Pairing wine and cheese in Napa Valley tasting rooms surprisingly is somewhat of a new business model as top wineries up and down the Valley now offer their own unique fromage-friendly tasting experiences. Some pair bubbles with artisan cheeses from across the Atlantic, while others select cheese and charcuterie bold enough for their big reds.
What sets the Silver Trident Winery apart from neighboring estates, aside from their Ralph Lauren Home- furnished Yountville Tasting Home, is their 100-Mile Dairies Cheese Pairing. Each of the four small production hand-crafted cheeses paired with house-selected wines are made within one hundred miles from the winery. “We are so fortunate in the Napa Valley to have family-owned artisanal cheese producers so nearby,” explains Silver Trident Winery proprietor Bob Binder. “With the introduction of our 100 Mile Dairies Cheese Pairing, we are offering delicious small production hand-crafted cheeses as the perfect partners for our wines.”
Sarah Scott, former executive chef at Robert Mondavi Winery and one of Napa’s most respected culinary experts, is responsible for the selection of cheeses and accompanying accoutrements.
The tasting consists of:
- Nicolau Farms Capra Stanislaus goat cheese paired with Silver Trident 2017 Symphony No. 9 Sauvignon Blanc. The semi-hard goat cheese ages two to four months and travels less than 100 miles to be part of the winery’s exclusive tasting menu. The slightly salty cheese is a perfect balance of creamy and dry making it a lovely complement to white wine.
- WM Cofield cheesemakers’ McKinley Cheddar paired with Silver Trident’s 2016 Benevolent Dictator Pinot Noir. The unmistakably cheddar cheese is made from Sonoma County organic milk that hails from Sebastopol just 25 miles away. After aging for seven months, it is transported to Silver Trident for visitors to sample.
- Fiscalini Smoked Cheddar paired with Silver Trident’s 2015 Playing With Fire (red blend) for a luscious and flavorful wine and cheese pairing. Fiscalini cheese company’s Traditional Cheddar has been awarded World’s Best Cheddar by the World Cheese Awards. When the delicate and buttery chees is smoked over apple, cherry and hickory wood chips, it takes on a subtle smoky flavor with a distinct caramel color.
- Gold medal winner Nicasio Valley Reserve paired with Silver Trident’s 2015 Twenty Seven Fathoms Cabernet Sauvignon. This classic Swiss-Italian mountain cheese hails from the town of Nicasio in Marin Country just 30 miles from the winery. All cheeses from the Nicasio Valley Cheese Company are made from 100% organic farmstead cow’s milk.
The tasting also includes a pairing of a dark chocolate truffle with the 2015 Friends & Family Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon.
Of the five pairings, one in particular stands out to Kari Auringer, Winemaker at Silver Trident. In a Vinepair.com ‘What’s Your Favorite Wine-and-Cheese Pairing’ interview, she said, “I propose the Nicolau Capra Stanislaus made by Nicolau Farms with our 2017 Symphony No. 9 Sauvignon Blanc. The tart creaminess of this artisanal goat cheese is magical when paired with the bright acidity of the Sauvignon Blanc — the cheese literally makes the wine sing, stylishly expressing its fruit and the nuances of the batonnage process.”
Although tasting reservations are suggested, guests can ‘walk in’ and enjoy this special tasting at the Silver Trident Tasting Home, located at 6495 Washington Street in Yountville.