Valdostana Wine & Cheese Pairing
Valle d’Aosta Gastronomy
Valle d’Aosta produces several formaggi or cheeses, such as the famous Fontina, Fromadzo, Reblec, Brossa, Salignon, Gressoney Toma, Seras, as well as goat cheeses, butter and milk. Fontina, the Aostan star, is made from the unpasteurized milk of the Valdostan grass-fed cows. It is usually obtained during the summer months, when the cows travel to the highest elevation in the region (1800-2300 ft). Fontina has been given the PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) geographical status by the European Union. Fontina is the main ingredient in another typical dish, fonduta. Fonduta or Italian fondue is made using fontina, eggs, cream and butter. Valle d’Aosta is also home to several salume, or typical cured meats. Some of their cured meats are Motzetta/Motsetta (Mocetta in Italian), Jambon (ham, Lard, Saouseusse, Teuteun and Boudin (sausages).
Our wine selection was a 2012 Maisen Anselmet Valle d’Aosta Petit Rouge. This red wine was made from 100% Petit Rouge indigenous grapes and consisted of 12.5% alcohol by volume. It was aged 6-7 months in stainless steel and was a vivid ruby in color. There were floral notes, as well as cherry and blackberry fruit flavors. This wine had soft tannins and was medium balanced.
We paired this Petit Rouge wine with an antipasto platter consisting of olives, cheese and cured meats. The cheese, of course, was fontina. Fontina cheese has small holes, is smooth, buttery, creamy, semi-hard and has a natural tan-orange or brown rind color. It did not disappoint. In fact, this cheese was absolutely delicious! It literally melted in my mouth and tasted even better with the wine. Fontina pairs well with bread, fruit, salami and other cured meats, and of course, vino. This cheese will certainly be on my regular grocery list, as I’d like to see how it pairs with other wines and use it in cooking.
We continued tasting the Petit Rouge with olives and some mocetta. Mocetta is another Italian cured meat, and it can be beef, venison or wild boar. We went with a beef mocetta. It looked and tasted similar to prosciutto. Overall, the Aostan wine and cheese (antipasto) pairing was a match made in heaven!
I certainly enjoyed traveling north to the Valle d’Aosta region. Did you? Please feel free to leave comment.
Here are the highlights:
Rockin Red Blog – Over the Hills and Far Away
Enofylz Wine Blog – Veal Ribs with Fontina with Valle d’Aosta Torrette Superieur #ItalianFWT
Cooking Chat – Ziti with Kale Pesto and Roasted Broccoli
Food Wine Click – They Sure Love Fontina in the Valle d’Aosta
Confessions of a Culinary Diva – Valle d’Aosta Fonduta & Wine
The Wining Hour– Valle d’Aosta Petit Rouge & Fontina