Best of the Blog~Wines

We’ll be celebrating 5 years of WineAndCheeseFriday all month long! We’ve tasted a lot of wines along the way (see the comprehensive list in our slideshow entry) and have compiled our top 5 wines each. As you can imagine this was a task but it’s always fun to go back and reread some of this older entries! Also it’s a great way to identify those wines that we should look for again. Read More…

White Rioja and Goat Cheese Log

This was our month for Rioja; first the more traditional red and now the less available white. Wait, you didn’t know there was a white Rioja? It’s ok, I don’t think many people are aware of it. That’s why we chose to include it on WineAndCheeseFriday. It is a new wine for us, too. We only recently found out about it, so we couldn’t pass it up when we saw it in the store. The cheese is coincidentally from Spain as well. Here we are with another Spanish Wine and Cheese Pairing. Let’s see how this one goes! Read More…

Rioja with Sheep Cheese, A Little Piece of Spain!

We were inspired by a #WiningHourChat to give Spanish Rioja wines a try. We’ve seen them in the stores before but we’ve noticed they usually cost more than the other wines. Here in Panama, the wines are significantly less expensive than we have found in other parts of the world so it was our chance to pick up a bottle. The cheese we chose to pair with it also hails from Spain. We didn’t know much about it other than the fact that it would be harder cheese. Sounds good to us! Have you tried pairing wine and cheese by country before? Why not give it a whirl next time you are in the store? Read More…

Fuzion Chenin Blanc/Chardonnay and Quesos Deleite

Our quest for new wines continues this week, with a chenin blanc/chardonnay blend that looked like a great wine to try. The cheese we chose to pair with it, Quesos Deleite, is actually made right next door to where we are staying. We’ve seen them receiving raw milk on the loading dock and working away, but haven’t had a chance to go inside yet. Do you like Chenin Blanc or Chardonnay? Have you tried a blend of the two? Read on for our review of this new-to-us blend paired with the fresh Quesos Deleite. Read More…

Two Oceans Shiraz and Grana Padano

During our time in Costa Rica, I kept coming across a South African wine but never picked it up. Then after we arrived in Panama, I saw one here too and I thought, “Ok I need to get this.” In my continued quest to learn about new wines and regions I thought this would be our first South African wine but then realized there have been a few others. We are ready to learn about a new area, while we are in a new place. Speaking of that new place, Panama has been a place with the challenge of finding cheeses worthy of wine pairings. There’s a lot of cheese but it’s mainly processed grocery store stuff. We need to find a local cheese shop! That being said, this Grana Padano seemed the closest thing to something artisan around here. All we know is that it is an Italian cheese similar to Parmesan. Let’s see how they work together while we enjoy some Wine and Cheese with our new Landlady Pame (PAH may)! Read More…

Sensory Surprises

Did you ever purchase a wine, only to find out it tastes or smells much different than it’s label states. Or think, this is cheap and it can’t be good. Or maybe you think Cabernet Sauvignon is always dry and it’s not really for you? These wines were all Sensory Surprises for us. It was pretty funny too, how almost all the senses were affected. We hope you enjoy reading through these wines that we tasted throughout the year. Read More…

Savor the Flavor

When Neil and I drink wine, we do it for the total experience of the wine. We love to smell it, taste it and think about the flavors. There are days when Neil does ask me, “Can we just drink this one?”, to which I say “No”, but he puts up with me. This is a collection of wines that made a pretty significant impression on us, enough for us to extend our tasting over multiple days. Do you subscribe to the theory that wine that was opened yesterday can’t be good any more? Many folks will tell you that certain wines need to breathe for a couple days or at least will agree that the flavors will change. That’s what this entry is all about, the evolution of flavors. Maybe this will inspire you to “Savor the Flavor” too? Read More…

Frontera Specialties Auténtico Blanco and Chirripo Blanco cheese

Yes, it’s true, we purchased this wine because of the label. It looked like such a fun wine, I couldn’t resist. I had no idea what grapes would be in this white blend but I did know that there was Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and I think a Moscato on the shelf next to it by the same brand. I was holding off on purchasing this wine but this is our last Costa Rican wine and cheese entry, so it was time. The cheese, I had also been watching longingly and missed my chance. The collection of MonteAzul cheeses all looked so good but one in particular caught my eye. It looked like it was one of those pyramids of goat cheese with ash around it but sadly it was out of stock when I finally got around to making my purchase. The one we did get is still by MonteAzul but we could only guess what it would be. From the shape and packaging, it looked like it was going to be a goats milk Brie. Now without further ado the pairing and tasting notes for Frontera Specialties Auténtico Blanco and Chirripo Blanco cheese. Read More…

Tocornal Carmenere and Swiss cheese

When I saw this wine in the store I was a little confused. It said the name of the wine but then “by Cono Sur” at the bottom of the label. I decided not to get it the first time around because we had a few wines already queued up for future WineAndCheeseFriday pairings. I contacted Cono Sur on Twitter to ask about this mysterious line of wines since I couldn’t find it on their website. As always they were very helpful and said was it called “Tocornal?” Yes, that’s one of ours, but its only distributed in Canada, Latin America and Russia. Well this created a buzz on Twitter and for me so I figured I should go back and find it. A week later in another grocery store, there it was and, lucky us, they had a Carmenere! What a fun chance to compare the Bicicleta Carmenere from a few years ago, http://wineandcheesefriday.com/carmenere-and-camembert/, to the Tocornal Carmenere now. The cheese is from our giant farmer’s market, La Feria. We found this cheese in Colibri’s Corner, the booth on the end. This booth always has all sorts of tasty treats like spices, baked goods and chocolate. Neil picked up this wedge of cheese and said it smelled kind of smoky and that we should get it. Always on a quest for new cheese, I happily agreed. Read More…

Fiesta Rosado and Fried Cheese

When choosing this weeks wine we wanted a local wine and I was thirsty for some bubbly. The Fiesta Rosado seemed like just the trick. We tried the Fiesta brand back in 2015 just before we left Costa Rica, http://wineandcheesefriday.com/fiesta-vino-de-nance/. Since the previous wine was apple, we made sure to look for the graphic of grapes on this bottle of wine. Part of the reason we wanted a local wine and not a South American one was to pair it with the traditional fried cheese of Costa Rica. Simply ask at the cheese counter for Queso para Freir. I was happy when I was asked if I’d like the handmade (casero) or processed version! Did you notice that the lighting on these photos are a little off, that’s because we did this wine and cheese pairing during a power outage. Actually it was during Tropical Storm Nate that hit Costa Rica. What better way to take advantage of no electricity than to sit around tasting wine and cheese! Read More…