Viognier and Bailey Hazen Blue Cheese
This week’s wine and cheese entry is inspired by our trip to Lake county over Labor day weekend. (https://wineandcheesefriday.com/trip-to-lake-county-labor-day-weekend-part-1/) Bonterra Viognier is produced using grapes from Lake and Mendocino counties. We haven’t done any White Rhone wines yet so lets get started.
During our initial sniffing and swirling, Neil noticed a crisp pear and green apple aroma and I picked up notes of honey. As far as flavors, I tasted peach and more honey with an apple finish. Neil agreed with the apple and found more pear flavor and a hint of oak. We both described it as having a nice sweetness without being over sweet.
Bailey Hazen Blue, is a blue cheese as the name states. The sales person told us it would be a blue cheese with more of a firm texture and is his favorite blue cheese right now. I thought it smelled a little funky when I opened the package. Once I tasted it though, I found it to be dry, creamy and smoky with a tart and tangy aftertaste. Neil said it was pungent with a nice flavor. He also thought it was salty with hint of nuttiness. We both liked it!
Next we paired the Viognier and Bailey Hazen Blue, but you already knew we’d do that. I tasted a really tangy flavor, some pineapple and noticed the aftertaste of the cheese and wine combining. This produced a bold flavor that was hard to pinpoint. Neil said this was the first pairing that both the wine and cheese affected each other. The cheese brings out the fruit in the wine and the wine brings out the tanginess of cheese. We really liked seeing this happen and look forward to some more well-matched pairings!