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3/13/2010

Spanish Artisan Cheeses & Complementing Spanish Wines | Worlds of Flavor Spain, Culinary Institute of America's Website

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Spanish Artisan Cheeses & Complementing Spanish Wines
Text & Photographs by Gerry Dawes ©2008

It’s a curious fact that few great artisanal cheeses are made in the fine wine regions of Spain and, conversely, few great cheese areas also produce great wines. With that in mind, I have experimented over the years with other wine factors--such as age, acidity, alcohol levels, dryness, sweetness—to recommend wines to go with various Spanish cheeses. The prevailing idea in the past was that the best red wines should be paired with great cheeses; that turns out to be the last thing one should do with great red wines, since the complexity for which they are usually appreciated loses out to the often forceful and equally complex flavors of many great cheeses. Many white wines, in fact, are better choices: the acidity, fruit and freshness, all palate-refreshing qualities, of white wines let them pair perfectly with more assertively flavored Spanish cheeses. Goats’ and sheeps’ milk cheeses, especially, benefit from the lively qualities of white wines. But rosados, of which Spain has some particularly good examples (especially from Navarra, La Rioja and Cigales) and young, fresh, red wines without predominant oak will also refresh the palate between bites of cheese.  (Read the rest of the article here.)
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About Gerry Dawes

Gerry Dawes's Spain: An Insider's Guide to Spanish Food, Wine, Culture and Travel


Gerry Dawes was awarded Spain's prestigious Premio Nacional de Gastronomía (National Gastronomy Award) in 2003. He writes and speaks frequently on Spanish wine and gastronomy and leads gastronomy, wine and cultural tours to Spain. He was a finalist for the 2001 James Beard Foundation's Journalism Award for Best Magazine Writing on Wine, won The Cava Institute's First Prize for Journalism for his article on cava in 2004, was awarded the CineGourLand “Cinéfilos y Gourmets” (Cinephiles & Gourmets) prize in 2009 in Getxo (Vizcaya) and received the 2009 Association of Food Journalists Second Prize for Best Food Feature in a Magazine for his Food Arts article, a retrospective piece about Catalan star chef, Ferran Adrià.

In December, 2009, Dawes was awarded the Food Arts Silver Spoon Award in a profile written by José Andrés.

". . .That we were the first to introduce American readers to Ferran Adrià in 1997 and have ever since continued to bring you a blow-by-blow narrative of Spain's riveting ferment is chiefly due to our Spanish correspondent, Gerry "Mr. Spain" Dawes, the messianic wine and food journalist raised in Southern Illinois and possessor of a self-accumulated doctorate in the Spanish table. Gerry once again brings us up to the very minute. . ." - - Michael & Ariane Batterberry, Editor-in-Chief/Publisher and Founding Editor/Publisher, Food Arts, October 2009. 



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Mr. Dawes is currently working on a reality television series
on wine, gastronomy, culture and travel in Spain.
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