Recently we got in some new Italian cheeses over at Ramsey’s Vineyard Market. My favorite of the bunch is what I’ve nicknamed the Drunken Cheese. Ubriaco Tramonto Rosso, which comically translates to “drunken red sunset,” is not only a delicious cheese, but aesthetically pleasing.
Hailing from Northern Italy, Tramonto Rosso is made of pasteurized cow’s milk and aged for 120 days. For 1 – 4 weeks of that aging period, the cheese is soaked in crushed red wine grapes (hence my silly nickname for it!). The grapes turn the rind of the cheese a beautiful shade of purple. You can even find seeds of the crushed grapes still clinging to the rind. This cheese will add some character and color to your cheese board.
It is a little sharp upon first bite, but then mellowed out with fruity flavors. The finish is light and long with flavors of wine hanging on your taste buds.
Though it is like having a glass of wine and some cheese in one bite, I recommend pairing it with Cantina Zaccagnini Chronicon Montepulciano 2008 or Tolaini Al Passo Super Tuscan 2007. Close your eyes, take a bite, and imagine yourself in the vineyards of Italy!