Wisconsin continued its long-standing American Cheese Society (ACS) winning streak at the annual competition in Providence, Rhode Island this year capturing more awards than any other state for the eleventh consecutive year. The 2015 competition garnered 101 ribbons for America’s Dairyland, including two Best of Show awards. At the competition, we caught up with cheese expert Kirstin Jackson to find new flavor combinations for some of this year’s award-winning cheeses. This quick cheese pairing features Roth’s Private Reserve from the team at Emmi Roth USA. It’s handcrafted in Monroe, Wisconsin and took home second place Overall Best of Show.
By: Kirstin Jackson, It’s Not You, It’s Brie
Often people will say that darker or older cheeses pair best with bigger, full wines. Here I’d disagree. Roth’s Private Reserve is an aged, golden-hued cheese with a crumbly yet sliceable texture and an occasional toothsome crunch. Both sweet and savory, its flavors range from butterscotch and cashew butter to browned butter and beef. Made in traditional copper vats, this Alpine-style cheese grows more dynamic by the end of its nine months.
Though plentiful in flavor, Roth’s Private Reserve likes its wines bright and with a soft finish. A classic Provence-style rosé, or one made from lighter grapes like Pinot Noir fares well. Almost any French or light California rosé works, too. Think light and fresh, and with just enough acid to tackle Roth’s richness. Stay away from heavily oaked whites here- one might think they’d match the cheese’s intensity, but they just end up falling flat. If you prefer reds with your cheese, go for a bright California Pinot Noir that’ll warm the palate with ripe fruit and match the cheese in richness. My favorites are from Russian River Valley or Santa Lucia Central Coast regions. Stay away from spicy, big reds like Cabernet Franc or Syrah that will overpower the cheese’s nuances.