Cheese Course: Ubriaco Al Moscato

have mere hints of it. There, the cheese is more complex, with a subtle nuttiness and sweet ripeness that's more appealing. The striking contrast between different sections of even a small slice makes for an interesting, maybe even flawed, contrast.


Uses:


When served by itself, Ubriaco al Moscato needs a savory -- but not bitter -- accompaniment like Marcona almonds or rustic, seedy crackers, along with a fruit-forward wine that can stand up to the pungent pineapple flavors in the cheese. Thankfully, one of the best wine pairings is inherent in the name and production technique: Moscato from the Veneto, fully sparkling or frizzante, dry or off-dry, will work perfectly.


This ubriaco would also work well in sweet and savory dishes, especially melted on sandwiches or pizzas that include dried fruit as an ingredient. On a pizza, use it sparingly.


Ubriaco al Moscato is available at Whole Foods, or online from forevercheese.com.


(Photo from forevercheese.com.)

Pedigree:

Ubriaco — Italian for drunken — originated in the Veneto, when wine and must (the crushed grape leavings after juice has been drained out for wine) from local wineries was an easier and cheaper way to preserve cheeses. This particular version of the cow's milk cheese is soaked in must and wine from local moscato production for few days and then aged for around 8 months, giving the previously soft cheese a firmer texture and a golden rind flecked with dried grape skins.

Taste:

This ubriaco starts with a surprisingly sharp bite that immediately mellows into a tropical sweetness that tastes markedly of pineapple. Near the rind, the intensity of that fragrant fruit is almost overwhelming, while the center of slices from a wheel of Ubriaco al Moscato

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