Welcome to the exquisite world of Merlot BellaVitano, where the sophistication of wine meets the comfort of cheese. This extraordinary creation from Sartori is a unique fusion of flavors, merging the rich, creamy texture of BellaVitano cheese with the fruity and velvety notes of Merlot wine. Each bite is an exploration of refined taste, delivering a harmony of complexity and simplicity that tantalizes the palate.
Quick Facts About Sartori Merlot Bellavitano
|Origin||United States, specifically Wisconsin|
|Milk Source||Cow’s milk|
|Flavor Profile||Rich and creamy with a unique fruity finish|
|Texture||Dense and slightly crumbly|
|Rind||Soaked in Merlot wine, giving it a distinctive purple hue|
|Aging Time||Typically aged for at least 12 months|
|Pairings||Pairs well with light red wines, dark chocolate, and berries|
|Serving Suggestions||Perfect for grating over pasta, salads, or simply enjoyed on a cheese platter|
|Awards||Winner of numerous awards including the Gold at World Cheese Awards|
|Unique Feature||Infused with fine Merlot wine, adding depth to its flavor|
What is Sartori Merlot Bellavitano?
Merlot BellaVitano is a unique blend of culinary artistry and exceptional craftsmanship. This exquisite cheese, a creation of Sartori Company, is an original family recipe that brings together the best of two worlds – robust red wine and rich, flavorful cheese. Hailing from Wisconsin, Merlot BellaVitano is a testament to the state’s dairy heritage and its innovative approach to cheesemaking.
The cheese is inspired by traditional Italian farmstead cheese, featuring a distinct texture that’s reminiscent of an aged, premium Cheddar balanced by the full-flavored nuances of Parmesan. The result is a dense, slightly crumbly cheese with a creamy richness that delights the palate.
What sets Merlot BellaVitano apart is its unique wine-infused rind. Each wheel of cheese is immersed in fine Merlot wine, adding depth to its flavor profile. This process imparts fruity notes of plum and berry to the cheese, perfectly complementing its inherent creaminess. The Merlot also lends the rind a distinctive purple hue, making this cheese as pleasing to the eye as it is to the taste buds.
Whether it’s enjoyed on its own, grated over pasta, or featured on a cheese platter, Merlot BellaVitano is a true gourmet delight. It has won numerous awards, including Gold at the World Cheese Awards, cementing its place in the hearts of cheese lovers everywhere.
What Does Merlot Bellavitano Taste Like?
Merlot BellaVitano is an orchestra of flavors that awaken the senses. This unique cheese boasts fruity notes of plum and berry, which mingle harmoniously with a creamy richness. The taste of this cheese is often likened to a blend of traditional Italian farmstead cheese and Wisconsin’s signature dairy flavor.
The texture of Merlot BellaVitano adds another layer of complexity to its taste. It has a creamy yet crystalline texture that makes it similar to Parmesan. We liken it as having characteristics of an extra sharp cheddar with a hint of sparkling wine flavor.
The rind of the cheese, which is meant to be eaten, is infused with Merlot, adding a distinctive depth to its overall flavor profile. The Merlot infusion also creates a sweet, smooth flavor that is tangy with a creamy consistency.
Merlot Bellavitano Tasting Notes
- Appearance: Merlot BellaVitano presents an alluring visual appeal. The cheese itself is a creamy, pale yellow color, contrasting sharply with the deep, purple hue of its rind, a result of its Merlot wine bath. It has a dense and slightly crumbly texture, similar to a fine Parmesan or aged Cheddar.
- Aroma: The aroma of Merlot BellaVitano is a captivating fusion of sweet, fruity notes from the Merlot wine and the rich, creamy scent of the cheese. This combination creates an inviting bouquet that draws you in and hints at the complexity of flavors to come.
- Flavor: The flavor of Merlot BellaVitano is a symphony of tastes, featuring a creamy richness balanced by fruity notes of plum and berry. The cheese offers a mildly sharp, highly savory and somewhat fruity taste. The Merlot lends a subtle sweetness, enhancing the overall flavor profile.
- Texture: The texture of this cheese adds another dimension to the tasting experience. It’s uniquely creamy, yet crystalline in texture, offering a delightful contrast. The rind, which is meant to be eaten, provides a slightly firmer bite.
- Aftertaste: Merlot BellaVitano leaves a lingering aftertaste, characterized by the fruity sweetness of Merlot and the savory richness of the cheese. The finish is long, allowing you to savor the complex flavors.
How to Eat Merlot Bellavitano?
- Cheese Board Star: Merlot BellaVitano can be the star of a cheese board due to its unique flavor profile. Pair it with dried fruits like apricots or figs, and a variety of nuts such as almonds or walnuts for an unforgettable tasting experience.
