Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir is a very versatile grape and is also compatible with a variety of cheeses.  Its prominent flavors are raspberries, strawberries, cherries, cranberries, violets, roses, mushrooms, game, "forest floor," and sometimes even compost or manure.  It can have a slightly earthy, farmyard flavor.  It is grown as a varietal in the New World, and is the grape of Red Burgundy in France.  Oregon is best known for its Pinot Noirs partly because of the cool weather, but also because of the clay and loam in the soil. Pinot Noir has relatively low tannin, moderate acidity and a long life span.  

A young, light, fruity Pinot Noir can pair with Brie or other fresh, soft-ripened cheeses.  Other Pinots are good with Cheddar, semi-hard goat's and sheep's milk cheeses, Dry Jack, aged Gouda, Gruyère, Comté, Monterey Jack, and sometimes washed rind or Camembert.  A classic pairing is Burgundy and Epoisses, though it takes a sturdy Burgundy to stand up to this fragrant cheese. When the pairing is right, it is heaven.

Pinot Noir is one of my favorite grapes. I find that Old World goes best with the mountain cheeses, washed rinds, and well-aged soft-ripened cheese. New World is all over the place as far as cheese goes, yet pairs well with fresher cheese, sheep, goat, hard cheeses, and salty, nutty types such as Gouda.

Burgundy, Chorey-Les-Beaune, Clos Margot 2002  (Tasted in 2004) From the Côte d'Or.  Unfiltered wine, old vines.  2000.  AOC wine.  13% alcohol.  Intense flavor.  $22 at Grapevine.  It was the cheapest nice Burgundy I could get.  Otherwise, I would have been paying $45 for a nicer one.  It was still very good.  It is tawny/garnet colored.  It has a raspberry and cherry smell.  In the tasting, there is fruit in the beginning.  Then it is luscious and lively and finishes smooth.  Tangy.  The finish is long, but is cut short by tannins at the end.  Tingly.  Cedar.  A little more of an earthy burgundy.  

Chorey-Les-Beaune with Pont l'Evêque.  Great!  I like this better than with the other burgundy (LeClerc).  The fruit in the wine is tangy.  The cheese has some nice acidity to it, being a little young.  The spice counters the bloomy rind.  This is almost a strawberries and cream pairing.  There is a little bitterness in the finish (typical of reds plus bloomy rind), but also lactic tang and wood spice that bounce back and forth off of each other.  

Chorey-Les-Beaune with Epoisses.  This cheese is so perfect, creamy salty, and lightly spicy.  This wine is more subtle than the fruitier LeClerc.  It really cleans the palate of the cheese.  I wish there were more fruit in this wine.  It is a little less exciting without the fruit bomb at the beginning, but the wine is better for the cheese.  The tannins seem milder  for this cheese, even though they were stronger-tasting in the wine on its on.  This is more of a "serious" pairing.  They blend very well, and are mellow and calm together.   

Chorey-Les-Beaune with Clarines from Franche-Comté.  It's ok, but bitter at the end.  I liked the berries and the cream at first, but then the flavors mixed in a strange way.  

*Chorey-Les-Beaune with Tomme de Savoie.  Excellent!  The cheese is earth, tangy, and a little spicy.  It really brings out the fruit in the wine.  They are perfect together.  The cheese and wine really are equals here.  I don't lose either one, and they bring out the best in each other.  The flavor bounces around between nuts, fruit, cream, light wood, and earth.  Although I'm still a little undecided about the Epoisses/Burgundy pairings, I would like do a Burgundy pairing with Tomme de Savoie followed by Epoisse just for a nice contrast.  

Burgundy, Clos des Mouches 1996  (Tasted in 2003) $45 at Wiggy's. It has drawings of flies on the label. It is from Beaune. I cannot believe I lost my notes on this expensive wine. It was excellent, but I can't remember exactly what it tasted like! I am kicking myself over this. I do remember that I liked it better the second day. It needed some time to open up.

Burgundy, Clos des Mouches with Gérome French Munster.  The cheese has a brightness on its own.  They get together and make a super bright flavor, and then it’s gone.  The cheese is definitely earthy.  I got some spiciness in the wine, light spice, that really meshed well with the spice in the cheese.  I feel like this wine would go better with a little more delicate washed rind cheese, like maybe Montagnard.  On second taste, I really don’t like the munster with the burgundy.  It is just too bitter.  I will try a milder cheese, but I don’t want to push this pairing anymore.  When I retried this the next day, the wine was much better with the cheese.  It had opened up and had a since, smooth tang that went ok with the munster. 

Burgundy, Clos des Mouches from Beaune with Bleu d’Auvergne.  Awful!  What was I thinking?  The cheese is excellent, as is the wine, but it made a horrible rotten flavor in my mouth when it was mixed together. 

Burgundy, Clos des Mouches from Beaune with Cave Aged Gruyère.  It was ok together.  I liked the nuttiness with the mild wine, but I got an aftertaste that was a little bitter.  Let me try it again…the cheese is fruity and nutty with a really long finish.  The wine adds some spice, but takes away the nutty aspect of the cheese.  It’s ok, though.  It is much better than the burgundy with the washed rind.  They mesh together pretty well.  

Burgundy, Domaine Amiot Guy and Montagnard  Not so great.  The cheese was so wonderful, creamy, and lightly beefy, but the wine was too acidic and wiped it out. This cheese is great, but with the wine, it turns bitter.  It just dwindles down.  The wine seems kind of tart for it.

Burgundy, Domaine Amiot Guy and Appenzeller extra aged.  Super fruity taste together.  Bitterness.  The cheese definitely stands up to the wine.  It’s alright.  I think I’d like a little sweeter wine. 

Burgundy, Domaine Amiot Guy and Parmigiano-Reggiano.  I didn’t really like this.  It makes the burgundy taste like a chianti – pretty dry.  Not bad, but it just changes the flavor too much.  I also lost the richness of the cheese.

Burgundy, Domaine Amiot Guy and Cave Aged Gruyère.  Not so bad.  A little bitterness.  The nutty flavor still shines through.  Fruits are good together.

Burgundy, Domaine Amiot Guy and Parrano.  Again, ok.  I feel like the cheese gets a little lost.

Burgundy, Domaine Amiot Guy, with extra aged Appenzeller. This is ok together.  The wine starts to taste a little like Kool-Aid, though.  At Grapevine, the sign said to try the Appenzeller with a Burgundy.  The cheese is sweet, nutty, and fragrant.  I feel like the acidity in the wine sort of wipes out the cheese flavors, but it’s ok.  It’s definitely not bad.

