11/30/11

My current favorite cheese ever? Bellavitano Merlot!


Every year for Thanksgiving we have a cheese tray.  There are a few family favorites that we absolutely *must* have every year but then I like to mix it up a little by adding new and different cheeses we've never had before.

For about 3 years I've tried various merlot cheeses from all over the world, but never found any I loved enough to make a point to search that particular brand out again.  Until this year.

I have a clear winner... so much so that after I tasted it, I dug the wrapper out of the trash, carefully washed it out with soap and water and saved the label so I wouldn't forget to pick up more for our Christmas holiday!  What was this cheese I loved so much?  And was it from France?  England?  Italy?  No....  Wisconsin, USA!   It's Bellavitano Merlot Wisconsin cheese and it's incredible.

Here is the description they give and then I'll tell you my thoughts after;

Created by the master cheesemakers at Sartori using time-honored techniques and the highest quality milk, Bellavitano features a rich and creamy texture with a great, cravable taste reminiscent of an aged, premium Cheddar balanced by a full flavored Parmesan. Bellavitano offers a versatile flavor with excellent melting characteristics and a smooth, creamy mouthfeel. This Bellavitano is then soaked in merlot to give it extra tang and full merlot flavor.


In my own words;  It's a semi hard cheese with a hint of Parmesan, but only just.  It's a nice firm, but crumbly texture that starts to melt when it hits your tongue.  The Merlot the rind is soaked in has great flavor, not overbearing or too bitter.  It just has the slightest hint of berries but it's paired perfectly with the flavor of the cheese that neither fight for your attention. 

I'm loving this cheese right now and so very glad I can find it locally here in our new city and state!  But for those of you who can't, I've included the link above that takes you right to a place you can purchase it from on Amazon.   Enjoy!

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