7 Must-Try Pairings to Introduce you to Western Colorado’s Artisan Cheese & Wine Scene

So, you want to try wine and cheese. But you’re intimidated.

After all, there’s just so much to know. You’ve heard words like tannins and unctuousness. And how can a liquid be “dry,” anyway?

Luckily, we believe that anyone can enjoy wine and cheese regardless of skill level. That’s why we matched local vintner Michael Young of Mountain View Winery with our friend Robbie McKinnon, a Wine & Spirit Education Trust Level 3 certified sommelier (translation: wine expert) to pair off and detail Rocking W Cheese’s and Mountain View Winery’s winning combination and distill the most important parts of it all for you.

Read on for a smörgåsbord of tasty combinations — without spending years doing your own research.

  1. Rocky Mountain Sunset Cheddar & Chipeta White
    If you’re looking for a “pairing for beginners,” this is your stop. While Rocking W’s Sunset Cheddar is fairly mild, its tangy bite is balanced out by the sweetness of Mountain View’s Chipeta White. That way, neither taste overwhelms your mouth. For a sweet and fragrant match-up without the buzz, try pairing the Sunset Cheddar with honey or quince paste (which also sounds pretty good right now if you ask us).
  1. Portobello Leek & Continental
    Opposites don’t always attract when it comes to wine and cheese. Sometimes winning combinations have similar sensations. For a decadent, full-mouth experience with a lot of subtle flavor, try this delicious duo. The creaminess of portobello mushrooms pairs well with the creaminess of the Continental chardonnay. Bright leek offers some twinkling top notes to finish it all off.
  1. Salsa Jack & Trail Head
    Craving something more adventurous? Look no further. Rocking W’s classic Salsa Jack and Mountain View’s Trail Head are a match forged in luscious-taste heaven. First, coat your mouth with Trail Head’s signature floral sweetness. Then add Salsa Jack. The cheese transforms into something sublime; lovely, and perfectly balanced. It might just give you goosebumps.
  1. Tomato Basil & Dare Devil RedIn the words of our sommelier, and the refiners of the art before him, “What grows together, goes together.” Dare Devil Red is an off-dry syrah wine, meaning that it’s made from grapes that are exceedingly dark. The heady, rustic flavors of tomato and basil suit this darker wine perfectly. And that first phrase? Dark syrah grapes, glossy tomatoes, and hearty basil all grow together in the sun-kissed Mediterranean… or right here in our own Rocky Mountains.
  1. White Cheddar & Cherry WineWhite Cheddar’s sharp bite begs for something to lighten it up. Enter Mountain View Winery’s ambrosial Cherry Wine. The sharp, bitter tang of this cheddar—though mild—is softened and brightened up by tart cherries. The result? The perfect summertime pairing, best enjoyed in the waning hours of daylight.
  1. Wine Cheese & Alpine Red Dare we describe a pairing as “heavenly?” We do. The heavy tannins (health-boosting compounds found in wine grapes and other foods) in Alpine Red produce a powerful, intense mouth-drying sensation. And there’s no better way to ease that feeling than a mouthful of Rocking W’s creamy, flavorful Wine Cheese. These sensations are best enjoyed in small doses, but we’re not to blame if you end up over-indulging in our delicious farmstead cheese.
  1. Baby Swiss & Lavender
    Down-to-earth and mellow, Rocking W’s Baby Swiss lacks the pungent odor and flavor of its fully matured form. That makes it the perfect partner for Mountain View Winery’s ethereal Lavender wine. The Lavender’s airy sweetness and unusual top notes elevate the heartier Baby Swiss. Our sommelier seems to think so, too, commenting, “This pairing takes you away like you’re Julie Andrews dancing in lavender fields under the Alps.” In other words, instant springtime.

Did you try any of these pairings? If so, how were they? Let us know!