Burgundy, Milliane 2001  (Tasted in 2004) Domaine Gabriel Billard. $14.99 at The Austin Wine Merchant. 12.7% alcohol. This is supposed to be a reasonably priced Burgundy that is very good. The Austin Wine Merchant specializes in Burgundies and Pinot Noirs. This is from the Côte-d'Or. I didn't take enough notes on this wine, but have managed to drink two bottles of it so far. It is tarter than the Oregon wines, less spicy, and dryer. This wine is light ruby colored and clear. It smells strongly of alcohol. It smells like red fruit, like maybe raspberries or cherries. It smells very tart. It also seems a little woody. The finish is tart. The middle is lightly earthy tasting, but not in that overwhelming, "rustic" way. It tastes delicate and natural, more like flowers. Maybe this is the violet taste of Burgundy. Very fresh. I think what I taste in the middle is floral. It is very light, fruity, and dry with a little bit of a pine flavor. I definitely taste the tart cherry flavor. 

Burgundy, Milliane with Cantal, 6 months. This cheese is like the French Cheddar. It is really good, tangy, a little nutty and fruity, but nothing like a Gruyère. This works. I don't know that it is the most fascinating thing I've ever tasted. I like the woody flavors together, but it is a little bitter.  

Burgundy, Milliane with Capri Smoked goat cheese. This is alright together. The goat cheese is smoked in hickory, so it has a very pronounced hickory, wood flavor. The wine overpowers the goat a little bit. I lose the milky, goat flavor. The wood is nice with the tart, lightly woody wine. When you drink the wine, all you are left with is a crazy smoky flavor in your mouth. It makes the wine and cheese taste a little thin. It's not bad, but it's not all that impressive, either. 

Burgundy, Milliane with Campo de Montalban. Oooh, I like these two together. The cheese is really interesting with the sheep and the goat, and it has some nice herby, grassy qualities. It tastes a little wild. It also has great mouthfeel and really coats the tongue and lasts a long time through the wine and all its tartness. The wine makes the cheese taste really sweet. In the finish, it gets a little spicy. I would like the wine to have richer fruit. 

Burgundy, Milliane with Epoisses. It passes just because it is a classic pairing. The cheese is too creamy for this tart wine. It makes the wine taste really tart and astringent.

*Burgundy, Milliane with Swiss Antique Gruyère. Delicious! These two blend really really well. Everybody loved this. The combo brings out a nice sweet milk flavor in the cheese. It also tastes a little like chocolate. Sweet cream. The wine is tart and light. The cheese is heavy and woody and fruity. I like the light wood flavor of the wine with the rustic flavor of the cheese. For some reason, today the wine seems to be overpowering the cheese with its tartness, though. It is still good together, but not as luscious as I first thought. The cheese is not at room temperature. It is well-balanced. It doesn't have a long finish. The wine erases the finish of the cheese a little bit. I tasted this again later, and I didn't like it as much. I felt like the wine was too tart. I think the first Gruyère I had was fresh off the wheel, and when I had it again, it was stale or it was an older, more pungent, batch. 

Burgundy, Milliane with Swiss Wheel Gruyère. Darn! I was hoping this would be better than the Swiss Antique, but no, it's kind of mild. It's ok, but the cheese seems too mild for the wine. The wine gets really tart with the cheese. It's good. It's ok. It is just not very exciting. 

Bourgogne Domaine René Le Clerc from Gevrey-Chambertin 2001 (Tasted in 2003)  12.5% alcohol. $16 at Grapevine. From the Côte d'Or. Very fruity.  Low tannins.  A little bit of cedar.  Not too dry. Very mellow and fruity Burgundy. It is pretty light.  

LeClerc with Clarines.  A little too bitter again.  I don't know why there is this bitterness with the aromatic cheeses, but there is.  I'm especially surprised because the Clarines is so mild.  

LeClerc with Pont l'Evêque.  This is ok.  There is some bitterness, but I like the earthy fruit and the cream together.  Each tastes a little wild.  This is good.  It is bitter, but pleasant.  It is robust.  I'd put these two together again, though they do have strong personalities.  

LeClerc with Epoisses.  We have a winner!  The cheese is warm and cozy.  The wine is fruity.  The acidity in the wine cuts into the cream of the cheese.  They blend well together.  It brings out fruit (from the wine) and spice (from the cheese) and makes the qualities seem like they belong to the other.  I like it with this wine because it is a light, fruity wine and not too dry.  The cheese lingers on.  A splash of wine really adds to the mix. 

Bourgogne Alain Hudelot-Noellat 2001  $17.99 at Grapevine. This bottle is easy to recognize because it has a big "Bourgogne" on the label." It tastes tart like cherries and cranberries, but also wood and earth. It is a light-colored wine. Mushroomy smell. Very clear. Tart and pleasant. I guess what stands out with this wine is the tart berry flavor, and its lightness.

Bourgogne Alain Hudelot-Noellat 2001 with Camembert "Le Châtelain." It brings out a bright cherry flavor in the wine. I can see where the earthy flavors should go together, but I feel like this wine is too mild for this cheese. The wine is too tart. Patrick says that it makes a sewery smell in his sinuses. It's not the worst thing in the world, but I'm not wild about them together. Bitter aftertaste. It's all kind of ok, though. I wouldn't pair them for a tasting, but I wouldn't really hesitate to serve them at a party with random wines and cheeses.

Bourgogne Alain Hudelot-Noellat 2001with Comté. This cheese tastes like sweet cream and nuts. It has an aftertaste of ripe, mellow fruit. I like the ripe fruit in the cheese with the tart fruit in the wine. The tart and cream flavors are also nice together. The wine might be better with this cheese if it were a little less tart, but it is still excellent together. A little chocolately aftertaste. I would do this one for a tasting. 

Bourgogne Alain Hudelot-Noellat 2001 with Epoisses, Berthaut. This was one of the strongest Epoisses that I have ever tried. It is really salty, stinky, bitter, and wild tasting. It was so strong, I had to eat it with some bread. With the bread, it is more tolerable with the wine, but alone, it is weird. The only thing that really works together with these two is that the cheese is really salty and makes the wine extra fun to drink. The taste of the cheese lingers way past the wine's. It tastes a little too dirty. It's not the worst with the wine. It is just so strong and salty and stinky. The wine is too light. The wine was really best with the light Comté. 

