Terlato Vineyards Pinot Grigio Friuli & Caputo Hand-Dipped Ricotta
Only the finest estate-grown Pinot Grigio grapes from northeast Italy’s premium growing region make it into the bottle. At first sip, this wine is surprisingly full-bodied with the aromas of ripe white peaches and spring flowers. The flavors of melon, pear, and crisp apple support this wine’s slate finish, making it a beautiful match for the Caputo fresh Ricotta. Caputo fresh Ricotta is ladled by hand into individual baskets, the cheese’s delicate curds remain soft and moist. With the flavor and aroma of fresh milk, this spoonable cheese is magnificent on its own with fresh fruit, honey, or used for decadent cannoli.
Frog’s Leap Sauvignon Blanc & Cypress Grove Humboldt Fog
This wine is crafted from 100 percent organic grapes primarily from the Rutherford region of Napa Valley. A wine that is genuinely fun to drink with a crisp flavor, slightly acidic on the tongue, and modest alcohol content makes it ideal for enjoying with food. This Sauvignon Blanc’s stone fruit aromas and crisp sweet/tart apple flavors balance with its minerality to pair perfectly with Cypress Grove Humboldt Fog.
California’s Cypress Grove Humboldt Fog is a true American original. Inspired by northern California’s rocky, mist-shrouded coast, this cheese starts as a layer cake of fresh chevre, then transforms over time into a decadent brie-style cheese. When fresh, bright almost citrus-like acidity and a firm crumbly/creamy center are a delight with prosciutto and pears. As the cream line beneath the rind ripens, softens, and intensifies, the cheese becomes lusher and more robust with grass notes and a fudgy texture, perfect for figs and roasted vegetables.
Merotto La Primavera di Barbara Prosecco DOCG & Delice de Bourgogne
On the northern edge of Italy where it begins to climb the Alps, crafted from a blend of Glera and Perera grapes, a wonderfully elegant Prosecco starts with an aroma of apricots and pears perfumed with summery rose. The flavor balances crisp, sweet apple with a lively soft bubble texture reminiscent of caviar making this wine an indulgent match for the decadent Delice De Bourgogne.
From the home of Pinot Noir and Champagne comes the Delice de Bourgogne, a rich triple crème brie. The fresh milk is boosted first with cream, and then with cultured Crème Fraiche to produce the distinctly tangy, but velvety texture and flavor. Lovely all year round, Delice is especially welcome when summer is a memory and friends and family gather to celebrate.
Rombauer Vineyards Zinfandel &Widmer’s 4-year Cheddar
From gnarly old vines around Napa Valley, California, this bold Zinfandel inspires big, full glasses, loud conversation, and abundant snacking. Warm baking spices mixed with blackberry and dark raspberry perfume this wine while the concentrated flavors of roasted plums, blackberries, white pepper, and vanilla land on the tongue. A full round tannic structure needs a match like the Widmer’s 4-year aged cheddar.
Wisconsin’s Widmer’s cheddars capture the Dairy State’s classic flavor. Described by Joseph Harding in 1864 as “close and firm in texture, yet mellow in character or quality; it is rich with a tendency to melt in the mouth, the flavor full and fine, approaching to that of a hazelnut,” cheddar is such a part of our palette that to explain it is more fuss than to just enjoy it. Widmer’s 4-year aged cheddar is particularly sharp with scattered crystals, yet creamy on the tongue, making it a favorite with grilled meats, hearty vegetables, and sweet fruits.
Mastrojanni Brunello di Montalcino DOCG & Sartori Balsamic BellaVitano
This is a classic Sangiovese wine from the heart of its traditional growing region in Tuscany. Aged for 36 months in oak barrels and conditioned for another 6 in the bottle, the deep red hued wine reveals its Brunello nature with a forthright structure beneath the flavors of wild berries, plum, and tobacco, with notes of violet, vanilla, and dark cherry in the aroma. A long, silky finish and modest acidity help compliment hearty winter meals. A classic wine with hidden depths pairs well with a classic cheese given modern complexity: the Sartori Balsamic BellaVitano.
Wisconsin’s Sartori cheese company produced traditional Italian favorites throughout most of the 20th century before imagining something almost entirely new for the 21st. The BellaVitano cheeses start as a Parmesan-style cheese with a Wisconsin cheddar personality before getting rubbed down with sweet and tart balsamic vinegar that perfumes every bite. Nutty, moderately sharp, and sweet, Balsamic BellaVitano is well suited for grating, but perfect for any cheeseboard alongside summer tomatoes, winter figs, and speck smoked ham.
Musella Amarone della Valpolicella & Beemster XO GOUDA
Using estate-grown Corvina and Rondinella grapes from the classic Valpolicella growing region of Verona, Italy, this Amarone invites you to pause and savor the moment. No part of its crafting or aging is rushed—the grapes are nearly raisins when crushed and aged for three years before arriving in your glass. Aromas of blueberry compote, fudge, and leather perfume the rich cassis, black plum, and baking spice flavored wine. Its velvety, rich mouthfeel is a hallmark of its impeccable structure. The sweetness and depth of flavor, still savory, pair magnificently with the deep butterscotch and hazelnut character of the Beemster XO Gouda.
Holland’s Beemster cheeses bring a little celebration every day. While many of their offerings began as recipes for festivals, harvests, and holidays, the crown jewel remains their 26-month aged Gouda. Its deep amber hue studded with twinkling crystals smells of baked flan and barrel-aged whiskey. The dense cheese flakes under a sharp knife then melts in the mouth with a fudge-like richness with notes of butterscotch, burnt sugar, and cooked cream. Delicious on its own or with roasted meats, crisp apples, and sweet ripe pears.
Caputo Cheese Market is located at 231 E. Wisconsin Avenue, Lake Forest, 847-482-0100, caputocheesemarket.com.