Fiore Sardo

(fee-oh-reh-Sar-doh)

I had the good fortune to serve the Frescobaldi Benefizio Pomino Bianco DOC at the Showtime Golden Globe Awards Celebrity Retreat. Stars like Dexter's Julie Benz and hit comedy WEEDS star, Andy Milder, enjoyed this terrific wine paired by yours truly with a selection of artisanal cheeses. The celebrities and Showtime's VIP's went wild for this Italian white wine made from the Chardonnay grape.

The flavors of Benefizio Pomino Bianco DOC work with a significant number of cheeses. I thought it would be interesting to pair this slightly oaked wine with a robust hard sheep's milk cheese from Sardinia, Fiore Sardo DOP. The Italian translation of Fiore is flower and some call this cheese The Flower of Sardinia. Fiore Sardo is straw colored with a medium brown rind. It delivers a bigger flavor than its cousin, Pecorino Toscano that would also pair magnificently with the Pomino. The high salt in the cheese balanced with its fruitiness works well with the vanilla and fruit coming through in the wine...after you've properly executed The Cheese Highway, of course. This cheese is quite rich and delivers aftertastes galore that create a pathway for the wine's herbal qualities along with its acidity. The Pomino's acidity actually cuts through the saltiness of this cheese to bring the two together in your mouth quite nicely.

Present the Fiore Sardo with a loaf of hot crusty Italian bread then drink the Pomino cold but not too cold. I usually take this wine out of the refrigerator about a half hour before I'm going to serve it. I also take the cheese out of the refrigerator at least an hour before my guests arrive. This way the wine and the cheese will be delivering their fullest, most complex flavors. Enjoy!