Bourgogne Alain Hudelot-Noellat 2001 with Trou du Cru. This Mini-Epoisses seems milder than the Berthaut that I tasted above. It is a little smoother. This works really well together. The spice in the cheese is good with the berries. They are well-matched in strength. These are good. The rind of this cheese is too strong, but the inside is good. These are good together. 

Bourgogne Roumier 2001  (Tasted in 2004). $19.99 at Austin Wine Merchant. 12.5% alcohol. They said this was tough with a good nose. It is supposed to have aromas of wet wood, mushrooms, fruit, and forest floor. It has a flashy personality with a thick, full mid-palate. It is lively and delicate. Not a huge body. Not added dimensions of extra tannins. This is from Chambolle-Musigny (Côte d'Or) in France. It is by Domaine G. Roumier. This family's wines have one of the best reputations in Burgundy. I am tasting this right after the Wallace Brook Pinot Noir from Oregon. It is much fuller and bolder, but still with the tart taste of cherries on the finish. It smells like dirt and mushrooms. It is much less fruity than the Oregon wine. It is also spicy. I heard that this was supposed to be low in tannins, but I am tasting more tannins than I usually do with Burgundy. It's very nice and smooth. The finish is extremely dry. It definitely tastes French. My husband says it has a metallic taste. It has a good balance between fruit and sour. It is very bright and light, but also full at the beginning. It seems like it will be good with cheeses.

*Bourgogne Roumier with L'Ami du Chambertin. Salty, tangy, youngish Epoisses-type from Burgundy. It is washed in Marc de Bourgogne. This is ok together, but I lose some of the tang of the cheese. Then the tang comes back. The parts of the cheese with the mold is not so great with the wine because of the bitterness, but overall this is good. I like the creamy saltiness with the fruit and the woody flavors in the wine. This is very nice together. They complement each other well. I think I also like the tartness of the wine with the tang in the cheese. What makes it good is that the cheese is so creamy and fat on top of being tangy.

Bourgogne Roumier with Beaufort d'Alpage. Awful together! Like something unmentionable. The closest I can come is rotten vegetables and fruit, including onions and hot peppers.

Bourgogne Roumier with Camembert, Le Châtelain. Not so great. Even though the wine has a mushroom aroma, the cheese is too moldy for it. It tastes good for a second, and I like the dryness of the wine, and then it tastes like bile. With bread, it is much better...maybe even good. 

Bourgogne Roumier with Cave-Aged Emmentaler. What a crazy cheese. I was expecting something like a Gruyère or mild Swiss, but no, it's more like a weird Swiss Parmesan. It tastes very aged, nutty, salty, and it has an almost crumbly texture. Delicious crunchy crystals. It is grainy in my mouth. This is good together at first, but then it tastes bitter and metallic. It's not bitter in the usual stinky, moldy way, but rather, bitter like dirt. Yes, it just tastes kind of like dirt with a nutty Parmesan aftertaste.

Bourgogne Roumier with Comté. Creamy, smooth, light Gruyère. Very good together. This is a nice, light, milky Swiss. It works well with the cherries and wood in the wine. I think the wine is a little overpowering, though. The nuts really come out in the cheese. It tastes really nice, like strawberries and cream, together. I love the Swiss aftertaste and the spices. I went back and got a fresher piece of Comté. It was much better. The cheese, although mild, really lasts through the wine. It is so sweet, fresh, fruity and nutty and is really refreshing with this wild little wine. The wine is still stronger than the cheese, but it's nice. The wine stings my tongue and the cheese soothes it. It is really good. I served this in a class and the wine ended up overpowering the cheese too much.

Bourgogne Roumier with Délice de Bourgogne. The bottle says "Bourgogne" and the cheese says "Bourgogne." Maybe this will work? This is a triple cream Brie type from Burgundy. It is creamy, salty, and mushroomy towards the rind. Even though I ate a piece without rind, the mold clashes way too much with the wine. I don't know what's wrong with this, but it's just not good. It took a good 2 minutes to get this foul taste off my palate. It tasted like metal, rot, and dirt, and yes, I have eaten all three before. 

Bourgogne Roumier with Gruyère Swiss Antique. Yummy, sweet, musty, and nutty. It reminds me of Play-Doh at times. It's so-so with the wine. It passes, but it's not doing much for me. I love the cheese and the wine separate. It's kind of blah. I taste great spice and cherries in the wine, and then it just disappears into dirt. The cheese, I taste wonderful nuts, and when the wine hits, it also turns to bitter dirt. It's not such a bad dirt, but not perfect for a tasting. 

*Bourgogne Roumier with Le Tonneau. This cheese is nutty, fruity and salty. It is a Swiss type that comes in a drum that looks like a barrel, hence the name. It is stronger than Swiss, but often milder than Gruyère. It has a very creamy texture and melts in your mouth. It's ok together, actually, quite good. It's nicely balanced. The cheese has enough stink to it to stand up to the wine, and it complements the spices in the wine well. I also like the tart, earthy fruit taste with the like-minded cheese. This is nice. There is some bitterness, but it's good and spicy. Sometimes this cheese is milder. I like it both ways. I wanted to serve this in class, but nobody else liked this cheese.

Burgundy, Savigny-les-Beaune 2002  (Tasted in 2004) Simon Bize et Fils "aux grands liards" 12.5% alcohol. I don't know how much this cost, but I figured it came from Grapevine Market. Chris, who is the manager there, gave me a third of a bottle at an event. I took it home to taste it with a couple of cheeses. It turns out that this is the 2002 Burgundy and it won't be released until later this year (2004). It will probably cost $25 or so. Delicious, smooth, slightly burning, melts in your mouth. Excellent wine. Cherry, smooth tannins, a little chocolatey, but light. I love this wine.

Savigny-les-Beaune with Beaufort d'Alpage. Very good together. It was a little wild-tasting. The wine mellows out the cheese. It tastes like a winter day up in the mountains. Very spicy. Nice finish in the wine. This is excellent together. 

Savigny-les-Beaune with Trou du Cru Mini-Epoisses. Also excellent! This wine is just going with everything. It has so much fruit and it is nice and thick for a Burgundy, it seems. This is a very earthy little cheese. It is like Epoisses, but firmer on the inside and a little more intense towards the rind. However, in some ways, this cheese seems milder. It is extremely spicy. These two are very good together. I was surprised since I have so much trouble pairing Epoisses. I think this partly worked because the cheese is a little firmer. Sometimes the Epoisses is so runny, it just takes over everything. This pairing is not bitter at all, which is a problem I have had in the past with some Epoisses and Burgundies. 

