Cheese + Dessert + Port = Heaven
When I dine out and it comes time for dessert, I'm often torn between the cheese plate, and something sweeter. A few weeks ago, while planning the menu and picking the wines for a client's wine tasting dinner, I noticed a fantastic marriage of cheese plate and dessert on the chef's menu selections: Stilton cheesecake. I knew I had to pick that, and I definitely wanted the classic wine pairing--Port--to sip alongside it.
The wine tasting was the other evening, and it was a stellar pairing that had everyone oohing and aahhing. The cheesecake had a shortbread crust, while the filling had just the right amount of Stilton flavor, along with some smooth cream cheese, and a touch of Port. The dessert was delicious and decadent without being that sweet.
I selected a 2003 Quinta de la Rosa Vintage Port to sip with this dessert. Although it's still very young and will no doubt get even smoother and more complex as the years go on, it was delish--with sweet dark berries and violet aromas, and some crispness on the finish that will no doubt get punchier over time. It was a great preview of what's to come from the bottle in the coming years.
The chef told me she discovered the cheesecake on the Epicurious website. I did a search, and found the recipe. She wasn't able to get rhubarb for the compote, so she substituted strawberry, which worked wonderfully.