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Featured Pairing of the Week: Cape May Merlot & Bella Vitano Espresso Cheese

Cape May Winery Featured Pairing of the Week: Cape May Merlot & Bella Vitano Espresso CheeseCape May Winery Surprisingly Solid

By Matt Goldstein & Amy K. Haight

We  recently visited the Cape May winery while touring some spots in South Jersey.  Surprisingly, they had some solid wines that could be sold anywhere in the world.  Of course, they had a number of sweet wines indicative of the amateur grower, palate and wine region often found in NJ, PA and NY, but a few of the wines were quite good, specifically the Cape May 2008 Merlot.  Very drinkable and still a bit complex enough for the educated wine drinker, we were very surprised that Cape May had a red wine this good.  “This dry red Merlot is structured and complex. Ripe red fruit flavors with strong tannins, new oak and just so-acidity.  Drink now, but know this wine will improve over the next 2 to 4 years. $18 a bottle,” Cape May Winery explains through the web site.  We did a tasting and bought a bottle of the merlot.

The great thing about this small quaint little winery just minutes outside of Cape May is that you can bring a picnic basket and enjoy the wines on their deck.  Sipping this beautiful merlot, we paired it with the Bella Vitano Espresso Cheese by Sartori.  If you don’t bring your own food to the winery, cheese, crackers and other delightful treats are available to purchase.  The Bella Vitano Espresso Cheese has beautiful rich coffee notes that match perfectly with a bold red like a merlot.  After tasting cheese plates up and down the east coast, this is literally one the best cheeses we have ever tasted period, perhaps the best.  The cheeses available at the Cape May Winery might be better than the wines there.  We also tried a Bella Vitano Merlot Cheese, also excellent.  Both were winners at the World Cheese Awards.

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