Viña Maipo Sauvignon Blanc and Quesos del Cerro
Throughout our time in Costa Rica we have been exploring many grocery stores to see the selection of wines available here. The wine we chose for this week’s selection seems to be a brand that is common here. The cheese is one we found at a farmer’s market. We were about to purchase some broccoli when we saw a sign for some cheese on a refrigerator, let’s give it a try.
This wine was bound to make a good impression on us once we heard the pop of the cork. We were so excited to have a wine that seemed closer to what we might find in the US.
As we swirled the wine, we noticed lots of fruit; apple, lime, pear and citrus. There was a tart aroma that was also crisp and clean. The wine had a light texture and more crisp, tart, fruit flavors. We agreed that the fruit flavor was most like lemon or lime. I also noticed the wine to be juicy and pondered if it was dry or semi-dry. Neil tried to identify the flavor in the finish, maybe sweet lemon. We both questioned a hint of oak as well. I think we were both being super critical because we were so excited to have a wine that challenged us. Regardless of the specific flavors, this was definitely our favorite wine so far in Costa Rica.
Now onto our Quesos del Cerro, cheese from a town called Cerro. We haven’t known much about the cheeses we’ve tried here so we’ve been on our own to really determine the flavors. This cheese smelled mild with a hint of smoke and muted funk. The texture was really interesting to us, I thought it was like plastic where Neil found it to be rubbery. We decided a better description was spongy. It did feel a little squeaky on my teeth too. We agreed that it was slightly salty but definitely mild. Neil thought it tasted like cow’s milk and had a familiarity, maybe like Mozzarella. After a few minutes of enjoying this cheese, I noticed an ever present barnyard funk and then the taste of a farm. Neil ate a few more slices but didn’t have the barnyard presence.
When we paired our Viña Maipo Sauvignon Blanc and Quesos del Cerro, I found the cheese brought out the oak in the wine, the texture of the wine became much softer, and that there were still citrus flavors with some alcohol. The flavor of the cheese was a little sweeter but then funk. Pretty interesting pairing especially since I didn’t predict that much would happen, from the individual flavors. When Neil paired the Wine And Cheese, he thought the cheese tasted the same and that it didn’t really stand up to the tartness of the wine. He also noticed the tartness to be slightly enhanced by the cheese but he felt it was only an ok pairing.
Since we were so excited about this wine, I think we’ll be trying some other varietals that Viña Maipo produces. Maybe the Chilean wines are a better route for us to explore here?