Gotta love a well balanced Rhône style red wine. California’s Central Coast makes some great ones (Read Carina Cellars Rhone Blend review here). And I’m also a big fan of Cowgirl Creamery cheeses, produced up the coast about 100 miles or so at Point Reyes Station on Tomales Bay — easily one of the most beautiful places in California. Their cheese, Red Hawk, is a great match for this style of wine. It’s a small, 10-ounce, washed rind beauty– made from organic cow’s milk, then washed in brine to develop big flavors.
Rhône style reds need a complex partner and Red Hawk delivers. The brine bath gives it a bit of a strong smell, but the cheese has grassy notes, nice lactic flavors and a creamy finish. While trying this combo, I thought back to the summer I lived in Pismo Beach, down the hill from Paso Robles, where Carina Cellars Clairvoyant was born. My memory harked back to the 13+ years living in San Francisco… I kind of had a California Dreaming moment. I love my NYC, but still have a lot of love for California.