Formaggio e Frutta e Vino
A great compliment to the end of any Italian meal is Formaggio e Frutta e Vino (Cheese, Fruit and Wine). We all love the rich creamy desserts but sometimes a simple combination of Gorgonzola with pears or Stracchino with peaches and grapes would be just as rewarding.
Artisan cheeses produced and imported from Italy boast sophisticated flavors and aromas. When pairing them with fruits and wines you have to carefully consider the balance of flavors in order to create that perfect taste experience.
The cheese you choose can range from a soft fresh cheese like mascarpone, a semi soft cheese like fontina or mozzarella to hard cheeses like Asiago, Parmigiano-Reggiano or Pecorino Romano. For the wine you may choose a fruity white or a light red to compliment the fontina and mozzarella or go for a full bodied red like a chianti or sangiovese to enhance the flavor of the harder aged cheeses.
To continue to list all the possible cheese, fruit and wine combination would take forever. Some pairings must go together while others are a matter of taste. The best advice I could give is to test it yourself and compare what works for you. There’s nothing better than Formaggio e Frutta e Vino after a great Italian meal.
Here are a few of my favorites you can try:
Bel Paese is soft, mild cheese from Northern Italy which I often enjoy served with ripe cherries, plums, pears or apples. Pair this cheese with a chardonnay or a pinot noir to get the best results from these combination of flavors.
Provolone works well with a Dolcetto or a Sauvignon Blanc served with peaches of pinapple.
Ricotta is delicious with a fruity red wine and ripe figs.
Gorgonzola works well with Amarone, apples and pears.
Parmigiano-Reggiano is always best with Chianti Classico Reserva or a Super Tuscan such as Antinori Tignanello Toscana 2004 or a Tenuta Sette Ponti Crognolo Toscana 2004. This combination of cheese and wine is unbelievably delicious with melon, mango, grapes, apples and figs
So consider Formaggio e Frutta e Vino when preparing your next great Italian meal or experiment a little and you might find something you alone will enjoy.
Here is a great list of more artisan Italian cheeses.
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