Werlin, Stuckey take crowd on Mediterranean tour of angelic cheese and wine pairings | AspenTimes.com

Werlin, Stuckey take crowd on Mediterranean tour of angelic cheese and wine pairings

There were plenty of “nirvana” moments at Laura Werlin and Bobby Stuckey’s Mediterranean cheeses and wines seminar Friday afternoon in the Paepcke tent.

How could you not have those moments when there are seven cheeses (all available this weekend at Meat & Cheese) paired with seven wines?

Werlin, a cheese aficionado and a James Beard Award-winning author and Stuckey, a master sommelier and also a James Beard winner, took a packed crowd through the regions of the Mediterranean exploring the best pairings they could find.

Werlin explained that there are three measures to consider for a successful pairing.

The first is called “Geneva,” a neutral place where “everyone plays well in the sandbox together. … They don’t rock your world, or destroy it.”

The second is the “Titanic,” which doesn’t end well and something bad happens.

The third is “Nirvana” in which “angels descend from the heavens and sing.”

The point is, she said, and Stuckey agreed, that the goal is to find that matchup where the wine and the cheese are better together than they are by themselves.

And nowhere is that more evident than with the Paski Sir, a sheep’s milk from Pag Island, Croatia, and a 2015 Edi Simcic Duet from Slovenia.

The cool climate Bordeaux wine is a small batch with only 600 bottles produced. It is heaven when consumed with this hard cheese, made high on top of the mountain.

The family who produces it brings their herds to the top of 4,000- and 5,000-foot peaks in the spring and keeps them there until fall. All of the cheese is made at elevation following an old tradition, Werlin explained.

Don’t miss the other nirvana pairing of Stuckey’s 2016 Scarpetta Barbera del Monferrato from Piedmont, Italy, and the Nostrano di Monte, a pasteurized cow’s milk from Italy.

Simply heaven brought by the angels.