Published by Jeremy. Last Updated on August 4, 2023.
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We love good wine and cheese pairings and must admit that for how much we are into wine, we have not taken many formal classes that showcase this epic pairing outright.
Wine and cheese pairing from experts in the respective fields? We're all about that!
Learning to Pair Wine With Cheese in Mars
The Wine and Cheese classes take place at the gorgeous little cheese shop, Nosh & Curd, right in the heart of Mars, PA- about 30 minutes north of downtown Pittsburgh. The shop features dozens of artisan cheeses, a modest cafe space, and other artisan food products for sale like honey, duck prosciutto, and many more.
The class structure here is designed to help explain the finer details of artisan cheese and wine while being delivered in an approachable manner from two experts who know their stuff inside and out.
On the cheese side, Danielle of Nosh & Curd breaks down the origin of the cheese you try, their production techniques, and does a lovely job at illustrating the array of flavors you can expect. On the wine side, Kanika of The Indian Somm takes a similar approach showcasing wines that may likely be new to many consumers while sharing their origins, production techniques, and making what otherwise would be a robust and intense tasting feel approachable.
Throughout the roughly two-hour class, we worked our way through five wines with just under two dozen cheeses (pairing anywhere from three to five cheeses per wine) and learned about all of these items individually and how they pair together. For those who were newer to wine and cheese, the informal nature of the class also allowed for any questions to be asked like “how did this cheese get its color?” and “how important is the glass shape for wine?” to name a few.
As wine and cheese lovers, it was the latter bit that we enjoyed the most as we got to work our way through complimentary pairings where components of the wine play off respective components in the cheeses as well as contrasting pairings where two unlikely flavors work well together (Gorgonzola and Sauternes, anyone?).
So, what pairings did we try? During our class, we got to sample the following:
- Prosecco Col Fondo- “ProFondo” Miotto – A Prosecco made in the traditional method and aged on the lees like Champagne, paired with Brie, Le Pico Germaine, and Piper's Pyramid
- Troupis Winery Hoof & Lur Wild Ferment Moschofilero 2021 – A skin contact wine from Greece, paired with Piper's Pyramid, Midnight Moon, Humboldt Fog, and Julianna
- Trimbach Gewurztraminer – A lower acid, floral wine from Alsace, France, paired with fresh feta and Gruyere
- Contucci Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2017 DOCG – An intense red Italian wine, paired with Le Pico Germaine, Sottocenere, Casatica di Bufala, Castelrosso, and Midnight Moon
- Chateau Guiraud Petit Guiraud Sauternes 2020 – A dessert wine made with botrytized grapes, paired with Humbolt Fod, Red Rock Cheddar Blue, and Gorgonzola
- Note: Our cheese plate also had a few cheeses included that were not associated with the wines as well.
At the end of the class, we got a wonderful appreciation for all things wine and cheese pairings and also picked up a few of our favorite cheeses to take home with us to enjoy later on. Sadly, the wines were unavailable for sale on-site to pick up an extra bottle; however, Kanika sends out ordering information later on for those who want to pick up any bottles from 3rd party sources.
Ultimately, while wine classes generally always do come at a bit of a premium, you do get a lot in this one- more than we expected before visiting, if we were to admit. The half-pours plus extra of favorites were a generous amount of wine, and the nearly two dozen cheeses to go along with it puts most conventional cheese plates you get at wineries to shame.
Suffice it to say, this one was a serious wine and cheese pairing!
Overall, perhaps the best part of the wine and cheese class is simply that the two experts make the topic feel advanced yet approachable at the same time. So whether you're simply getting into wine and cheese pairings or have been doing them for years, there is a lot to love in this one.
Nosh & Curd is located at 113 Grand Avenue in Mars, PA. We were guests of The Indian Somm for this review. As always, all opinions are our own.