Vinebox 3 with Campo cheese
Have you been following through our gift subscription to VineBox? Well this is our last entry of the 3-month subscription. Did you miss our introduction explaining Vinebox? http://wineandcheesefriday.com/vinebox-shipment-one/ We’ve really enjoyed this service and might even start it back up again if we end up staying at the same address for more than a week. Today’s entry has all French wines; one white wine, 2 red wines and another North Carolina cheese by Boxcarr Handmade Cheese.
Domaine de la Renne 2016, Sauvignon blanc, Loire-Touraine, France
Château Les Palais 2016, Carignan, Grenache, Syrah, Languedoc-Corbières, France
Reserve de la Roncière Cuvée Traditionelle 2016, Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre, Côtes du Rhône, France
We began our tasting with the Sauvignon Blanc from Loire Valley, after Neil took a quick peek at the tasting cards to rearrange the wines. The white wine was screaming peach aromas to me but Neil identified lemon and orange citrus. I found this wine to be crisp and tart with juicy peach flavors and a little funk in the finish. Neil noticed lemon-orange citrus with butter flavors and a hint of caramel. I really liked it, too bad there’s just a small sample of each wine.
Then we moved onto the cheese. I knew I wanted another North Carolina cheese to wrap up our Vinebox entries but I must have stood in front of the cheese counter at Whole Foods for 45 minutes trying to pick one out. We’ve had the Boxcarr Handmade Cheese brand before (http://wineandcheesefriday.com/chardon-may-eve-chardonnay-and-rockets-robiola/) and it was delicious so I finally decided on the Campo.
It was definitely a stinky cheese! There was funk coming out while it was sitting next to me. So much funk that it tingled the inside of my nose. The funk flavors were milk, hay, pungent, feet and then baby powder. Once I tasted it, the cheese was smooth with a rind that was ashy, like it was burnt. Neil thought the texture was rubbery and soft. Although Neil recognized the flavor, he was having a hard time placing it. He knew it was a strong cheese with maybe flavors of a grassy field, or maybe hay but a little sour. I thought it had a hint of sweetness and brine. We both had input on what the rind tasted like. Neil picked up seeds and nuts similar to sunflower seeds and I thought it was like mustard and herbs. What a flavorful cheese!
You know how it works, next we paired the Sauvignon Blanc with the Campo cheese. I found the wine to get more tart but still peachy while developing a grapefruit flavor too. Neil wasn’t a fan when he tasted a huge mouthful of cheese funk during his sip of wine. Neil and I both noticed the cheese to get buttery from the pairing. I liked the pairing a lot but Neil said it was a No!
Our first red wine was from the Corbières region of Languedoc, France. This wine smelled really good when I swirled it and I picked out red and black fruit, vanilla and earth aromas! Neil found big berry and black pepper flavors and aromas. He said it was a jammy wine that had a lingering flavor of black pepper. This purple wine had dark fruit and vanilla flavors with black pepper spice. We’ve recently determined we like this region of France quite a bit. Curious about other wines to try from this affordable part of France, check out our post from Languedoc Day.
During the pairing of Château Les Palais and Campo cheese, I thought the cheese turned buttery again. I could also smell more earth in the wine but the wine lightened up and it wasn’t as good. The earthiness really stuck out from the earth in the wine and the earth in the rind of the cheese. Neil thought the spice decreased in the wine and it became drier. We both felt the wine would be better alone.
We ended our Vinebox samples with the Cuvée Traditionelle from the Rhone region of France. I didn’t think this red wine was quite as aromatic as the wine from Corbières. I only picked up aromas of red licorice but Neil was able to identify black fruit, prunes and black pepper. This was another purple wine that had spice but it was pretty dry. So dry that I didn’t notice much flavor either. Neil agreed that it was a very dry wine with spice as well as black cherry.
When we paired this dry wine with the cheese, there seemed to be more aromas in the wine and I noticed a flavor of graphite. The cheese helped the wine and it became more milky with some funk. Neil thought the wine got less dry with the cheese too. He even noticed a little more red fruit in the wine. Strangely though, he found less funk in the cheese, but did agree that it was more buttery.
In the end we disagreed if the cheese helped or overpowered the wines. Neil thought the cheese was too big for the pairings. I found the cheese to be very versatile because it turned buttery with both the red and the white wines. And regarding the wines, Neil and I both liked the second wine, Château Les Palais from Corbières, but my favorite was the white wine.
Overall we really enjoyed our Vinebox subscription. It was so fun to have 3 mysterious wines show up each month and I enjoyed the surprise of seeing what they sent each time. Is there a rosé? Are they sweet or dry? Where are they from? Also it was kind of fun to just get a sample of each! It was plenty for each of us to have a taste and even some to pair with cheese. I also really enjoyed having 3 different wines to pair with each cheese so we could try all kinds of pairing options. We’d both recommend giving Vinebox a try if this sounds like something you’d enjoy .