Pinot Nero 2001 (Tasted in 2003) $11.99 at Wiggy's. 12.5% alcohol. I assume this wine is from Italy, but I don't know who the maker is. Light, slightly carbonated-feeling, sweet, with a short finish. Light wine. It tastes young. Not much tannin. Very good and pleasant. This wine is fruity and cheese-friendly. Light plum. 

*Pinot Nero with Petit Agour. Good to very good. The wine brings out a muskiness in this Basque-country sheep's milk cheese without causing bitterness. They blend well together. The wine makes the cheese taste nuttier. The wine is fruity and smooth, but doesn't overpower. It would be great with prosciutto and an apple or pear for dessert.

Pinot Nero and Red Pepper Chèvre from Pure Luck. Not the worst pairing in the world, but I would not pair them. The red peppers on the goat cheese offset the fruit in the wine and make it almost a tolerable pairing. It is not so bad, especially considering it is a red wine with a fresh goat cheese.

Pinot Nero and Shepherd's Wheel. Yuck. The blue cheese ruins the wine and leaves a bitter taste. It's not the worst, though. It's ok with bread. The cheese is too chalky to go with the wine, but it's passable with a lot of bread.

Pinot Nero and Swiss Diablo. Very good together. The cheese is salty, tangy, and nutty, and it burns my mouth. The cheese brings out a very good berry flavor in the wine. They complement each other with their nuts and berry flavors together. As my friend Christine says, "It appeals to the hunter/gatherer."

Pinot Nero and Winchester Sharp Gouda. Awful! The wine makes the cheese taste like rotten eggs.

Pinot Nero Ritratti 2001 (Tasted in 2004)  $17.49 (?) at Tuscany Market. 12.5% alcohol. From the Trentino area in northeastern Italy. By La Vis. "Ritratti" means "portraits" in Italian. Each bottle of this line has a painting on the label by Giovanni Segantini, who is a painter from the area specializing in landscapes. The idea is to have painting that evoke the terroir just as the wine does. This wine is supposed to be fine, complex, mellow, and elegant with a rich, intense bouquet followed by a lingering fragrance. The guy at Tuscany said that this would be extremely light, almost like drinking a Pinot Grigio from the same area, but red. This wine is clear and almost brown. It smells fresh, grapy, light, and perfumy. For a second, I thought I was smelling detergent from my clothes. Very light and delicate. Light pine, tart strawberries and cherries, and flowers. I like this a lot, but it is so light, it almost seems to be gone before I can really get a taste and I am drinking it too fast. It has such a nice, fresh raspberry/strawberry/cherry flavor. Mild tannins. Fragrant finish. I don't see that the cheeses I had in mind will work with this delicate little wine. This may be the daintiest red wine I've ever had.

*Pinot Nero Ritratti with Asiago Fresco. Super mild, buttery, cow's milk cheese. This is absolutely perfect. The cheese is mild and milky enough to have that "berries and cream" blend with the wine. The wine is tart enough to cut into the cheese with its fresh fruit. Delicious. This is a perfect pairing.

Pinot Nero Ritratti with Boschetto al Tartufo. I thought the musty, mushroom flavors in Pinot Noir might go well with the truffles in the cheese. This wine, however, doesn't have a lot of mushroom aromas, so the cheese overwhelms it.

*Pinot Nero Ritratti with Fontina Fontal. Almost eggy, semi-soft cheese. I like this together, though it's a little bitter. Fresh, tangy wine with creamy, sticky, light cheese. This cheese goes well with fruits and even has a fruit flavor to it, and the wine is fruity and light.

Pinot Nero Ritratti with La Tur. Delicious, full-flavored, multi-animaled cheese. Very good, but I really think this robust little cheese needs a wilder wine. On the other hand, if this is working, then why not stick with it? The cheese is as delicate as the wine. It's light, fluffy, creamy, yet intense. The cheese does overpower the wine somewhat. There is no conflict with rind and tannins. What I am not wild about is that I lose some of the delicate berry qualities of the wine, but it really does work with the cheese. Well, nevermind. I did these together later and it was too bitter and vomity. I like it with the bread, but my friend Brad doesn't.

*Pinot Nero Ritratti with Mascarpone. Buttery, thick, sweet cheese. Nice together. It tastes like strawberry cake icing. This cheese really brings out the strawberries and raspberries in the wine, and the "thick cream" back-drop makes it taste like icing. I would like this every morning for breakfast! I like this a lot, but tasting it again with bread, it might be too mild for some people. With the bread, I lose the cheese.

Pinot Nero Ritratti with Pecorino Toscano. Passable at a party, but the cheese is a little robust for this delicate wine. They blend well, but the styles are too different. I have had good luck with Basque cheese and Pinot Nero before, so maybe something tamer and sweeter would be better.

Pinot Nero Ritratti with Ricotta Salata. Tangy, salty, light, fresh sheep's milk cheese. This is ok, but I think the cheese, being tangy and salty, tastes too vinegary for this wine. The wine is already tart. It's ok, though.

Pinot Nero Ritratti with Robiola. Passable at first, and then the mold makes a sickening taste in my mouth. This wine is too light and acidic for this cheese, even though the cheese is acidic. It is not perfect. I'd like the wine to be a little fuller.

Pinot Noir, Argyle 2002 (Tasted in 2004). $16.25 at Austin Wine Merchant. 14% alcohol. This is made in Willamette Valley in Oregon. It is grown on hillside slopes above the magical 45th parallel. It is macerated on grape skins twice; once before fermentation and then again after fermentation. The process of maceration extracts flavor and a silky texture. This wine is supposed to be more robust than Milliane, the Burgundy I have been drinking. It comes with a screw cap seal that ensures consistent quality and eliminates the threat of cork taint and premature oxidation. Wine is supposed to be able to mature better and develop its true character uniformly and naturally. According to the website, this Pinot Noir is dark and purple with a huge melange of bright concentrated raspberry with a hint of citrus and creamy vanilla bean spice. It has super sweet blackberry/raspberry fruitiness with a creme brulee texture. It was aged nine months in French oak barrels.  It is dark red/garnet color. I tasted this right after the Hudelot-Noellat Burgundy. It seemed a lot spicier and wilder, and also heavier on the palate. It is very bright and raspberry-ish and is lightly spicy. It has a creamy finish. It is a very rich wine. I like this just to sit and drink. It is delicious. I kind of don't like the screw top. The sound of the metal scraping makes me feel like it is going to taste like metal or something, but it doesn't. I guess a cork just seems more natural, but, of course, I'd rather the wine taste good and I have had some corked bottles lately.

