Wine and Cheese Pairing

Wines: 2018 Osso Anna Merlot, Napa Valley

Regularly $24.99, Special Price $21.24

 

Cheese: Crown Finish Caves Mixed Signal, Brooklyn, NY

Regularly $39.99/lb, Special Price $31.99

 

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There’s this thing that’s come to be referred to as “The Sideways Effect” that refers to sales of Merlot after the 2004 movie “Sideways” was released. You see, in the movie, Paul Giamatti’s character Miles is on a road trip with a friend and they’re visiting wineries and drinking wine and talking about how delightful Pinot Noir is, and at one point, Miles makes a very condescending remark about Merlot. Sales of Merlot dropped in the years following the movie and Pinot Noir became a much more sought-after grape in its place. Merlot, in the years following, came to be seen as something of the amateur wine-drinker’s grape while the truly sophisticated have since moved on to Pinot Noir. Luckily for all of us, Merlot has remained a positively fantastic grape to make wine with and we thought it’d be great to showcase one of our personal favorites, the Osso Anna Merlot from Jay Buoncristiani.

 

Osso Anna started as a side project for Jay, who apparently let that regularly pumping out award-winning Napa Cabernets (over 100 and counting, actually) wasn’t quite enough and so Osso Anna was born. What’s great about this is that, instead of trying to produce the kind of Merlot that drinks like Cabernet with intense extraction and sky-high alcohol content, he made something of a throwback wine that showcased all of the delicious fruit and texture that made Merlot so delicious in the first place with a more approachable style that harkens back to the early years of Napa Valley’s rise to prominence.

 

This wine is ripe and juicy with plenty of black cherry, muddled blackberry, vanilla, cedar, and even a little unsweetened cocoa. The tannins are fine-grained and give the wine great length with a silky mouthfeel. Well-balanced and offering great aromatics, this is something of a hedonist’s wine in that it’s just so darned good, taste after taste. We’ve been singing Merlot’s praises for some time, and we hope you’ll give this most noble grape a try by taking a bottle of this lip-smacker home today. Cheers!

 

The cold smoker stays running with Mixed Signal a clothbound cheddar-style cheese made at the historic Grafton Village Cheese Company. Made from high quality Vermont cow milk with a splash of sheep milk from Amish dairy farms in upstate New York. Grafton lightly smokes each wheel with maple-wood before it’s larded at Crown cellars in Brooklyn NY and aged for 5 months. The aging transforms a hint of smokiness at the rind into an umami meatiness that permeates the paste, reminiscent of your favorite aged salami. When thinking of what we should pair with Osso Anna Merlot, I thought of the wine’s soft and silky mouth feel and knew that the nuanced depth of flavor found in the Mixed Signal would bring out the deep berry notes of the wine.  This pairing is perfectly fall, deep, rich, and perfectly harmonious, enjoy!