This is the third in our monthly wine and food pairing series. We hope you will join us for a Wine and Italian Cheese Pairing on April 17th and 18th  in our newly-renovated Vintner’s Loft Tasting Room. We will offer you flight of four wines paired with four gourmet Italian cheeses from The Cheese Shoppe in State College, bread from Gemelli’s Bakery, and Penn State salami. Since your table is available to you for 90 minutes, feel free to stay and have a glass or share a bottle of your favorite wine! The cost is $14.95/pp and reservations are required – these can be made from the “Visit Us” tab on our website.

To learn more about the cheeses you will taste, read on!

Piave is an Italian cow’s milk cheese from Veneto in the Piave River Valley. As Piave has a Protected Designation of Origin, the only “official” Piave is produced in the Dolomites area, province of Belluno, in the northernmost tip of the Veneto region. A favorite among gourmands and top chefs, Piave is a unique cheese that tastes like no other. The secret to its distinctive flavor lies in the surroundings: the crisp Alpine air of Northern Italy along with the partially skimmed cream from two daily cow milkings. A hard aged cheese, this popular table cheese has a sweet yet sharp and flavorful taste that works well as shavings over salads or polenta. 

Fontina is a semi soft cow’s milk cheese originally from the Northern Italian Alps. Fontina is an excellent melting cheese that balances the acidity of tomato-based sauces with its creamy texture and subtle spiciness. This premium Alpine cheese is the most aromatic of Italian raw milk cheeses, which makes it a go-to ingredient for livening up classic pasta dishes 

Pecorino Romano  is a hard, salty Italian cheese, often used for grating, made with sheep’s milk. The name “pecorino” simply means “ovine” or “of sheep” in Italian; the name of the cheese, although protected, is a simple description rather than a brand: “[formaggio] pecorino romano” is simply “sheep’s [cheese] of Rome”. Pecorino Romano is a must-have garnish for all types of pasta. It also tastes delicious on grilled vegetables like asparagus or broccoli.

Taleggio is a semisoft, washed-rind, smear-ripened Italian cheese that is named after Val Taleggio. The cheese has a thin crust and a strong aroma, but its flavor is comparatively mild with an unusual fruity tang. A soft and robust cheese made with cow’s milk, Taleggio is the jewel of the Bergamo Province. Its buttery texture and fruity, briny flavors are the perfect pairing for crusty Italian bread. It can also be melted into a main dish or used as a grated topping for grilled vegetables.