Pinot Noir, Argyle with Camembert, Le Châtelain. Eggy, herbaceous, mushroomy cheese. This isn't too bad. I like the strong flavor with the lush spice in the wine. It starts to get bitter, but the bitterness goes away. It's alright. I think I like it. It burns a little. I think this does ok together, but I'm not sure the rest of the world would be into it. It tastes chocolatey together. The wine, even with its wildness, tames this crazy cheese. The more I eat this, the more I like these two together.

Pinot Noir, Argyle with Epoisses. Boy is this a stinky cheese. It's making me make faces. I think it may be too ammoniated. Yuck. I don't like this so much. It might be ok with bread. I don't know. I think this cheese is just too strong. I think it is past its prime. I don't know exactly how its supposed to be, but the top rind of this is Cadbury-egg sticky and it blows all the wines out of the water. Now that it is coming to room temperature and that I'm drinking more, it's starting to taste better. I can see where the earthy flavor in the cheese is good with the wild wine. There is some bitterness. This isn't something I would voluntarily eat, but it's not the end of the world. I have been trying so hard to do this Burgundy Pinot Noir/Epoisses pairing. I thought maybe a New World Pinot Noir would stand up better, and it did in that the wine didn't feel as light on the palate as that one Burgundy. It's still a strange mix.

Pinot Noir, Argyle with Trou du Cru mini-Epoisses. I thought nothing could be stinkier than Epoisses -- except for the mini-Epoisses! Its pungent rind affects the paste of the cheese moreso than the big Epoisses' does. Nevertheless, it is a little milder-tasting in some ways. It is also spicier and meatier. It seems more like a monk-style cheese than the regular Epoisses. It is extremely salty. The aftertaste is of chlorine, like in the swimming pool when you suck water up your nose. This is absolutely horrible together! The chlorine flavor really shines through in this pairing. It also reminds me of chalk. It is simply not good. I think this cheese would be best with beer. 

Pinot Noir Bethel Heights 2002  (Tasted in 2004) Willamette Valley. $14.99 at Austin Wine Merchant. 13.7% alcohol. It had a gamy, spicy aroma. It was very good, but tasted kind of wild. It was woody, bright, light, and tingly. I didn't take enough notes.

Pinot Noir Bethel with Epoisses. I thought I might try a Pinot Noir since I have not been able to get a good Burgundy/Epoisses pairing yet, but no, this didn't work. It tasted like chalk together. 

Pinot Noir Bethel with Gaperon. This is nice together. The cheese has garlic and pepper in it. I like the garlic in the cheese with the spices in the wine. Together, it all tastes creamy and spicy, fruity and woody.

Pinot Noir Bethel with Swiss Antique Gruyère. This tastes like bile. I was surprised because the Burgundy went so well with this cheese.

Pinot Noir Bethel Heights Estate Grown 2001 (Tasted in 2004)  $22.50 at Austin Wine Merchant. Willamette Valley. "Low input viticulture and enology" 13.5% alcohol.  Only 3000 cases produced. From the website: "This is a broad representation of Bethel Heights estate vineyard with its unique configuration of soils, slopes, and clones evolved over 23 years, certified sustainably grown under international standards. Aged 14 months in French oak and bottled unfiltered. The signature of this wine is intense black cherry fruit with hints of black pepper. The powerful fruit makes in enjoyable young; the underlying structure bodes well for aging." Unfortunately, they aren't making the above Pinot Noir anymore that was very good and cheap, but this one is also delicious. I had this at a demo, and out of the three, it seemed the best with cheese. It had a nice noise, smooth texture, well-integrated tannins, and powerful fruit. It was full, but still light. This wine's style is supposed to be less assertive than other Pinot Noirs in the area. They like a gentle approach and work towards a transparency in their wines so that the terroir will show through.

This was absolutely delicious and complex, but I got so excited that I drank it without trying any cheese.

Pinot Noir, Calera, Central Coast 2000 (Tasted in 2004) $20.99 at Grapevine. 14.1% alcohol. "Calera" is Spanish for "limekiln." Lime was once quarried where these grapes now grow. The building on the front of the label is the actual kiln. The owner of the winery searched for a plot in CA with limestone so that his wines would be more in the Burgundy tradition. The cheapest Pinot Noire they have is the El Niño for about $13 a bottle. The Central Coast Calera Pinot Noir is a pretty, clear, ruby color. It smells very fresh, berryish, acidic, and alcoholic. Earthy, spicy flavors. It tastes like light wood -- not like a barrel taste, but more like a walk in the woods. Nice cherry and other berry flavors. I love the spice, the acidity, and the little bit of mint, and then the barrel wood on the finish. At the end, this wine is really alcoholic. The alcohol is a little strong, but I still love this. Then again, I'm really into Pinot Noirs that taste like this -- fresh, woodsy, and full of red berries. Read more about it at

Pinot Noir, Calera, with Australian Cheddar. Nutty, caramelized-tasting cheese. This cheese reminds me of an aged Gouda. This has a bitter taste on the finish much like the pairing with P'tit Basque, but it works somehow. The cherry flavors really shine through, and something like a licorice flavor comes through that I didn't notice before. I love the burnt, nutty flavor of the cheese with the earthy, woody flavor in the wine. This is nice. I think that something not quite so robust as this cheese would go better, but this is still nice.

Pinot Noir, Calera, with P'tit Basque. Good together, but a little bitter and too tart at the end. I think maybe the alcohol may be a bit much for my more delicate cheeses. At first, I really like the thick, sweet sheep's milk flavors with the tart and woody berries. Then it gets a little bitter at the end.

Pinot Noir Cartlidge and Browne and Reblochon  Tastes like dirt with this wine, maybe metal.  Maybe it needs a fruitier or sweeter pinot noir.  The best thing you can say about it is that it disappears fast.  It is not a terrible taste, but they don’t complement each other too much.  The pinot/reblochon pairing was recommended by Max McCalman in the cheese book. 

Pinot Noir Cartlidge and Browne and Del Cielo goat cheese.  This pairing (pinot and goat camembert) were recommended in the wine and cheese book.  The goat cheese is extremely salty.  I thought that the fruity pinot would counter it well, but they don’t get along. 