- Wine Pairing: This cheese pairs beautifully with full-bodied red wines such as Shiraz or a fine Merlot. The wine enhances the fruity undertones of the cheese and complements its rich, creamy texture.
- Cooking Ingredient: Grate Merlot BellaVitano over pasta, risotto, or salads for a gourmet touch. Its rich and tangy flavor adds a unique twist to traditional dishes.
- Dessert Cheese: Due to its sweet and fruity notes, Merlot BellaVitano makes an excellent dessert cheese. Pair it with dark chocolate or a fruit tart for a decadent treat.
- Sandwich Enhancer: Slice thin layers of Merlot BellaVitano to take your sandwich to the next level. It adds a creamy, tangy, and slightly sweet element that can elevate any sandwich.
- Culinary Experimentation: Merlot BellaVitano can be used in a variety of recipes, from gourmet mac and cheese to stuffed chicken breasts. Don’t be afraid to experiment and let this versatile cheese elevate your culinary creations.
- Snacking: Enjoy Merlot BellaVitano on its own or with some fresh fruit for a simple yet satisfying snack. The cheese’s complex flavor makes it a delicious standalone snack.
10 Best Merlot Bellavitano Substitutes
|Lagrein Cheese||A semi-hard cheese from Italy, Lagrein has a wine-soaked rind similar to Merlot BellaVitano. It offers a robust flavor with a tangy finish|
|Cheddar||An aged Cheddar can substitute for Merlot BellaVitano in recipes due to its sharp, rich flavor and crumbly texture|
|Parmigiano Reggiano||Known as the “King of Cheeses,” Parmigiano Reggiano shares a similar texture and offers a complex, nutty flavor|
|Gouda||Aged Gouda has a rich, caramel-like flavor and a slightly crystalline texture, making it a good substitute|
|Asiago||Asiago cheese, especially when aged, provides a sweet and nutty flavor that can stand in for Merlot BellaVitano|
|Fontina||An Italian cow’s milk cheese with a mild, slightly sweet flavor and a smooth, creamy texture|
|Manchego||This Spanish sheep’s milk cheese has a distinctive flavor and firm texture that can work as a substitute|
|Pecorino Romano||A salty, hard cheese from Italy, Pecorino Romano can replace this cheese in recipes where its strong flavor won’t overpower the dish|
|Grana Padano||Similar to Parmigiano Reggiano, Grana Padano offers a grainy texture and a sweet, nutty flavor that can be a good substitute|
|Dubliner||A hard, aged Irish cheese, Dubliner has a sweet, nutty flavor with a hint of sharpness, making it a good stand-in for Merlot BellaVitano|
What Pairs Well With Merlot Bellavitano?
Food that goes well with Merlot Bellavitano:
|Breads||Crusty Italian bread, French baguettes, wholegrain crackers, sourdough bread|
|Fruits||Fresh grapes, dried apricots, figs, pears, apples|
|Nuts||Almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, pistachios|
|Meats||Prosciutto, salami, smoked turkey, roast beef|
|Seafood||Smoked salmon, grilled shrimp, seared scallops|
|Vegetables||Grilled asparagus, roasted bell peppers, marinated artichokes, olives|
|Jams and Spreads||Fig jam, quince paste, honey, apple butter|
|Desserts||Dark chocolate, fruit tarts, cheesecake, berry compote|
|Other Cheeses||Gouda, Brie, Camembert, Roquefort|
Also read: 11 Best Crackers that Pair Well with Cheese
Beverage that goes well with Merlot Bellavitano:
|Red Wines||Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Zinfandel|
|White Wines||Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Gewürztraminer|
|Beers||Stout, Amber Ale, Belgian Dubbel, Porter|
|Spirits||Brandy, Whiskey, Bourbon, Scotch|
|Ciders||Dry Apple Cider, Pear Cider, Spiced Cider|
|Non-Alcoholic Drinks||Sparkling water, Grape Juice, Apple Cider, Coffee|
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can I eat the rind of Merlot BellaVitano cheese?
Yes, you can eat the rind of Merlot BellaVitano cheese. The rind is meant to be eaten and is considered part of the tasting experience. In fact, for hand-rubbed cheeses like BellaVitano, it is recommended to eat the rind to fully appreciate the flavor.
2. Does Merlot BellaVitano contain alcohol?
Yes, Merlot BellaVitano does contain alcohol. The cheese is soaked in Merlot wine, which imparts a unique flavor profile to the cheese. However, it’s important to note that the amount of alcohol present is typically very small and may not be significant enough to cause any effects associated with alcohol consumption. The alcohol is mostly used as a treatment for the cheese rind and contributes to the overall taste and aroma of the cheese.
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