Organic Wines & Cheeses

The choices for fully organic and biodynamic wines and wines made from organically or biodynamically grown grapes continue to grow in the wine industry (pun intended). Here are some fabulous Earth-conscious wines and some organic cheese pairings that are guaranteed to leave their imprint on your palate without leaving too much of one on the environment.

2005 Quintessa, Rutherford, Napa Valley, California ($139)

This estate has been organic since its inception in 1989 and biodynamic since 1997. Under the direction of augustin and valeria Huneeus, the estate has gone from being a great property to making great wines. its Bordeaux-inspired red blend is a treasure trove of complex aromas from anise and blackberry to vanilla and herbs. as Bordeaux Claret finds an affinity for Cheddar, i recommend this impressively endowed wine with a grass-fed organic Cheddar from Swissland Cheese Company in Berne, ind. This is certified organic cheese and rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fats.

2005 Domaine De La Romanée-Conti Echezeaux Grand Cru, Burgundy, France ($600)

I would be remiss in writing about some of the world’s greatest organic wines without mentioning Domaine de la romanée-Conti. Knowing they are blessed to be the sole custodian of romanée-Conti and La Tâche, the co-directors of the Domaine (aubert de villaine and Henry-Frederic roch) saw it important enough to use organic farming on all their vines in 1988. Today, they practice some biodynamics as an aid rather than a mantra. and it is hard to argue with their success.

The 2005 DrC Echezeaux has amazing aromatics with violets, sweet strawberry and red cherry, all framed with the sweet scent of sandalwood. it washes down like sexy silk with a huge mid-palate of sweet cherry and a peacock’s tail of flavors on the finish.

There is no better cheese for red Burgundy than Comte, a Gruyere-like cow’s milk cheese from the Jura Mountains, and there is one producer, the Fuitiere of Chapelle des Bois, which has been producing organic Comte cheese since 1976.

2004 Green Vineyards Shiraz (Australian Certified Organic), Heathcote, Australia ($29)

Serge Carlei, proprietor and winemaker at Green vineyards as well as Carlei Wines, is a passionate man, and he is passionate about his “Terroir” and its farming. His 2004 Shiraz is a prime example of that. it has elegance and breed with a very pretty nose of flowers and perfectly ripe red berries and blueberries. a hint of spice creeps in with the palate and a vibrant balance of acidity. With a Shiraz of this complexity and finesse, i would recommend something of the like. i found a certified organic Camembert from a French producer Rond R. Bio online, which is excellent. it is mild and earthy with a hint of sweetness and very creamy.

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