Pinot Noir, Cartlidge and Browne, with Dry Jack.  Excellent pairing.  This is so good, I don’t even know what to say about it.  The cheese is salty, nutty and a little bit chocolatey and bitter with the cocoa rubbing on the rind.  The wine also has a little chocolate flavor to it.  Put the two together, and yum!  The creamy butter starts to come out in the cheese, and the tart fruit in the wine, plus the very cool chocolate taste in the middle – during the break between the cheese and the wine.  When I have a splash of wine, it really cleans the palate (without bitterness), but also brings out a smooth, buttery chocolate flavor plus some fruit and butter.  This is a very naughty after-school chocolate/peanut butter and jelly snack.

Pinot Noir Cartlidge and Browne and crottin.  Not so bad.  The goat cheese really brings out the fruity, plum flavor in the wine.  I taste a little bit of chocolate, too.  The wine overpowers the cheese a little, but it is not lost.  After the wine finishes, I can still taste some of the tartness of the cheese.  I think this might be better with a lighter pinot noir, but this is still really good.

Pinot Noir D. Bosler Birdsnest 2001 (Tasted in 2003)  $11 at Grapevine.  13.5% alcohol.  This is a very light-hearted Pinot from the Casablanca region of Chile.  It has a delightful bouquet of cherries and light licorice. On the palate, it’s tart and tangy with notes of tobacco and saddle leather, and a crispy, acidic finish. It is supposed to work well with lighter textured meats and pasta.

Pinot Noir Francis Coppola 2002 (Tasted in 2004) About $16 or so. 13.5% alcohol. This is the silver label Pinot Noir from the Diamond Series. The label says: "...has a bright ruby color with generous aromas of black cherry and allspice. Rich layers of sweet strawberry and red plum flavors highlight the smoothly textured palate followed by delicate notes of ripe cranberry and sandalwood on the finish. ...try it with wild mushroom ravioli or grilled salmon..." Read more about it at This Pinot Noir was fruitier and less earthy than some, but definitely has nice spice and cherry flavors. It is complex and full. Nice acidity. It was really tasty.

Pinot Noir Francis Coppola with Manchego. I didn't take notes, but I liked these two together. The sheep's milk cheese was light and sweet, yet also earthy, making it a good match with the fruity, woodsy Pinot Noir.

Pinot Express 2001 (Tasted in 2003)  Oregon Pinot Noir.  $10-12 at Wiggy's.  13% alcohol.  It is a deep, tawny red color.  It is light, berry-flavored.  Tastes like cherries, like the sour cherry pie we had last night.  It has a little bit of oak at the beginning and the finish is very cherry-like and smooth.  It is delicious!  Not much tannins.  It is tangy, but not really sweet.  It does not overpower most cheeses.  I like it with nutty cheeses and some goat cheeses.

Pinot Express and Aurichio, domestic Gorgonzola.  It is good together.  I like the saltiness of the cheese with the fruity wine.  There's not much bitterness.  It is a little harsh at first.  

Pinot Express and Blue Goat Cheese from Maryland.  Good. This cheese was much better with the fruity, soft Pinot Noir than the Sauvignon Blanc was.  The aftertaste of the goat cheese is really strong with the wine.  I can still taste the tanginess of the wine.  The cheese may coat the mouth too much to get the full flavor of the wine.  

Pinot Express with herbed Brie.  This is good.  It's not great, but I think the cheese texture is good with the tangy, cherry flavor of the wine.  I think it would be really good with a regular Brie.

Pinot Express and cheap HEB extra sharp Cheddar.  Delicious!  The saltiness of the cheese really brings out the fruit in the wine.  this is the best (and cheapest) pairing yet.  I like this and the Swiss Emmentaler with it.  

Pinot Express and Cheshire.  Very good together.  This cheese is not so salty and sharp, but they blend well.  It's not an exciting pairing, but very good.  

Pinot Express and Gorgonzola Dolce.  It is not bad.  The Gorgonzola takes away the tang of the wine at the beginning.  There is a little bitterness.  It works, but I wouldn't really pair them together.

Pinot Express and 18 month Gouda.  Pretty good together.  It makes the wine taste a little sour.  I like the nutty flavor with the fruit in the wine.

Pinot Express and Ribeaupierre.  It makes a weird fruity and bitter aftertaste.  I like the fruity, tangy, tart flavors together.  Very good, surprisingly.  However, this Ribeaupierre was really young and mild.  

Pinot Express with Roasted Ricotta.  Too bitter on the finish, but not the worst in the world.  

Pinot Express and Ste.-Maure Pure Luck goat cheese.  Not great, but not horrible.  I kind of like the tangy flavor of goat cheeses with light Pinot Noirs.  I think the cheese overpowers this wine.  It takes away some of the fruit of the wine.  I taste the fruit at first, and then all I get is a cheese.  

Pinot Express and Stravecchio.  It is not bad, but not as good as I would have expected.  It is a little too bitter, but the wine and cheese don't fight too much.  I liked the Pinot Noir and blue cheeses better.

Pinot Express and Swiss Emmentaler.  Delicious!  I love the sweet, nutty cheese with the fruity wine.  Both are very milkd.  

Pinot Noir, Forchini Vineyards 2000  (Tasted in 2004) Forchini is pronounced with "ch" as "tch" instead of the Italian way.  Proprietor's Reserve. $17.99 at Grapevine. 14.1% alcohol. X was demoing this wine. I also liked the Red Zin/Merlot blend that they had and thought it might be a better cheese wine, but since I have been tasting so much Pinot Noir, I decided to get this. It also seemed most popular with the crowd there, which is a good sign for a party wine. This bottle is beautiful. The label has a Caravaggio painting of "Boy with Fruit." This comes from the Russian River Valley in Sonoma County. Sonoma is supposed to produce more rustic, down-to-earth wines than the showy Napa wines. I got a flyer for the wine with much of the following information: It has .02% residual sugar. There were only 1255 cases produced of this. It was released two years after bottling. The River Terrace vineyard is located in the northern part of the Russian River Appellation, which is north of S.F. and closer to the coast. The fogs that come in are supposed to keep the terrain cooled off for the wine. The site is near a river where the morning fog creates an excellent microclimate for this early maturing varietal. The Pinot Noire vineyard was planted in 1972 over an old prune orchard. (Maybe that is why it is supposed to taste like prunes?) The plants used budwood obtained from the Louie Martini vineyard on the west side of the river and grafted to St. George rootstock. Today, this Martini clone is renown for its exceptional qualities as it produces numerous small clusters of intense flavored fruit with good color. It is an elegant wine with a delicate yet firm structure that combines with delicious crisp fruit flavors of cherry and plu to a lingering smooth finish. It's aged in a combination of new American and used French oak barrels for 12 months. It is supposed to pair well with lighter meats such as veal, pork, fowl, and wild game, and is also great with shellfish and salmon. X told me that in CA, the Russian Valley, Carneros, and Santa Barbara are best for Pinot Noir. 

