Archive for August, 2010

All About Comté – Part 1

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Welcome to our video podcast: Comte – The Art of Cheese – Part 1 – Video Show #88.

If you like cheese, you’re probably familiar with Comté. This French semi-hard cheese made from unpasteurized cow’s milk has been produced for hundreds of years, and is still traditionally made in more than 190 cheese dairies, known as the “fruitières” in the Jura region of eastern France. The Jura plateau of the Franche-Comté is the most mountainous (and coldest) region of France stretching from the eastern edge of Burgundy through the foothills of the Jura Alps to the Alps along the border with Switzerland.

It is the first French AOC (label of origin) cheese, guaranteeing the quality of the cheese. Each 40 kilo (about 88 pound) wheel of Comté is made from the milk of many different small farms. The milk is collected at a fruitière, where it is manipulated and transformed under strictly controlled conditions. After its fabrication, the huge wheels of cheese are transferred to a limited number of cellars spread across the region, where they will age anywhere from 4 – 18 months. The taste is variable depending on the age and the season of the milk. It’s typically described as salty, mild, and fruity. Some cheese have strong hazelnut flavors, while others have subtle hints of nutmeg. Wine pairings? Dry whites and lighter reds work beautifully with Comté.

Join us for this first of two episodes covering this fascinating region. We’ll learn some of the history of this region, and what makes this part of France special, but more importantly, how this translates to Comté itself.

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Alice Feiring on Wine

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Alice Feiring should be no stranger to those who follow the personalities in the world of wine. An unapologetic Francophile and something of a firebrand, Alice considers herself “the leading Natural Wine Advocate in this country,” which puts her in direct conflict with influential wine critic Robert Parker, and those who seemingly favor Parker’s preference in wines. She has described most California wine as “overblown, over-alcoholed, over-oaked, overpriced and over-manipulated,” sparking more than a little controversy. Her recent book, The Battle for Wine and Love; Or How I Saved the World from Parkerization, has garnered her many supporters, as well as a slew of detractors.

Join us as we speak with author, journalist and activist for a more “natural wine,” Alice Feiring. We’ll discuss the definition of “natural wine” and its seeming importance, as well as her perception of the Parkerization of wines – world wide.

For more information on Alice Feiring: www.alicefeiring.com

Sponsor: Comté Cheese: www.comte-usa.com

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Show #271
(57:36 min 41MB)


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GrapeRadio is a wine talk show. Show topics cover issues such as the enjoyment of wine, wine news and industry trends - the hallmark of the show is interviews with world class guest (winemakers, vineyards owners, wine retail / wholesale leaders, restaurateurs and sommeliers). The scope of the show is international so expect to hear many guests from around the world.

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