Living in northern California, we are privy to some of the most amazing goats milk cheese in the world. One of our favorites is made by Mary Keehn, the creator of California’s most famous goat cheese, Humboldt Fog, and her newest creation of goat cheese and truffles. This “Truffle Tremor” has a soft and delicate cake-like interior speckled with truffles giving the flavor an earthier tone with a slight tanginess. Allowing the cheese to mature produces a creamy layer under the rind enhancing the flavor of the goat milk. Enjoying this cheese with the 2009 Carsi Chardonnay is a perfect match for any pre-cursor to a Summertime dinner! Bon appetite.
While perusing through the cheese shop for a cheese worthy of a Super Bowl status, I came across a favorite that could appeal to many a fans. Hailing from the southwest of France, Chaumes (meaning Stubble) is a delicious washed rind cheese with a creamy paste and tacky texture. With slight aromatics and hazelnut tone, Chaumes is good fit for the beer lovers, but a perfect match for with our V Sattui 2007 North Coast Petit Syrah. Bon appetite!
In France there is a wonderful cheese called Reblochon. Soft, delicate, creamy with a favorable flavor of earth and terroir, this AOC cheese is illegal to import into the states due to its youthful age of 4 weeks old (as an unpasteurized cheese it needs to be aged over 60 days to be brought into the United States legally.) However, here at the cheese shop we have found a very close duplicate called Prefere de Fromi. Resembling perfectly in shape, size and flavor, this faux Reblochon is as close as you can get to the real thing without having to travel 4,000 miles. But match it with our 2008 Sattui Family Pinot Noir and you might just think you were looking over the Rhône-Alpes in Savoie yourself. Bon appetite!
Bellavitano is a very complex cheese to say the least. A firm looking cheese with a hard purple exterior. Once you crack the Merlot washed cheese, you find a nice crumbly curd interior, yet smooth feel to the touch. Aromas of Merlot fill your nose as your draw the cheese closer to your mouth. The initial flavor is slightly salty with a robust flavor, reminiscent of hints of Parmesan and aged Asiago with their granular characteristics that carry an almost sweet and spicy tone. Perfect pairing with our V. Sattui Napa Valley Merlot!!
Harvest in the Napa Valley is, without a doubt, the most exciting time of the year for winemakers. We work very hard to get the grapes picked and the juice into tanks and, by October, we’re ready to PARTY!
Thank you to the 600+ guests who helped us celebrate another successful harvest at our 2010 CRUSH PARTY! This party is acclaimed by many of our loyal fans and friends to be V. Sattui’s most exciting and fun tasting party of the year!
Watch this video that highlights this special evening of wine, food and fun!
Guests of this event step behind the scenes of a working winery and experience the passion and excitement of winemaking! In addition to tasting all the great new wines, they had an opportunity to learn about grape-growing and winemaking from the people who actually grow our grapes and make our wines.
Napa Valley Register
October 6, 2010
By Jennifer Huffman
10 Questions for Keith Idle of V. Sattui Winery
To Keith Idle, cheese is more than just food — it’s family. “Cheese are like my children,” Idle said. On most days, visitors at V. Sattui Winery will find Idle behind the extensive cheese counter at the winery’s popular deli, where he’s worked for 26 years.
“I have 200 little children,” Idle said. “Some are a little bit harder to like than others but it’s just a matter of getting to know them,” he said.
Idle doesn’t just sell cheese, he also makes his own artichoke Parmesan Romano spread. “It’s fresh cheese mixed with artichokes, and Parmesan and garlic. We sell about 250 pounds of it a week in the summer time.”
Do you have a favorite and least favorite cheese?
I tend to go towards fuller flavors. I like hard cheeses (like) piave vecchio. I love camembert, blue cheeses and Roquefort’s. Least favorite? I don’t like smoked cheeses in general. It covers up the cheese flavors. I prefer straight-up cheese.
What’s a common misconception people have about cheese?
(That) cheese has to be refrigerated immediately. Cheese actually benefits from coming to room temperature. All it needs is coolness. Get over the fear of it spoiling immediately. Cheese is much more rugged than people think.
What do you recommend for someone who may be hesitant to try a new cheese?
A lot of people are afraid of cheese. Cheese can have a nose to it but you have to acquire the taste by moving them up slightly. Work your way into stronger flavors and get used to something different and you’ll like them.
Which cheese has the worst reputation?
Limburger is the most infamous cheese. Its bark is worse than its bite. It should be strong and aromatic but there is a difference between strong and spoiled. It’s a matter of getting it in the right condition.
Blue cheese has the worst reputation. It’s a little more aggressive. But if you have a high quality blue, you get used to that flavor. The high-end blues are really great.
Which three people would you most like to have dinner with?
Jack Nicklaus, Paul Simon and John Cleese.
What job would you like to try/not like to try?
Sportscaster. Toll booth attendant.
What is the biggest challenge your business has faced?
Overcoming the “fast food” mindset of customers.
I can’t live without a sharp knife.
What was your childhood ambition?
Caped Crusader or bus driver.
What other business person(s) would you like to see featured in “10 Questions for…”
Rob Monaghan, tasting room/wine club manager, William Harrison Winery.
More from Keith Idle
What was your first job?
Video game machine factory custodian.
What’s the worst job you ever had?
Freelance candle salesman.
How did you get into this business?
What is one thing you hope to accomplish in your lifetime that you haven’t yet?
Create a music album of my own compositions.
If you could change one thing about your business, what would it be?
Triple the floor space.
What’s your favorite gift to give?
Puzzles and books.
What’s something people might be surprised to know about you?
I’m somewhat claustrophobic.
What is your favorite charity?
American Diabetes Association.
What’s on your to-do list?
Make a to-do list.
Who do you most admire in the business world ?
If you could be anywhere right now, where would you be?
What’s one thing Napa could do to help local business?
More visible business from Highway 29.
What’s the most significant project you’ve been involved with in your career?
Setting up an import/export program for a leather company.
Join us for the V. Sattui cooking school at the CIA with Michelin-star chef Stefano Masanti of Madesimo, Italy, who will match dishes from his native Lombardia with V. Sattui’s award-wines!
Due to a very large response, we opened up the cooking school to guests who are not attending the Harvest Ball!!
Click here to sign up now! Cooking class with Stefano Masanti
Date: Friday September 24, 2010
Cost: $45 per person.
When: 4pm – 7:00 pm
Meet: The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone, St. Helena
(the College not the restaurant)
The CIA is just one mile north of downtown St. Helena on the left side of the road.
The physical address is 2555 Main Street, St. Helena, CA 94574.
You will be greeted at the door by a V. Sattui Staff member and led into the cooking class.
WATCH THIS VIDEO FROM LAST YEAR’S COOKING SCHOOL