Provolone (proh-voh-LOH-nee) is a semi-hard hazelnut colored cheese you?ve probably enjoyed on sandwiches like those fantastic Italian submarines. But have you paired this cheese with wine? Magnificent!

Provolone is made in a myriad of traditional shapes such as cylinders, pears, spheres, cones and even watermelons. You?ve likely seen them hanging from the ceiling at Italian gourmet and cheese stores. You must experience a true pleasure and try Provolone with Frescobaldi Nipozzano Chianti Rufina Riserva DOCG.

Classically made in Italy, Provolone is now easy to find and crafted from old family recipes by cheesemakers like Wisconsin?s BelGioioso. Provolone is a cow?s milk cheese that?s made in a similar manner to Mozzarella. The curds are pulled and stretched, finished into the shapes and hung up to dry. Dolce Provolone is aged 2-3 months and delivers a milder and even kind of sweet flavor. Piccante is aged from 6 months to even a full year. This is where the very big sharp flavor is found. Provolone also is available smoked. Smoked Provolone rocks with the Nipozzano Chianti and brings out the plummy-ness in this wine followed by a spicy finish.

I like creating a cheese plate that includes both the Dolce and Piccante Provolone and then take my friends for a trip down The Cheese Highway? to really different flavors pairing the wine and each cheese. You and your guests will have the enjoyment of tasting how the young Provolone works with the wine in its own way. And, how the aged Provolone works beautifully but differently with the wine. Each will take you on a different adventure. I love drizzling Provolone with a peppery Tuscan olive oil or an acacia honey for increased happiness. Cheers!