This is a very light-colored wine. It has a little bit of an orange tinge to it, and when I hold it up, I can see through it. The cork shredded up and fell in the bottle. It is considered dry, but it tastes sweet because of the strong fruit. It definitely is heavy on the fruit. It is tingly on the tongue and feels light and almost fizzy at first, but then it blooms into a nice, sour cherry flavor, and finishes dry. It is a nice wine. I think my mother might even like this. It is not too tart. When I breathe out, I do get some of the musty, "forest floor" flavor I expect in a Pinot Noir. It's interesting with all it's nuances. At first, this tasted a little too fruity for me. I will see how it does with the cheeses. It is very drinkable. I tasted a Bing cherry with it and they cherry in the wine is much tarter than this sweet cherry. I tasted this wine with some cheeses that I had been doing with French Burgundies and it wasn't so great, but it worked well with the aged Gouda.

Pinot Noir, Forchini with Comté French Gruyère, but very mild. I liked the French Burgundy a lot better with this cheese, but it's not awful together. I don't think they do much for each other. I get the earthy taste of the cheese, then the bright fruit, and then it all just gets muddled together and becomes slightly bitter. The spice is stronger in the wine with this cheese, and then the fruit is less strong. I lose some of the milky, nutty aromas in the cheese with this wine. They both do a good job of lasting out together. I would serve this together at a casual party, but not at a formal tasting.

Pinot Noir, Forchini with Vella Dry Jack from Sonoma. Salty and Parmesan-like cheese. Nice, but bitter. I was hoping the chocolate flavor would mesh with the cherries in the wine, but it just turns dirty. It works for a cheese board, but they aren't perfect together.

Pinot Noir, Forchini with Camembert, Le Châtelain. Creamy, earthy Camembert with eggy aromas. They clash. I don't like this at all. The wine is too fruity for this. I'm not even going to try to put it with a washed rind.

*Pinot Noir, Forchini with Old Amsterdam Aged Gouda. Delicious nutty, caramel-flavored cheese with nice salt. Very very nice together. The fruit shines through in the wine and works nicely with the nuts in the cheese. I love the light spice in the wine with this salty cheese. The combo starts out spicy and salty, and then builds up to fruit with nuts. The aftertaste is nutty, creamy, and tangy. The sour cherries really come through. 

Pinot Noir, Forchini with P'tit Basque. I decided to try this sheep cheese with the wine because I had bought some black cherry preserves from France intended specifically for this cheese. I thought the cherries in the wine might pair nicely with the mellow, sheepy flavor. I was right! There is some bitterness. I don't like this pairing quite as much as the Old Amsterdam Gouda, but it's still nice. The wine is light and lively enough to be very pleasant with this airy, yet creamy, sheep's milk flavor. It all tastes very outdoorsy. The finish is off, but it's still nice. Great fruit. Great cream. It's one of the combos that I describe as "strawberries and cream."

Pinot Noir, Kendall Jackson, and Parrano.  Beautiful. 

Pinot Noir, Kendall Jackson, and P’tit Basque.  Interesting, like strawberries and cream.   

Pinot Noir, Kendall Jackson, and Garrotxa.  The cheese is too strong for the wine, but it’s still good. 

Pinot Noir, Kendall Jackson, and Selles sur Cher.  Really good.  It’s a little bitter, but it also has that strawberries and cream taste.  The wine brings a pleasant muskiness out in the cheese.

Pinot Noir Parducci with Cravanzina  This is a fresh Italian soft-ripened cheese blend of cow, sheep and goat milk.  This was an excellent pairing.  The wine was fruity, tart, light, even clear in color, and the cheese was soft and creamy with a definite lactic tang.  It was like eating strawberries and cream together.   

Parducci with Boursin garlic cheese.  Ok.  Not bad at all.  The cheese added spice, but there is some bitterness.  There is a spicy, berry flavor. 

Parducci and Piave.  Pretty good.  I would like a little spicier wine, but not too full-bodied with this cheese.

Pinot Noir, Pepperwood 2004 (Tasted in 2005) $7.99 at World Market. 135% alcohol. French oak aging. Made by the Sebastiani Brothers who also make Sebastiani and Smoking Loon. Cool climate wine made from a diverse selection of clones. This wine is super light, but great for everyday drinking. It has a gorgeous color, almost like a Pinot Meunier. The aroma is lighty musky with lots of cherries. When I taste it, it reminds me of strawberries and spice. I don't know if it's the color influencing me or what. It is good. Not extremely complex. Nice acidity. Smokiness on the finish.

*Pepperwood with Picandou Nature. This was great. The French Chèvre was just musky enough to match up with a light CA Pinot Noir, but not too crazy as to overpower it. Definitely a berries and cream match made in heaven. I love the tartness of both the cheese and the wine together. For a light cheese, this one has a lasting finish. It could almost use a heftier Pinot Noir, but still, this is really good. 3

Pepperwood with Soréda Cone. Awful! The dirty flavors of mold and woody peppercorns were way too much for this light Pinot Noir. I thought maybe it had a chance -- Pepperwood and cheese covered in peppers, but no. This cheese is supposed to go well with a Pinot Noir, but one with more complexity.

Pinot Noir, Ramspeck 2003 (Tasted in 2005) $13.75 at Austin Wine Merchant. 13.5% alcohol. The label is a very ornate family crest. One of the employees at Austin Wine Merchant said that this was drinking well and that it reminded her more of an Oregon Pinot Noir than California. This one is from the Napa Valley. The Ramspeck family has been making wine since the 16th century. The label says that this is a classic Burgundy style of Pinot Noir. It doesn't taste like a Burgundy, but it is good. The grapes come from low-yielding, mountain-side vineyards. It is garnet-colored with an orange rim. It smells alcoholic and chocolatey. Nice tannins and very rich fruit. The finish is very much cherry and berry with some chocolate.

Ramspeck with Pecorino Toscano. Horribly bitter. The cheese is way too salty and aged.

