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On the ninth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me: 9 cheeses in a cheese grotto

January 2, 2021

9 cheeses to pair with Pinot Noir

Today is January 2, the day after New Year’s Day, and the day that the Catholic Church recognizes St. Basil the Great and St. Gregory Nazianzen, both 4th century Christians who at one point were friends. Basil’s health was poor, perhaps because of the rigours of his ascetic life, they say; he practiced “strict self-denial as a measure of personal and especially spiritual discipline.”

He clearly should have eaten more cheese and enjoyed more wine as research says that both in moderation are good for you!  Wine and Cheese is a gift of health according to this study from the University of Iowa: “Here are four of the most significant findings from the study:

1) Cheese, by far, was shown to be the most protective food against age-related cognitive problems, even late into life;

2) The daily consumption of alcohol, particularly red wine, was related to improvements in cognitive function;

3) Weekly consumption of lamb, but not other red meats, was shown to improve long-term cognitive prowess; and

4) Excessive consumption of salt is bad, but only individuals already at risk for Alzheimer’s Disease may need to watch their intake to avoid cognitive problems over time.”

One of the authors of the research said, “I was pleasantly surprised that our results suggest that responsibly eating cheese and drinking red wine daily are not just good for helping us cope with our current COVID-19 pandemic, but perhaps also dealing with an increasingly complex world that never seems to slow down.”

I should be in good health because on the ninth day of Christmas my true love sent to me

Truffle brie wrapped in puff pastry with sautéed mushrooms

I specifically purchased cheeses to produce a plate of pinot pleasers to pair with a 2017 Michel Magnien Bourgogne Pinot Noir  (SRP $30; sample):

  1. White Stilton with Cranberry,
  2. Brilliant Saravin with Truffles,
  3. Cypress Grove Truffle Tremor,
  4. Emma Le Marechael Raw milk cheese aged 60 days or more,
  5. Taleggio,
  6. Rouge Creamery Oregon Blue,
  7. Isigny Ste Mere Aged Mimolette,
  8. LaTur
  9. Truffle brie round which Sue wrapped in puff pastry 

plus pate because I love pinot and pate! 

 

2017 Domaine Michel Magnien Pinot Noir, Bourgogne 
ABV 13% 
SRP $30; sample for my review consideration 
Appellation Bourgogne Control 
1500 bottles produced

We love biodynamic wines, and this one overdelivers for the reasonable price point of $30.  Domaine Michel Magnien began experimenting with organic back in the late 1990s in the village of Morey-Saint-Denis in Bourgogne and achieved biodynamic certification from Demeter in 2015 which is also when Michel Magnien began using no new oak and bottling sans fining or filtration. To bring even more of a sense of purity of the fruit and to eliminate the taste of wood in the wine, they age part of the production in small clay jars.

Why biodynamic?

On their website, they explain that biodynamic farming “strengthens the vitality and the resistance of plants, by improving the natural exchanges between the ground and the roots on one hand, and between the sky and the plant on the other hand.” 

Further, biodynamic practices develops and maintains a stronger relationship between the plant and the planet, and this exchange between the two grows higher quality grapes and a better wine: “The biodynamic method aims at revitalizing and at intensifying the organic life in the environment where the vine lives. This process has the effect of giving more life to the grounds on which take root and increase vines to reveal the expression of the Burgundy soils in their just translation.”

Biodynamics pays attention to the cosmos “allows the plant to strengthen and to energize itself thanks to the natural powers rather than to work it against its nature. The Moon, a strong influence on liquids in particular on sap of vines, brings rhythm each step of Frédéric Magnien’s in the diapason of its cycles.” Observing the phases of the Moon, working with “respect of the cosmic elements, the meticulous observation of plants and the listening of the soil. Each bottle translates with loyalty the purity of appellations, the passion of the vine, and the influence of the natural elements thanks to the biodynamic principles,” they say on their website.

We both loved the label with the sun, the moon, the earth, and the stars as well as the wine within and how well it went with the cheeses.

Read more about this wine along with our tasting and pairing note here on Wine Predator.

 

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