Italian Rosé and Local Mozzarella cheese
We were excited to find a handful of Italian wines to try in February. This rosé was purchased as part of that collection. We already told you about the Wine Folly Wine and Cheese List and on there was a Sangiovese Rosé with Mozzarella. After purchasing the rosé we found a cheese that was made in the part of Costa Rica where we were staying, Jaco. What a great chance to do her suggested pairing. I didn’t know which grapes were used to make the rosé but I figured it was a pretty close match. Let’s find out how the pairing went!
When I swirled the wine to find aromas I immediately said it was strawberry lemonade and got excited because we’ve tried other rosés with that note before. Then as I sipped it the flavor was both crisp and sweet. The sweetness reminded me of cotton candy and bubble gum but there was a hint of tart flavor too. Neil and I were pretty on track with each other for those characteristics. He thought the flavors and aromas were both cotton candy and a tart strawberry jolly rancher candy.
This cheese, was purchased at a small grocery store only a few minutes from where we were staying. As we were traveling around the area, we saw a billboard for Productos Tulin and wondered where we might find them. Then as we were checking out the local store, there they were! There were a handful of cheeses, as well as a local yogurt, in the fridge. I remembered the suggestion of Mozzarella from Wine Folly so I knew that’s what I’d choose.
Neil was instantly surprised that this was a local cheese for what a good representation of mozzarella it was! He described it as a “very Italian mozzarella” that smelled like mozzarella, creamy milk and a hint of salt. He said it was melty and ready for pizza. The only clue to him that it was local was the hint of a tropical flavor that he detected but we have seen that the farm animals have a different diet in Costa Rica.
I do agree that it was a nice mozzarella! I found it to smell like milk, with some salt but it reminded me more of a provolone. The texture was soft and squishy and looks like it would stretch. Some Costa Rican cheeses have a “squeaky” texture but this was much more what we’d expect from a mozzarella! The flavors were also milky and funky. It impressed us!
During the pairing, I found the wine to have sweeter aromas of strawberry and guava but the tart flavor increased. Just as a I was reaching for the piece of cheese, a bit of alcohol appeared in the finish of the wine. The cheese felt a little milder but then was a little tart. When I took a second sip of the wine, it smelled grassy or like trees. I wasn’t sure about the pairing. Neil identified the strawberry lemonade notes when he did the pairing. The cheese was less salty and more funky. He called it a surprisingly good pairing.
As I was writing up the entry, I researched the wine on Vivino to learn a little more. It seems this was a rosé made from Merlot grapes so it wasn’t quite the pairing that Wine Folly suggested. But in the end we had one vote for good pairing and one undecided. Still always fun to try new wines and it’s been great going down this path of Italian Wines. What else will we find?