Wines and cheeses from the same region usually complement each other well, together they represent the essence of the land, but not all of them pair perfectly.
We have partnered with Poncelet, that specialize in European artisan cheeses. Together we propose to you a trip both harmonious and stimulating for the senses, and practically without leaving Castilla & León!
At one point along the way, we will have to make a detour to be able to give you the perfect pairing of wine and cheese. This is the key to good pairing: harmonizing flavors without one overshadowing another. To do this, although there are no fixed rules beyond personal taste, there are some tips that we will be including throughout the blog.
PROTOS VERDEJO, AN IDEAL WINE FOR VALDEÓN AND MATALOBOS CHEESES
Protos verdejo is a very fresh wine with good acidity, intense fruity flavor, balanced, complex, with a long and slightly bitter finish. It is important that you serve it at a temperature of 8-10º. It pairs perfectly with blue cheeses as well as fresh cheeses.
With the glass of Verdejo in hand, we will use two ways of wine and cheese pairing, one by similarity and the other by contrast.
Matalobos cheese, like Verdejo wine, has slightly bitter notes that comes from a surprisingly new ingredient in this mix: Beer. It is an artisan cheese of pressed paste made with pure raw milk of Castellana breed ewe and Leonese IPA artisan beer (10%), which is also used to wash its rind. It is a cured cheese but creamy in the mouth, with a velvety feel and glints of acidity. Its name derives from the hamlet where it is made: Matalobos del Páramo (León).
If you can’t find this cheese in your town, others similar to this one are: Laguile Affinage & Bettelmatt.
Valdeón, with IGP certification (Protected Geographical Indication), is a soft blue cheese that blends perfectly with the fruity touch of verdejo that flows entangled until the end. Its elaboration dates back to pre-Roman times and is carried out in the municipality of Posada de Valdeón (León), located in the extreme Northeast of the province of León, in the Natural Park of the Picos de Europa.
Although typically it is made from 100% cow’s milk, nowadays some do a mixture of cow’s milk with ewe’s and/or doe’s milk. Its particularity is the sweetness almost caramel notes with a spicy finish. This cheese is considered to have very strong intensity, so in a tasting it would be tasted at the end.
If you can’t find this cheese in your town, others similar to this one are: Stilton & Bleu d’Auvergne
PROTOS CRIANZA, THE PERFECT PAIRING FOR THE ARRIBES DEL DUERO AND ZAMORANO GRAN RESERVA CHEESES
Made with 100% Tempranillo grapes, Protos Crianza presents a high intensity, with aromas of ripe fruits well balanced with the oak, that give some sweet spice and toffee notes.
In the palate it is enveloping and tasty, balanced, with finesse and pleasant maturity. It should be served at a temperature of 15-18ºC.
Its perfect cheese pairing are mature/cured cheeses made with ewe’s milk.
Arribes del Duero is an organic cheese made in a traditional way from raw ewe’s milk, with the addition of natural rennet. It is made in the northwest of the province of Salamanca, where the Duero meanders deeper as it passes through Los Arribes.
This cheese presents flavors of evolved ewe’s milk, nuts (raw almonds), hay, salt and slightly spicy tones. The persistence in the mouth is long with slow evolution, leaving a pleasant memory.
If you can’t find this cheese in your town, others similar to this one are: Coolea & Reblochon Fermier.
It is a cheese made with from ewe’s milk of the Castellana and Churra breeds, breeds perfectly adapted to this hostile environment due to the harshness of the climate and the lack of pasture resources, but that reaches amazing levels of quality.
As the name suggests, it is made exclusively in the province of Zamora, Spain’s largest producer of ewe’s milk. It is associated, inevitably, with wine since the wineries of the area were used to age both products. It is often confused with Manchego cheese, because its format is very similar.
It has a deep flavor of clean ewe’s milk, slightly lactic with a balanced aftertaste, ideal to complement those touches of ripe fruit from the Crianza.
If you can’t find this cheese in your town, others similar to this one are: Fontina & Dry Monterrey Jack
PROTOS CLARETE, THE BEST OPTION TO ACCOMPANY SOFT AND YOUNG CHEESES
Protos Clarete is made from 95% Tempranillo grapes and 5% from Syrah and Merlot.
It has a very fresh entrance with a fruity and persistent finish that leaves us memories of red fruits. It is a gourmand wine with a lot of flavor intensity, very direct and easy to enjoy, so it combines mainly with soft and young cheeses:
To finish our trip through Castilla y León, we selected Pata de Mulo for its slightly acidic and softer flavor.
Although Tierra de Campos (León) is the birthplace of this cheese, it is currently made in several towns throughout the Castilian-Leonese community, although they differ from each other due to the type of milk used. It is popularly called “Pata de Mulo” (mule’s leg) for its characteristic shape, but it is also known as “Queso Villalón” for the famous livestock market of Villalon de Campos (Valladolid).
If you can’t find this cheese in your town, others similar to this one are: Vacherin Mont D’Or & Asiago Mezzano.
So that you can experience the perfect pairing for Protos Clarete and appreciate the differences with respect to the previous pairing we recommend the Olavidia cheese from Jaén (Andalucía). It is a lactic cheese with a buttery texture and a moldy natural crust. It has aromas of yogurt with a lemony finish. It is of little intensity, therefore in a cheese tasting it would be taken right at the beginning.
If you can’t find this cheese in your town, others similar to this one are: Hill Harbison & Camembert.