Yes, savory. If you’re looking to pair wine with something sweet (other than your Valentine) then you’ve landed on the wrong blog post. Another search will yield lots of articles giving you wine pairings with chocolates or desserts. In fact, you will probably find lots more pairings with something sweet than savory. That’s the very reason I’m suggesting a savory pairing. Well, that plus the fact that a savory pairing with wine is my preference over something sweet. Not that I don’t love sweets, just not with my wine. Please.
I discovered this recipe for Cheese Sables over a year ago at Food52 and have made them several times since. These savory cookies with rosemary salt are rich, satisfying and easily adaptable. Choose the cheese that suits your taste. If you don’t like rosemary, leave the rosemary salt off (though it really does make these cookies sing!) I have used Parmigiano-Reggiano and Blue Cheese in the past. This time I used a combination of both. All were delicious. And, these Cheese Sables are really easy to make.
- 100 g room-temperature butter
- 100 g self-rising flour (You can make self-rising flour by combining 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon salt. This will make more than you need for this recipe.)
- 100 g cheese such as grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Blue Cheese – or a mixture to suit your taste
- cayenne pepper to taste
- rosemary salt – combine 1/4 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary with 1/8 teaspoon salt and mix. Use any left over rosemary salt to season pork chops, it’s delicious.
This recipe yields about 20 to 25 cookies depending on how large you make them.
- Preheat oven to 350º F. Place first four ingredients in a bowl and mix together using your fingers until evenly combined.
- Form into a roll, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Make the diameter of the roll equal to the size cookies you want, 1.25 inch diameter works well. Refrigerating the dough makes it easier to cut.
- Cut the dough into 1/4 inch-thick rounds, place on parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes.
- Remove from oven, sprinkle with rosemary salt and allow to cool. Cookies will be fragile until they cool.
I took a more conventional approach to choosing the wine to accompany these Cheese Sables — kind of. Sparkling wine is a natural to pair with buttery, cheesy dishes because the acidity of the wine is so palate-cleansing. That’s the conventional part of the choice. Sparkling wine made in Tasmania is not so conventional, at least not for me. This is the first wine I’ve tasted from the island state located 150 miles off Australia’s south coast. I first discovered this wine at a local wine shop, now that I think of it, about the same time I found the Cheese Sable recipe. This pairing was meant to be!
Jansz Premium Rosé NV — delicate salmon color in the glass with persistent, small bubbles. Aromas and flavors of blackberries, raspberries and citrus make for a flavorful, bright, clean wine. While the wine has nice fruit flavors it is not at all sweet. It finishes with nice acidity and is at least medium in length. 12.5% abv. $25
This delightful sparkling wine is composed of 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay grown in cool-climate vineyards around Tasmania. The base wines are vinified separately, then blended before the second fermentation in bottle. Wines are aged on the lees for up to 3 years.
Jansz Tasmania calls this process Méthode Tasmanoise. In their words:
It could be argued we’re completely mad growing grapes in the wild and unforgivingly cold Tasmanian environment. But there’s méthode to our madness.
The climatic conditions of the Jansz vineyard rival the famed French wine region of Champagne. In fact, it was originally with French contribution that Jansz became Tasmania’s first sparkling made using the traditional Méthode.
Today we call it, Méthode Tasmanoise. It’s the essence of a partnership between the environment and our winemaker. Just as the cool Tasmanian climate creates spectacular beauty in nature, it is also instrumental in the creation of art in bottles.
I have also enjoyed Jansz Premium Cuvée made predominantly with Chardonnay and just a bit of Pinot Noir. Jansz is widely available, so if you want something different this Valentine’s Day consider Cheese Sables and a glass of Jansz Premium Rosé.
Happy Valentine’s Day!