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Tom N.

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WTN: Tom eats Merlot Crow

by Tom N. » Thu Mar 23, 2006 11:51 pm

OK, I admit it, I over reacted :oops: in my first TN of this wine. Cathedral Cellars Merlot, 2001, Coastal Region, South Africa
My apologies to Miles.

Nice deep garnet with a reddish purple edge. Oak, earth and berry notes on the nose. This time the flavors of red raspberries and nicely integrated smoky oak on the palate with a medium long smooth acidic finish. Good balance except for a bit more oak than I like, but not bad. Nice match with roasted pork tenderloin and Herbs de Provence Chicken. Not bad as a sipper, either.

Food match appears to be a critical element in evaluating this wine. I am now convinced that the horrible finish the first time I tasted this wine was due to the strong taste of generous amounts of grated parmesan on the pasta sauce. I have since had some other bitter tannin reactions in wine when combined with parmesan and tomato sauce. This cheese seems to have the ability to create a new taste when combined with certain wines.

Has anyone else had reaction to wine in Parmesan?

The interesting thing is that grated paremesan in Caesar Salad does not have the same effect when I have wine with it. Different mix of tastes, I guess. I also think that there may have been an interaction of parmesan with the pasta sauce in combination with the wine.
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Bob Ross

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Re: TN: Tom eats Merlot Crow

by Bob Ross » Thu Apr 20, 2006 2:08 pm

I agree, Tom -- I- haven't found a good match for Parmesan cheese. The best has been an aged Bordeaux -- mid level -- five to eight years old.

I haven't read much about matching Parmesan with other wines -- I'm always surprised when Chianti doesn't do well with it.

Regards, Bob
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Re: TN: Tom eats Merlot Crow

by Jenise » Thu Apr 20, 2006 2:27 pm

Has anyone else had reaction to wine in Parmesan?

Tom, several years ago I had a problem when dining with a friend at a restaurant with a good by-the-glass program, so we ordered a different wine for every dish. And there was a problem involving parmesan cheese and pinot. I remember no other details, except that the dish was likely a risotto. So whether the cheese didn't go with the pinot, or whether the pinot went well with the cheese where the wine we'd ordered for the dish did not--I can't remember. I only remember that the parmesan was responsible for a completely unexpected wine match problem.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Bill Spohn

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Re: TN: Tom eats Merlot Crow

by Bill Spohn » Thu Apr 20, 2006 4:32 pm

You heard it here first - parmesan cheese (a nice chunk of Reggiano and a proper tool for pecking away at it) and a slightly chilled bottle of Greco di Tufo.

Try it - you might like it.

Question for any Italians out there - presumably Italian speakers don't refer to 'the tool' as 'that cheese breaking thing'. Is there a proper name for 'the tool'? And, yes, I know there are several different tools, but I mean the usual oval pointed blade, not the specialist ones for cutting the round in half etc.
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Re: TN: Tom eats Merlot Crow

by Otto » Thu Apr 20, 2006 4:35 pm

Bob Ross wrote:I agree, Tom -- I- haven't found a good match for Parmesan cheese.


I have. Champagne - preferably Bl de Bl. Also it's really nice if you add just a drop of top quality balsamico onto a chunk of Parmesan - if you don't use much it goes, IMO, very well with the Champagne also!

Anyone else try this?

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Re: TN: Tom eats Merlot Crow

by Jenise » Thu Apr 20, 2006 6:09 pm

Bill, I don't know the Italian name for the tool, but in cooks' circles it's simply called a Cheese Knife though there are so many other cheese knives that are entirely different that the description isn't really sufficient.
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Re: TN: Tom eats Merlot Crow

by Isaac » Thu Apr 20, 2006 6:16 pm

Bob Ross wrote:I'm always surprised when Chianti doesn't do well with it.
Just seems wrong, doesn't it?

Italians make the cheese, and they make a lot of wine. What do Italians drink with it? Or is it perhaps that the Italian palate finds Chianti and Parmesan a better match than the rest of us?
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Tom N.

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Re: TN: Tom eats Merlot Crow

by Tom N. » Thu Apr 20, 2006 11:39 pm

Bob Ross wrote:I agree, Tom -- I- haven't found a good match for Parmesan cheese. The best has been an aged Bordeaux -- mid level -- five to eight years old.

Regards, Bob


Thanks Bob,

My oldest Bordeaux is a 2000, so I may try that. It will be less expensive than Otto's suggestion of trying champagne.

I think that my reaction to Merlot/parmesan cheese match is a clear example of a negative synergistic taste match. The new bitter metallic taste created by the combintation was just very off-putting.

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Re: TN: Tom eats Merlot Crow

by Tom N. » Thu Apr 20, 2006 11:41 pm

Bill Spohn wrote:You heard it here first - parmesan cheese (a nice chunk of Reggiano and a proper tool for pecking away at it) and a slightly chilled bottle of Greco di Tufo.

Try it - you might like it.


Thanks for the suggestion Bill,

I have never had Greco di Tufo or seen it offered. Could you enlighten me as to what type of wine this is. Is it from Greece?

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Re: TN: Tom eats Merlot Crow

by Bill Spohn » Fri Apr 21, 2006 2:34 am

Tom, Greco di Tufo is a white wine made froma a grape of the same name around Avellino in Italy (whose probable origin was Greece, hence the name).

It is characterised by a parmesan cheese nose which may or may not account for part of the affinity I feel it has for the cheese.

I like Mastroberardino's version, but there are many producers.

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