Pecorino Foglie di Noci

Barrie Lynn, The Cheese Impresario, knows how to make the flavors of cheese come to life. From olive oil, to honey, to wine - the pairing options out there are limitless. So it only seemed natural to develop a monthly cheese and wine pairing which would compliment the extraordinary Marchesi de' Frescobaldi flavor portfolio. After all, terroir extends beyond the glass and into the complex world of artisan cheese. So get ready to start up your engines on The Cheese Highway and introduce your palette to some beautiful couplings from The Cheese Impresario.

October brings me the first thoughts of entertaining at home for the holiday season. I have a blast thinking of all the great flavors I want to share in my home to celebrate love and friendship. I include Halloween in this festive time of year for devouring great cheese and wine together. This month I chose Pecorino Foglie di Noci (peh-koh-REE-noh FOH-leeay dee NO-cheh). It's is one of those cheeses that deliver a beautiful presentation on your table and a perfect pairing with Frescobaldi Montesodi, the very dark, very big fruit Chianti from the Marchesi de' Frescobaldi. Wine Spectator loved this wine and awarded this deepest of Chianti wines with 92 points for the 2006 vintage.

Chianti and Pecorino cheese is one of the classic pairings. Pecorino is a sheep's milk cheese. In the case of the Pecorino Foglie di Noci, the wrapping is made of walnut leaves and this Pecorino is hard because it's aged. The richness of the leaves actually permeates the cheese and adds complexity. The aging concentrates the umami (savory) flavor components to deliver an almost meatiness in your mouth. When you do The Cheese Highway with the very hearty Montesodi, you could experience black currant or even blueberries and on the finish spices like black pepper or cinnamon. This pairing is sure to be enjoyable to talk about with your guests as you're having a delicious time eating and drinking.