn't really appreciated it until then.


Adam:
I think it depends on whether you're trying to accentuate the cheese or the wine. I agree that a good blue cheese is delicious with a Bordeaux, but you will lose much of the nuance of the wine to the overpowering cheese funk. With expensive top-flight reds, I'd stick to meat, which actually enhances the taste of the wine. With smelly cheeses I'll stick to less expensive reds that I don't mind "wasting" on the cheese (Yiron and Red C are favorites pairings--Yiron because of its fullness and Red C because of its spiciness, both of which hold their own to some extent against the cheese). Accordingly, it isn't surprising that a "wine guy" would advise avoiding this pairing but a "cheese guy" swears by it.
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Re: Pairing wine with Cheesecake

Postby Adam M » Fri Jun 15, 2012 3:38 pm

Hi Eli - Interesting perspective. I never thought of whether I am only a "wine guy" or whether there's an argument that I'm also a "cheese guy." I have also never thought when I am eating food with wine whether I am eating it to make the wine taste better or the food taste better. I generally will have the wine and food in my mouth at the same time. Don't know what that makes me....
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