Grana Padano cheese and wine tasting | Identita London
Grana Padano cheese and wine tasting
David Constable Reviews:
Recently I had the delight in tasting Grana (“grain”) Padano cheese at Identita London, held at Vinopolis.
Grana Padano is the best selling PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) cheese in the world and we were presented with three vintages which were chosen to particularly meet the diverse requirements for chefs who enjoy Grana Padano cheese to enhance their recipes.
Now this is a serious cheese, let’s be clear. It’s one of the world’s first hard cheeses, created nearly 1,000 years ago. The cheese is ripe and powerful through all three ripening stages, and is reasonably priced back in Italy, making it preferable to many over Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Sommelier Andrea Rinaldi and Marketing Manager of the Consortium, Elisabetta Serraiotto, were our guides through the combinations of cheese and Italian red wines, the wines chosen specifically to highlight the characteristics of the differently-matured cheeses.
12 month Grana Padano: consisted of a pale yellow colour. The structure of the cheese was soft and delicate and had a creamy, milky texture. Accompanied with “Solane” Valpolicella classico Superiore Ripasso 2007.
18 month Grana Padano: had the same colouring as the 12 month but a denser consistency and when cut, crumbled easier than the 12 month. With a greater ageing came calcium lactate crystals, evident when held to the light and upon tasting, resulting in a mild crunch. The taste is stronger than the 12 month but not overpowering. Accompanied with “Vigneti La Selvanella” Chanti classico Riserva 2006 and our second wine, “Aiace” Salice Salentino Riserva 2006 Castello Monaci.
27 month Grana Padano Riserva: only the ‘most refined’ Grana Padano becomes a “Riserva” – a truly excellent product. The colouring is again similar to the 12 and 18 month matures, and with aromas of butter, nuts and a hint of hay. It’s a tougher cheese and not as soft as the 12 month. There is a greater concentration of calcium lactate and a grainy structure when crumbled. Accompanied with “Proemio” Amarone della Valpolicella 2005 – wowzers! A heavyweight plonk. Full of personality and structure, often referred to as a complex wine, with tobacco, dark berry and a spicy intensity. Full of flavour and warm on the palate.
About David Constable:
David Constable was born in Kent and studied in both the United Kingdom and United States where he found it very difficult living on the student diet of baked beans and super noodles. Once released from academia and thrust into the ‘real world’ he found comfort in an eclectic mix of British, French, Italian and Mexican cuisine. His favourite restaurants in London are Roast and Launceston Place – precision of dishes and fine British game – and he enjoys red wine as much as he does his food. Amarone being his beloved tipple.
Along with his restaurant reviews, David also writes television reviews for Broadcast and a weekly media blog for Production Wizard. His website is: http://davidconstable.wordpress.com