Last weekend, Kevin and I were able to attend the much touted Art on the Avenue. (Sorry, I’m only getting around to writing about it today.) So many musicians and crafty folks were displaying their work for the huge throngs of people in attendance. It was a zoo, and the two of us were getting a little anxious around the big crowds.
To find relief, we popped into our neighborhood wine shop Planet Wine before heading home. They offered 3 wines for us to taste, but unfortunately, the wines were all terrible. The only one I remember was a really cheap Rosso Piceno from Italy but it was notable to me only because my wine shop also sells it. (I definitely will not be recommending it to any cutomers …) But the tasting was not for naught, Planet Wine offered samples of an Italian hard cow’s milk cheese called Piave. The cheese was reminiscent of a less salty, young Parmigiano Reggiano, with a savory dark chicken meat mid-palate. That might seem like a strange description, but I guess it helps to say that I love love love dark meat.
Of course, whenever we buy cheese, we must buy bread and wine to go with it, so we opted for a big crusty baguette and the Yalumba Barossa Shiraz & Viognier 2005. We were aiming for something decent for under 20 bucks, and we definitely hit the mark with this selection. The wine is a blend of 95% Shiraz and 5% Viognier. While we couldn’t outright taste the Viognier, it definitely was present for the fact that this wine had rounder softer tannins than a 100% Syrah from this same vintage. On the nose we got some nice cherry, plum, a little vanilla, and some wood. I will admit the wine smelled a little overly alcoholic, but in the mouth, the wine was well-balanced, full of sour cherry, warm spices, and not too much oak. The wine ended with a surprising hint of coffee in the finish. As for the pairing, neither cheese nor wine detracted or overpowered one another. There wasn’t much synergy, so this was more or less a neutral pairing.
Overall, I think our afternoon at Art on the Avenue was a success, and I’m very happy we stumbled across this wine and the Piave cheese. We’ll definitely look out for both the wine and cheese again, just not together necessarily.