*Ramspeck with P'tit Basque. At first, I didn't like these two together, but then I warmed up to them. At first it tasted too musty, but then it seemed more nutty and earthy. Very good with plums. The black cherries overpowered the wine too much, as did the dates. Too sweet.

Pinot Noir Smoking Loon 2004 $7.99 at World Market. 13.5% alcohol. Very inexpensive for this wine. It is from Napa in CA and made by the Sebastiani brothers. It has a clear color, strawberry nose, a slightly smoky, earthy midpalate, and then a soft finish. It is tart, but not too tart. This wine reminds me a little of Pinot Meunier with its softness, strawberry flavors, and spices, but it is a little earthier. It also has that candy flavor typical of some Northern CA Pinot Noir. This wine didn't like my cheese so much, but it was an easy drink otherwise.

Smoking Loon with Crottin de Chavignol. I would normally not pair these two together, but this cheese seems to go with everything lately. Not so bad, but not great. When I have both of these two in my mouth, they speak different languages. I can tell they are from different countries. The styles totally don't match up.

Smoking Loon with Fleur Verte. This herbed (esp. tarragon) cheese goes very well with Pinot Meunier. Very good, but the cheese makes the wine taste flat. Still, at a party, this would be a great match except that the cheese is so expensive and the wine is so cheap.

*Smoking Loon with HEB Sharp Cheddar. Cheapest cheese in my fridge and this works the best. I like this because the cheese blends nicely with the light spices in the wine, and that strawberry candy flavor is tamed a little.

Smoking Loon with Lincolnshire Poacher. British Cheddar style cheese with lots of grass flavors and salt. This cheese, again makes the wine loose its character. I think this wine would be best with a medium sharp domestic Cheddar and Gouda.

Smoking Loon with Pecorino di Fossa. I like this except that I get a fishy flavor at the end. No, on second thought, this is not good together. The cheese has too much of a vomity taste for this low tannin wine to handle. 

Pinot Noir, Sterling 2004 (Tasted in 2006) $10.99 at World Market. 13.5% alcohol. This wine describes itself as fresh, bright, and fruit-forward. When I first opened it, I smelled not too much. Then I tasted nothing but tart cherries and bouncy, tangy fruit like strawberries. Then it mellows out into some tingly pumpkin spices and the usual smoky tastes. The finish is not super long, but I taste tannins at the end that linger, the bitterness. It's a nice wine.

Sterling Pinot Noir with Trugole. This cheese is a lot like a young Asiago, and its fresh creaminess worked well with the tangy fruit in the wine. They didn't bring out anything so great in each other, but they also didn't make any bad flavors together.

*Sterling Pinot Noir with Vlaskaas. Gouda type of cheese, but extremely nutty and floral. This is pretty good, but the cheese is so salty and nutty, it overpowers the wine a little. I'd like to see this wine with a regular Gouda. Still, I like this a lot. I tried it again later and really liked it, all spicy and woody together. It's interesting.

Sterling with Red Square Tasmanian. This cheese looks like an aged Robiola. It's a washed rind that tastes a lot like a French Munster. It overpowers the wine and then gets bitter at the end. The cheese has too much ammonia to work with this wine. It's a nice little earthy, creamy cheese by itself, but with the wine, out comes the bitterness.

Pinot Noir, Sticks 2003 (Tasted in 2004). $13.75 at Austin Wine Merchant. 13.5% alcohol. From Yarra Valley in Australia. It has a bundle of sticks on the label. Black label. The guy that makes it is named Rob "Sticks" Dolan. It is supposed to taste of cherry and plum with a velvety texture. This was delicious, but I didn't taste any cheese with it. It was light and clear, and had a great cherry flavor. The smell was typical of a Pinot Noir. It smelled musty and stunk. This wine was so yummy. It also had a little bit of fizz. I must buy this again and try it with some cheese.

Sticks with P'tit Basque. Delicious. I serve this in class all the time. Nutty and rustic, but light.

Pinot Noir, Ponzi Tavola 2002 (Tasted in 2004). 13% alcohol. Geoff brought this wine over. It is made by an Italian family in the Willamette Valley in Oregon. On the bottle, it says that it is a medium-bodied PInot Noir from several vineyards. It is a light garnet color. It has a smell that I recognize from another Oregon Pinot Noir. Maybe it is the gamy smell. It's a tangy, almost vinegar aroma that is surprising since the wine doesn't taste exactly like it smells. It smells like alcohol and tart, red berries. On the palate, it is spicy and smooth with good acidity and extremely mild tannins. Tart, acidic finish.

Pinot Noir, Ponzi Tavola with Cheddar, Wisconsin Mammoth. This wine is a tad too spicy for this mild cheddar, though overall, it is a very cheese-friendly wine, especially for hard and semi-hard cheeses.

Pinot Noir Wallace Brook 2001 (Tasted in 2004). $11.99 at Austin Wine Merchant. This is a Willamette Valley Pinot Noir from Oregon. It is made from hillside vineyard grapes in Oregon's north Willamette Valley. It is a bright, red-fruited Pinot Noir. It is aged entirely in French oak barrels. Its nose is of plum, spice and vanilla, followed by ripe cherries and raspberries on the palate. According to the label, it has a round, supple mouthfeel that is complemented by  soft tannins and a balanced finish. It is supposed to go well with lamb, grilled salmon, or pasta with red sauces. It is a light wine -- I can practically look through the bottle. This is delicious. It smells of cherries and light wood. Very strong cherry smell. I can maybe get spice, but I'm not getting vanilla at all. It is light, tart, and cherry-ish. I love this wine. It is a little spicy, but mostly just tart cherries. It is cheap and delicious. My husband tasted prunes. It is spicy on the mid-palate.

Pinot Noir Wallace Brook with Cambembert Le Châtelain. This is a really smelly Camembert. It is eggy and spicy. This is not so bad, surprisingly. The wine brings out a nutty flavor in the cheese. It tames the cheese so that I don't taste so much eggs. This is nice. I like this pairing after all. I like the tart cherry with the crazy cheese. It's ok. I like this better with a French Burgundy.

Pinot Noir Wallace Brook with Fromage d'Affinois. Super mild Brie. It is ok, but tastes kind of rotten. I would never put these together, but at a random party, they are ok. It's not bad.

Pinot Noir Wallace Brook with Reblochon. Disgusting! It was bitter and metallic. It was just a horrible pairing. It made me make faces for 30 seconds, and then when I tried the next sip of wine, it just ruined it. And I like this mild cheese, normally.

Pinot Noir Wallace Brook with Robiola?

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