BAY AREA FOOD – “Pairing Wine with Blue Cheese Chocolate Cheesecake” by Betty Kaufman, Betty’s Wine Musings
Did you say blue cheese chocolate cheesecake? Is that for real? Did you make a typo?
Yes, I said blue cheese chocolate cheesecake. It is for real. There is no typo.
This is one of the specialties of my fabulous chef friend, Mary Hathaway. Mary owns and runs The Dinner Diva, a wonderful company that provides personal-chef and catering services in Silicon Valley in Northern CA. But when she is making desserts, we call her The Dessert Diva.
A dessert as unique and wonderful as Mary’s blue cheese chocolate cheesecake is worthy of a night devoted to finding the perfect wine to pair with it. And that’s just what we did.
Eight of us got together for this delightful, decadent evening.
First, let me tell you about the cheesecake. If you like blue cheese, you will love Mary’s cheesecake. It is rich and elegant and not overly sweet. The blue cheese provides a depth and maturity that I’ve never seen in a cheesecake before.
This isn’t your mother’s cheesecake ☺
We were all pretty excited by the cheesecake. What made us even more excited was how over-the-top incredible it tasted with some of the wines.
We tasted the following WineShop At Home red wines in this order (going from light to heavy):
- Tilden Peak Cellars 2009 Syrah (Central Coast)
- Pied Violet 2009 Merlot (Central Coast)
- Revel 2009 Cabernet (California)
- Somersville Cellars 2008 Red Meritage (Monterey County)
- Ceres Moonlight Port (California)
The combination of the Syrah and the cheesecake didn’t do anything for us. We felt that the wine wasn’t strong enough to hold up to the cake. After the Syrah, each wine we tried got us closer and closer to our happy place (actually, ecstatic is a more accurate description of how we felt).
Our favorite pairing was the Somersville Cellars Red Meritage followed closely by the Ceres Moonlight Port.
The Somersville Cellars Red Meritage is a beautiful blend of 38% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot and 26% Cabernet Franc. The wine has aromas of plum, black raspberry, and oak with hints of minerals and tobacco. The flavors are big and rich with layers of fruity complexity. The wine is big and bad, with delicious tannin and just the right amount of acidity. The depth and complexity of this wine made it a perfect pairing for the cheesecake.
The Ceres Moonlight Port is made from Touriga Nacional, Tinta Cao, Alvarelhao, Souzao, Bastardo and Tinta Roriz, all classic varieties from the Oporto region of Portugal. This wine has dense aromas of plum, allspice and bing cherry with hints of earth and dark chocolate. The flavors are sweet and extracted with layers of complexity. It is big and beautiful and tough to beat with blue cheese chocolate cheesecake. But it was bottled just last month and I think will benefit tremendously from being laid down for at least a few months. This is actually a wine that WineShop At Home’s wine maker Steve Burch says will age well for 10 to 15 years. I am planning to set a few bottles aside so that we can do a repeat performance of this tasting when the Port is about five years old. I would wait longer, if I thought I had the discipline ☺
I said earlier that the cheesecake was incredible on its own and even better with the wine. Likewise, the top wines, the Meritage and the Port, were incredible on their own and even better with the cheesecake.
If you would like to order a blue cheese chocolate cheesecake or any other delectable delight from Mary, you can reach her at 408-242-1520. If you would like to place a wine order, please call me at 650-714-7009.
Cheers to the wonderful experience of discovering wonderful wine and food pairings!
More information on this Bay Area Food Blog available at “Betty’s Wine Musings”
Bay Area Food – Wine and Blue Cheese Chocolate Cheesecake
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