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Greetings from the Wine Cellar:

Sunday, July 25th, is National Wine and Cheese Day. (I’m not kidding; look it up!). It’s a day to celebrate one of the great pairings that life has to offer: a nice glass of wine with a piece of good cheese. Think about it – they’re two of the foremost fermented products that we all enjoy on a regular basis, yeast being the catalyzing fermentation agent for wine and bacteria serving the same function for cheese. There’s an almost infinite array of possible wine and cheese combinations – I think the number of different varieties and styles of cheese available in the world today is exceeded only by the different wines you could have with them. But here’s a proposal: let’s celebrate National Wine and Cheese Week at the Wine Cellar all this week instead. We of course do offer a cheese plate that folks can order to go with their wine tasting flight or glass, but this week I encourage everyone to feel free to bring in some cheese, maybe something you’ve never tried before, and see how it
goes with the wines we’re pouring this week (Sprouts and especially Fry’s in the Foothills have great selections of domestic and imported cheeses).

For example, here’s how I might match this week’s wines with some cheeses that I like:


Schlumberger 2016 Gewürztraminer Les Abesses (Alsace, France) $24.99

Exotic aromas of lychees, orange blossoms and spices leap forth from this dry Alsatian Gewürztraminer. Ripe, round fruit flavors of white pear, lychee, tangerine and kumquat are lifted by its bright acidic structure into a lingering, rich and wonderfully spicy finish. cheese match: Swiss Gruyere

Fattorie Melini 2017 Terrarossa Chianti Classico (Tuscany, Italy) $18.99

This Chianti Classico takes its name from the Terrarossa Estate, with hillside vineyards that ranging from 900 to 1,200 feet of elevation in the Sienese district. It’s an elegant red with a finely balanced structure that brings out seductive flavors of red berries and spice, with a lingering, smooth finish. cheese match: Italian Gorgonzola

Piattelli 2018 Reserve Malbec (Mendoza, Argentina) $15.99

This inky-purple Malbec offers a bouquet of dark fruits, coffee and freshly-tilled earth. On the palate, flavors of ripe black cherries, blackberries and cassis mingle with smoke, black pepper and light vanilla tones. It’s an elegant, balanced red with a silky texture. cheese match: Spanish Manchego

Four Vines 2019 The Biker Zinfandel (Paso Robles) $17.99

The Biker Zinfandel overflows with dark berry and spice character. A mouthful of deliciously ripe plum and blackberry flavors is bolstered by a touch of black pepper and sweet toasted oak. The finish is rich and soft, with velvety tannins. cheese match: Humboldt Fog (domestic goat cheese; kind of hard to find but well worth the search)

Chateau Ste. Michelle 2015 Canoe Ridge Estate Merlot (Horse Heaven Hills) $22.99

Chateau Ste. Michelle’s Canoe Ridge Estate Merlot consistently exhibits elegance, good concentration and fine tannins. Year 2015 – the warmest growing season and earliest harvest on record – added a layer of ripe, rich dark cherry fruit with an opulent mouthfeel. cheese match: Vermont/New York sharp white cheddar


Beronia 2011 Rioja Gran Reserva (Rioja, Spain) $32.99

This Gran Reserva was aged in French oak for 27 months and another 36 months in the bottle. The nose gives a subtle interplay of exotic spices, fragrant wood and sweet dark cherry. A velvety palate shows fine-grained tannins wrapped around an intense core of red and black fruits, with a touch of vanilla.

Craggy Range 2020 Te Muna Sauvignon Blanc (Martinborough, New Zealand) $22.99

This Kiwi Sauvignon Blanc opens up with intense passion-fruit, lime and gooseberry aromas. The palate displays superb depth and complexity, with flavors of ripe melon, apricot and pineapple edged with accents of candied ginger and lemon verbena that enliven a crisp, elegant and lengthy finish.

Giguiere Estate 2019 Pillars of Hercules (Dunnigan Hills) $17.99

A chewy, dense, full-bodied blend for all those seeking a really big red. This blend of estate-grown Petite Sirah, Petit Verdot and Teroldego offers juicy, mouthwatering flavors of blackberry, blueberry and sweet oak that mingle with backnotes of earth and peppery spice, with fine yet quite substantial tannins.


Mike Shelhamer
Old Town Wine Cellar
265 S. Main Street, Suite E
Yuma, Arizona 85364

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