Parmigiano Reggiano Wheel Cutting Ceremony and Cheese Sale!

Saturday, November 28, 2020 - 05:30 PM

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"I was in love with a beautiful blonde once. She drove me to drink; that's the one thing I'm indebted to her for."  W. C. Fields in Never Give a Sucker an Even Break

 

Getting ready for our last day off before the holiday rush and there are only two great wine tastings left after Thanksgiving before we go into gift box mode here at Wine Watch. 

This is a last-minute addition to the calendar of events!  I have been touting the quality of a freshly opened wheel of Parmesan Reggiano ever since we opened the wine bar when we cracked the first wheel open.  The experience is unlike any other with this cheese as soon as you open the wheel the cheese starts to oxidize and harden so the freshly opened wheel is so buttery and creamy it is unlike any Parmesan you have ever tasted. 

Since the Wine Bar is only open for events we have to sell some of this freshly opened Wheel to justify the 100 pound Parmesan purchase, so we will be offering our “Wine Drinking People” a chance to taste this wonderful cheese freshly opened on Saturday, November 28th before our 2018 Louis Jadot Burgundy Tasting event.

We will be offering freshly cut 18 month aged Parmesan Reggiano for $20 per pound this evening which is $10 per pound cheaper than you can get this amazing product at your local whole foods and you have no idea how long it was cut from the wheel from them.  You also get to sample the goods!  Of course we will be offering three wines to compliment the cheese and we will be serving an appetizer prepared with the freshly cut cheese as well.

There are only 16 spaces available for this event and the fee for this tasting is $49 + tax, for reservations call 954-523-9463 or e-mail andy@winewatch.com

You can place an order on-line or over the phone and have your cheese delivered locally with your wine order but we will only be delivering to the tri county area on the days we are out delivering wine.  

 

18 Month Aged Parmesan Reggiano Wheel Cutting Cheese Sale
Saturday, November 28th
5:30pm

 

1lb 18 Month Aged Parmesan Reggiano
Price: $20.00

 

Of course, we will be serving a few wines to accompany the cheese!
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2018 Mormoraia Suavis Vernaccia Di San Gimignano
Price: $17.50   Your Price: $15.40

Fresh and clean aromas of lime and lemon citrus with notes of wet stone minerality. Light and refreshing on the palate with an underlying minerality, a nice quaffer. Finish 25+ VERY GOOD
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2005 Fratelli Grasso Vallegrande Barbaresco DOCG
Price: $75.50   Your Price: $66.00

A beautiful bouquet of dried rose petals, tart cherry, cranberry and a host of white truffle, forest floor, dark spices and more...this is classic Barbaresco.  This wine is silky smooth on the tongue with layers of fruit, spice, earth and more smooth and drinkable right out of the bottle, this wine has the structure to age for another decade but is drinking beautifully right now.  Finish 45+         Most Excellent

 

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2015 Camigliano Brunello di Montalcino
Price: $45.00   Your Price: $39.60

(94 Points) The Camigliano 2015 Brunello di Montalcino sees fruit from a 50-hectare vineyard planted 300 to 350 meters above sea level. The soils show lots of variation with clay, sand, rock and marine fossils. The wine's bouquet reveals classic Brunello characteristics of wild berry, forest floor, pressed rose petal, crushed stone and spice. You also get those typical balsam and herbal tones that are so specific to Montalcino. In fact, I argue that they come across with even more intensity in a beautifully balanced and sunny vintage such as 2015. This wine ages in 60-hectoliter botti for 24 months, making for a firm yet surprisingly streamlined mouthfeel. With 160,000 bottles made, the wine was released in January 2020.  Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 

Menu

Fresh Cut Parmesan Reggiano, Prosciutto De Parma

Wild Mushroom Sangiovese Risotto with Parmesan Reggiano

 

This is a seated tasting and is limited to 16 tasters and the fee for this event is $49 + tax, for reservations call 954-523-9463 or e-mail andy@winewatch.com

 

 

 

A bit about Parmigiano Reggiano

 

Parmigiano Reggiano is produced exclusively in the provinces of Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena, Bologna to the left of the Reno river, and Mantua to the right of the Po river: this is the area hosting the farms where the cattle are fed on locally grown forage. The feeding of cattle complies with the norms of a strict specification that bans the use of silage, fermented feeds and animal flour.

The milk from the morning and the previous evening is poured into the traditional upturned bell-shaped copper vats. It takes about 550 litres of milk to produce each wheel of Parmigiano Reggiano. The milk slowly and naturally coagulates with the addition of rennet and a whey starter, rich in starter cultures, from the previous day’s processing.

The curd which forms is then broken down by the master cheese-maker into minuscule granules using a traditional tool called “spino”.

This is where fire comes into the picture, in a cooking process which reaches 55 degrees centigrade, after which the cheesy granules sink to the bottom of the cauldron forming a single mass.

After about fifty minutes the cheese-maker removes the cheese mass which will give rise to two twin wheels.

Cut into two parts and wrapped in the typical linen cloth, the cheese is then placed in a mould which will give it its final shape.

A casein plate with a unique and sequential alphanumeric code is applied to each wheel: it is its identity card which makes it possible to trace its entire production back to its origins, anytime and anywhere.

After a few hours, a special marking band engraves the month and year of production onto the cheese, as well as its cheese factory registration number and the unmistakable dotted inscriptions around the complete circumference of the cheese wheel.

After a few days, the wheels are immersed in a saturated solution of water and salt: it is a process of salting by osmosis. This last passage closes the production cycle of Parmigiano Reggiano and starts its maturation period.

The story of Parmigiano-Reggiano is a long one, and also a slow one, following the natural rhythm of the seasons.

In fact, the minimum maturation time is 12 months, the longest among all the PDO cheeses, and only at this point can it be decided if each individual wheel is worthy of the name it was given at its birth, and therefore continue the maturation up to 24, 36, 40 months and more.

After 12 months, the Consortium experts carry out a test called “quality inspection” on all the wheels: each wheel is tapped with a hammer and the trained ear of the quality inspector recognises any defects inside the cheese that may compromise quality.

The conforming wheels are marked with the hot-iron brand thus becoming Parmigiano Reggiano. All identifying marks and signs are removed from any wheels which do not meet the PDO requirements.

The quality control identifies three cheese categories:

“first-grade” Parmigiano Reggiano: the cheese that fully complies with the production specifications. It is marked with the hot-iron brand.

“medium-grade” Parmigiano Reggiano: the cheese that shows minor or moderate defects in the structure of its paste and/or on the rind, yet that do not alter the typical organoleptic characteristics of the product. These wheels are marked with the hot-iron brand, but they can be recognised through the parallel grooves engraved all around the cheese rind.

“de-rinded” cheese: the cheese that shows major defects is downgraded by eliminating the marks of origin through the removal of the rind (a few millimetres). Therefore, this cheese cannot be called Parmigiano Reggiano and refer to the PDO in any way.

Starting from the 18th month of maturation, dairies may request the Consortium to affix an additional mark on first-grade Parmigiano Reggiano:

PREMIUM or EXPORT mark: it gives trading companies and consumers a further indication of the quality of Parmigiano Reggiano.
These marks can be affixed also on the packaging of the cheese selected in this way.