Wine Lover’s Gift Guide: 9 Cheeses in a Cheese Grotto Paired with Michel Magnien Biodynamic Bourgogne

On the ninth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me…

Of course, there had to be a bottle of wine to go with that cheese, please, a 2017 Michel Magnien Bourgogne Pinot Noir  ($SRP 30); And a baguette too!

And what a healthy gift! Wine and Cheese is a gift of health according to this study from the University of Iowa. 

I specifically purchased cheeses to produce a plate of pinot pleasers:

  1. White Stilton with Cranberry,
  2. Brilliant Saravin with Truffles,
  3. Cypress Grove Truffle Tremor,
  4. Emma Le Marechael Raw milk cheese aged 60 days or more,
  5. Taleggio,
  6. Rouge Creamery Oregon Blue,
  7. Isigny Ste Mere Aged Mimolette,
  8. LaTur
  9. Truffle brie round which Sue wrapped in puff pastry 

plus pate because I love pinot and pate! 

Today, 12/21/20 is the first day of winter, when days again grow longer once again, a time of renewal and reflection. What better wine than one that honors the sun, the earth, the moon, and the stars on the label? 

2017 Domaine Michel Magnien Pinot Noir, Bourgogne 
ABV 13% 
SRP $30
Appellation Bourgogne Control 
1500 bottles produced

We love biodynamic wines, and this one overdelivers for the reasonable price point of $30. I would love to see this wine on a restaurant list.  Domaine Michel Magnien began experimenting with organic back in the late 1990s in the village of Morey-Saint-Denis in Bourgogne and achieved biodynamic certification from Demeter in 2015 which is also when Michel Magnien began using no new oak and bottling sans fining or filtration. To bring even more of a sense of purity of the fruit and to eliminate the taste of wood in the wine, they age part of the production in small clay jars.

Why biodynamic? On their website, they explain that biodynamic farming “strengthens the vitality and the resistance of plants, by improving the natural exchanges between the ground and the roots on one hand, and between the sky and the plant on the other hand.” 

Further, biodynamic practices develops and maintains a stronger relationship between the plant and the planet, and this exchange between the two grows higher quality grapes and a better wine: “The biodynamic method aims at revitalizing and at intensifying the organic life in the environment where the vine lives. This process has the effect of giving more life to the grounds on which take root and increase vines to reveal the expression of the Burgundy soils in their just translation.”

Biodynamics pays attention to the cosmos “allows the plant to strengthen and to energize itself thanks to the natural powers rather than to work it against its nature. The Moon, a strong influence on liquids in particular on sap of vines, brings rhythm each step of Frédéric Magnien’s in the diapason of its cycles.” Observing the phases of the Moon, working with “respect of the cosmic elements, the meticulous observation of plants and the listening of the soil. Each bottle translates with loyalty the purity of appellations, the passion of the vine, and the influence of the natural elements thanks to the biodynamic principles,” they say on their website.

We both loved the label with the sun, the moon, the earth, and the stars…

Color: Very pale, translucent, looks very festive, garnet, very pale pink rim, cloudy yet quite pale

Nose: Raspberry, cranberry, rhubarb, earthy, 

Palate: Very smooth, light bright fruit, raspberry, followed by nice earthen characteristics. This is not a heavy hitting wine. It is clean and crisp and light, elegant and with finesse, lots of acidity, decently long finish, oak is not present, you really taste the fruit. Wine aged in amphora which really brought out the lovely, pure fruit.

Pairing: “Wow, just wow, said Sue after taking a bite of the Brilliant Saravin with Truffles paired with the wine. Like dying and going to heaven. So fantastic are the two together. The sweet cream of the cheese, and the earthy richness of the truffle, and the fruit of the wine are so amazing together. We followed that with the truffle mousse pate and we were both wowed by how well they went together. We know from experience that Pinot and pate always go together. Sue feels that Taleggio is more of a cooking cheese than a cheese plate cheese. Make a  mushroom lasagne using Taleggio cheese and pair with this wine.

The truffle tremor was one of Sue’s favorite bites of the entire evening. The wine cut the creaminess of the cheese, and the richness of the truffe enhanced the wine: so fantastic.

Absolutely decadent with our LaTur. The wine loves creamy rich buttery food. The Isgny Ste Mere yearned for a jam smeared over the top to make it work. It was close to a cheddar and we wanted a bit more to go with the wine. The stilton with cranberry was also a great pair; we both loved how the fruit of the wine and the cheese came together brightening them both.  With the Oregon blue the muskiness of the blue and the wine worked well together, but I wanted the blue to be on a burger to truly enjoy. The Mimolette with the wine is an earthy experience grounding both the wine and the cheese.

So great was the wine and the cheese plate together that we wanted nothing more in life, reminding us of when we were in France last year enthralled with the wine and cheese of the country.

There is nothing better than the right wine with the perfect cheese. It is a match made in heaven. Tried, tested, and true. 

On the first day of winter, when the light returns with the promise of spring and warmer days and with the conjunction of two planets recreating the star of Bethlehem what more could you ask for?

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