Well this was a new one: Being offered a selection of Italian sparkling and still wines, the cheeses to pair them with and all coming from the same part of Italy! Not something I get delivered every day so I said yes. Below I’m sharing the invitation, my tasting notes and further information:
Fall is here, and everyone is ready for a new tasty experience: Europe’s Perfect Pairing is here to be your next favorite pairing partner. If you are interested in tasting the perfect pairing of Garda sparkling wine and Piave cheese, I would be happy to send you samples… (of) convenient, delicious, and authentic northern Italian products for your Autumn gatherings.
For the Tasting
Use your next dining occasion to explore some of these styles, laying out a spread of delicious Piave cheeses. Taste the fresh and mild flavors of subtle Mezzano D.O.P. (61/180 days) and rich Piave Stravecchio (aged more than 12 months), the bright and vibrant Garda Spumante DOC will cleanse their palates between bites. Removing Piave cheese from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before serving, will allow for it to be at the perfect temperature to enjoy.
Garda Spumante DOC wines are just as delicious as easy to drink as well; simply pop the cork, pour, and enjoy. The elegant, refreshing flavors perfectly complement the richness and intensity of your Piave DOP cheese board, and vibrant, fun-loving bubbles add just the right touch to a casual or festive gathering.
My Notes on the Garda Wines, Cheeses and Pairing
Collezione Riondo Brut NV: Pretty sea glass green glass bottle is very eye-catching, the wine itself is a very pale gold with a slight silvery-green sparkle on the edge. Aromas that wafted up through the tiny bubbles included candied pears, French baguette, apple pie, talcum powder and wet sand from a freshwater beach. In the mouth I got lively green apple, honey, lemon and sugary limeade.
Pjafoc Vino Spumante Extra Dry White: Palest yellow of all in color, with tiny bubbles hanging onto the edge of my glass for a very long time. Aromas reminded me of creamy butter, fresh cut cucumber for crudité, white peach, biscuit and overturned dry earth. For the taste I noted that lemon-lime again, pineapple, freshly cut apple slices and a general sense of coolness. A wine to enjoy outdoors on a hot day. The wine had a creaminess as well as a medium acidity, and a very long length on the palate.
2020 Azienda Agricola Prendina Pinot Grigio: The color was a soft yellow with some sparkle, then I noted bruised apple, dust, stone fruit, dry earth and freshly cut pears on the nose. Tasting the wine I was reminded of fruit cocktail in juice, just peeled orange, tangerine, lime zest and lingering citrus fruits.
2020 Cantina Colli Morenici Chardonnay: Light yellow in color, then on the nose there was some sweet Meyer lemon, unsalted butter, grapefruit and ash followed by bright flavors of yellow apple, lemon-lime soda, a nice round mouthfeel, mild acidity and medium finish. I really liked the freshness on this one.
Mezzano D.O.P. (61/180 days) described as fresh and mild.
With the Collezione Riondo Brut NV: Taking a sip of the Riondo first, then taking a bite of the cheese, it was indeed mild, but then rinsing the wine over the cheese, the cheese grew much sharper, nuttier and creamier for me in the mouth, which made the pairing interesting and elevated the pairing. (Note: I’ve had bubbles and cheese before. I either wasn’t paying attention – which I now will do – or this is specific to these cheeses and these sparkling wines!)
With the Pjafoc Vino Spumante Extra Dry White: Doing just as I did above, rinsing the wine over the cheese, I found the pairing similar, maybe not as sharp but certainly sharper with the wine than alone. And again, the pairing elevated the whole experience.
Piave Stravecchio (aged more than 12 months) described as bright and vibrant
With the Collezione Riondo Brut NV: Even though a younger cheese it had a bit more layers on the palate – nutty, salty, briny – then with the wine I noted salt was really heightened, which was nice with the bubbly wine.
With the Pjafoc Vino Spumante Extra Dry White: The saltiness and nuttiness came out in the cheese with the wine, again, as it did with the Riondo. As an observation, these are both hard cheeses, so when you roll the wine over the cheese it also softens it. Again, making the experience something to linger over.
After spending too much time cooped up indoors, everyone is ready to take their gatherings and meals to a new tasty level, and Europe’s Perfect Pairing is just begging to be your next favorite pairing partner. Hailing from beautiful northern Italy, Piave DOP cheese and Spumante Garda DOC wines share distinctive origins, deep history, and authentic production techniques—and they are the perfect palate complements for one another. Simple and portable, yet utterly delicious, elevate your taste buds with this sparkling and cheesy dynamic duo.
With Garda DOC wines, there’s no corkscrew required: Covering 10 historical appellations on the shores of Lake Garda, this DOC centers around sparkling wine production. Gentle, rolling hills curve around the southern end of the large lake, where cool breezes and abundant sunshine produce perfectly ripened grapes with freshness and acidity. White Garda Spumante DOC wines are typically based on Chardonnay, Garganega, Pinot Grigio, and Trebbiano, while rosé Garda Spumante is based on Pinot Noir, Corvina, and Merlot, and both may be made in the traditional or Charmat method.
In the beautiful alpine province of Belluno, the intensely flavored Piave DOP cheeses are made. A hard cow’s milk cheese, Piave DOP is named after the Piave River, which traces its way from mountaintops to the plains, winding its way through the land used to create these distinctive cheeses. A long tradition of dairy and cheese making has been passed down through the generations in this area, and modern cheesemakers use these traditional methods to craft five age designations of Piave DOP cheese…
About the Partner Organizations
THE GARDA DOC was founded in 1996 to underline the value of the varietal wines of the 10 historical appellations of the Garda area between Lombardy and Veneto. www.gardadocvino.com
Consorzio Di Tutela Del Formaggio Piave DOP
The Consortium for the Protection of Formaggio Piave (Consorzio per la Tutela del Formaggio Piave in Italia), with offices in Busche di Cesiomaggiore (BL), was established in 2010 to protect the PDO (DOP in Italian) from misuse, counterfeiting, and unfair competition. The Consorzio also has the task of protecting the
typicality and the peculiar characteristics of Piave cheese, promoting it on all markets – both national and international – and upholding it by providing product information to consumers. www.piavecheese.com
Eve Bushman has a Level Two Intermediate Certification from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET), a “certification in first globally-recognized course” as an American Wine Specialist ® from the North American Sommelier Association (NASA), Level 1 Sake Award from WSET, was the subject of a 60-minute Wine Immersion video (over 16k views), authored “Wine Etiquette for Everyone” and has served as a judge for the Long Beach Grand Cru and the Global Wine Awards. You can email Eve@EveWine101.com to ask a question about wine or spirits.