Recent Blog Articles
- NorCal Wine Has Moved
- 'Tis the Season to be Zinful
- New Tasting Rooms & a Grand Opening in Lodi
- How You Can Contribute to Earthquake Relief in Napa
- A Tale of Two Conferences
- Cats and Dogs Blogging Together
- Getting the Wine Bloggers Conference We Deserve
- New White Wines and Rosés from Rutherford's Day in the Dust
- 6 More California Rhone Wines to Try at Rhone Rangers
- Lodi Zinfandel Goes Native
- Study: Researchers Discover New Taste
- He Wasn't Talking To You, Mr. Outrage
- 16 North Coast Rhones to Try and a Toothsome #WineChat
- Howell Mountain Spring Tasting Wrap Up
- Of Tasting Notes and Photographs
- Rhone Rangers Tastings and Rhone-Variety Wines Tasted
- More Thoughts on Blind vs. Non-Blind Tasting
- A Great Tasting on Balance
- How Critics Taste Wines - On Blind Tasting
- On "Unexpected Napa Valley Wines"
Recent Wines of the Day
- 2010 Moone-Tsai Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
- 2009 Hawk and Horse Cabernet Sauvignon
- 2010 Skinner Vineyards Estate Mourvedre, El Dorado
- 2012 Masut Estate Vineyard Pinot Noir, Mendocino County
- 2010 Gallica Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
- 2011 Harney Lane Old Vine Zinfandel Lizzy James Vineyard Lodi
- 2006 Santana Supernatural Rosé by Mumm Napa
- 2011 Jekel Riesling Monterey and 2011 Jekel Pinot Noir Santa Barbara
- 2012 Matthiasson Chardonnay Linda Vista Vineyard Napa Valley
- Review from the Cellar - 2010 Qupé Mourvedre Ibarra-Young Vineyard
- 2012 Tres Sabores Rosé “Ingrid and Julia” Napa Valley
- 2011 Testarossa Pinot Noir Garys’ Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands
- 2009 Lucia Pinot Noir Garys’ Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands
- Review: 2009 Buccella Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
- 2008 Vin Roc Cabernet Sauvignon Atlas Peak Napa Valley
- 2009 Cornerstone Cellars “The Cornerstone” Napa Valley
- 2009 Laetitia Pinot Noir Single Vineyard La Colline Arroyo Grande Valley
- 2010 Lange Twins Chardonnay Estate Grown Clarksburg AVA
- 2012 Borra Vineyards Artist Series Kerner Lodi AVA
- 2010 Wren Hop Pinot Noir “Fire Messenger” Sonoma Coast
NorCal Wine Blog
Learn Secrets to Perfect Wine and Cheese Pairing at St. Supery in Rutherford
- Winery Profiles
- Written by Fred Swan
- Monday, 20 August 2012 20:31
“Sauvignon Blanc is a good pairing for goat cheese,” F. Scott Tracy told me. “But goat cheese isn’t necessarily a good pairing for Sauvignon Blanc.” Before each of us sat four glasses of St. Supery wine, a plate with four cheeses and various accompaniments.
A wine and cheese pairing at St. Supery in Rutherford, Napa Valley
I was at St. Supery to try out a new wine and cheese pairing class that is part of an overall refresh of their Rutherford tasting room and hospitality offerings. Tracy, who leads this and other classes, has been helping consumers understand food and wine combinations for twenty years. His last position was at Napa Valley’s Michelin-starred La Toque restaurant where he'd been sommelier since it’s founding in 1998. Prior to that, he sommed at several restaurants in Los Angeles. He joined St. Supery this summer as Guest Experience Manager.
Tracy and I sipped the 2011 St. Supery Estate Sauvignon Blanc. It is a crisp wine, but mouthwatering rather than sharp. Its flavors of grapefruit, lime and green tropical fruit deserve a poolside cabana. We then took a bite of goat cheese on a slice of baguette. The cheese harmonized with lingering flavors of the wine. Tangy citrus met tangy, grassy cheese. So far so good.
Again, we sipped the Sauvignon Blanc. Now its flavors were muted. The wine felt flatter and rounder in my mouth. The chalky-creamy goat cheese insulated my tongue from the acidity which is at the core of Sauvignon Blanc. “The wine highlighted the goat cheese, but the cheese makes the wine seem less attractive and complex,” remarked Tracy, his point proven.
That was not the end of our experiment though. We took another bite of the cheese and bread, but this time along with a single table-grape. Then, one last sip of the wine.
The Sauvignon Blanc’s vibrancy and range of flavors had returned in full. The grape’s naturally high acidity compensated for the low acidity of the cheese. This meant our palates were in a nearly neutral state for the wine.
We went on to experience three more combinations of wine and cheese, each clearly illustrating a different aspect of their interaction. The principles are easily understood and can be applied to other food and wine pairings, and to cooking in general. With just a little bit of advance experimentation, visitors can use what they’ve learned to delight their own palates and “wow” friends at home.
Visiting St. Supery
St. Supery is located at 8440 Hwy. 29 in Rutherford and open daily from 10am - 5pm. Parties of 6 or less need not make reservations for the six wine Estate Tasting ($15) or the four wine Single Vineyard Tasting ($25). Library tastings, tours and classes are readily available by appointment (made online). The tour and classes each last 30 minutes and cost $25 - $35, except for the 60-minute “Bordeaux Varietals and Your Senses” class ($50).
Two tasting areas on the ground floor can accommodate scores of visitors for the walk-in tastings. Private tastings and classes are conducted upstairs where there is a small private room and a large area filled with tables. It can be divided with curtains. Visitors can also enjoy the art gallery, with rotating exhibits organized by San Francisco’s Paul Thiebaud Gallery, taste wine al fresco at the small tables in the front courtyard, or play a game of pétanque under the shady trees.
Part of the outdoor tasting area at St. Supery
The main St. Supery tasting room: there is another bar to the right and a second room in the background.
Have a ball at the pétanque courts at St. Supery.
Follow NorCalWine on Twitter for breaking wine news, information on events and more. Become a fan and join the NorCal Wine community on Facebook. Also check out our comprehensive Northern California winery listings. They are very useful for planning a tasting trip or just getting in touch with a winery.
This article is original to NorCalWine.com. Copyright 2012 NorCal Wine. All rights reserved.