Petit Reserve Merlot and Mt. Tam

Petit Reserve Merlot and Mt. Tam 1

We received this cheese from some friends because they knew we loved to pair Wine and Cheese! Thanks Sabrina and Geoff! We had heard about Mt. Tam cheese on a recent trip to Cowgirl Creamery. (http://www.cowgirlcreamery.com/) So we consulted our wine and cheese pairing list and looked for a wine that would pair with a soft cheese similar to Brie.

The wine we chose was a Merlot from Paso Robles, CA. We are always excited to do local Wine and Cheese pairings! During our initial swirling Neil smelled plum, cranberry and spice aromas while I noticed an earthiness with a hint of alcohol. Neil tasted black cherry and a good spice. He called it slightly sweet, light in body and flavor and smooth. I found it to be spicy and a little sharp but it finished smooth.

Note, this wine is part of Trader Joe’s petit Reserve line, if you are trying to find it. (http://traderjoes.com/) I decided to look more into it because I was puzzled by the name. I needed to find out if there was a “petit merlot grape?”

Mt. Tam cheese is a soft cheese, named for Mt. Tamalpais, in California and is produced by Cowgirl Creamery. Although this is a soft cheese, it seemed harder than it looked. When tasting it I did find it to be smooth and thick with a slight tanginess. Neil said it was creamy like cream cheese and mild. We both agreed it was buttery and a good cheese! Have you ever tried Cowgirl Creamery cheeses? Today is your lucky day because we have a link to the left where you can buy Mt. Tam from them.

When we paired the Merlot and Mt. Tam Neil noticed that the wine was oaky and the cheese was smoky. I found more fruit in the wine and a smoke that seems to come out of nowhere. It was a fun pairing since there were new flavors produced.