Delightful Harmony between Chile and France

A Journey Through Chilean Wine Country

When you think of South American wines, Chilean Carmenère often comes to mind. This unique wine, with its deep crimson color and rich flavors, has captured the hearts of wine enthusiasts worldwide. But what makes Chilean Carmenère so special?

Originating from Bordeaux, France, Carmenère found a new home in Chile during the 19th century. Mistaken for Merlot for many years, it wasn’t until the late 20th century that Chilean winemakers realized they were cultivating a distinct grape variety. Today, Carmenère is considered Chile’s signature grape, thriving in diverse terroirs, from the coast to the Andes foothills.

Characteristics and Tasting Notes

Chilean Carmenère is known for its luscious, velvety texture and complex flavor. It often has notes of ripe blackberries, dark cherries, and subtle hints of spice, with a touch of earthiness that adds depth to each sip. Its smooth tannins and balanced acidity make it a versatile choice for pairing with a variety of dishes.

Affordable and Artisan Recommendations

For those seeking affordable options, try Concha y Toro’s Casillero del Diablo Carmenère. This widely available wine offers great value without compromising on quality, showcasing the classic Carmenère characteristics at an accessible price. For a more artisanal experience, explore the offerings of Viña Montes or Lapostolle, known for their commitment to quality and sustainability.

A Glimpse into French Cheese Tradition

On the other side of the globe, in the picturesque region of Jura, France, lies the birthplace of Morbier cheese. With its distinctive ash layer and creamy texture, Morbier has earned its place among the classics of French cheese-making tradition.

Legend has it that Morbier was originally made by farmers in the Jura region using leftover curds from the morning and evening milkings, separated by a layer of ash to prevent mixing. Today, while modern production methods have evolved, Morbier continues to be crafted with the same artisanal care and attention to detail.

Characteristics and Flavor Profile

Morbier’s semi-soft texture and creamy paste offer a delightful contrast to its earthy, nutty flavor. The ash layer, once purely functional, now serves as a distinguishing feature, adding visual intrigue to the cheese board. Its aroma is often described as aromatic and slightly pungent, with a hint of sweetness that lingers on the palate.

Affordable and Artisan Recommendations

For those looking for an affordable option, seek out Morbier from reputable cheese counters at local grocery stores or specialty cheese shops. Brands like Le Montagnard and Le Douanier offer quality Morbier at reasonable prices, perfect for everyday indulgence. For a more indulgent experience, explore artisanal producers such as Marcel Petite or Fromagerie Arnaud, known for their commitment to traditional cheese-making methods and exceptional quality.