Ironically, the first time I tried the French cheese Mont D'Or was in Italie during the Christmas season 2 years ago. I was told that it would be delightful after being baked in the oven and eaten next to a fire cracking in the fireplace. It was. And I was hooked!
Mont D'Or, a.k.a Vacherin Du Haut-Doubs, is only available from the 10th of September to the 10th of May. Made from raw cow milk, it is ripened for 3 weeks with a spruce band around it to give it that distinctive "woody/smoky" aroma.
The beauty of this cheese is that you remove its cover, place it under its wooden box, and simply bake it at 220C for 25 minutes. For extra richness, before you bake it, you can make a small hold in the middle and pour 5cl of white wine.
Maria and I have made it a tradition to have it at least once per year during the festive season. This year, I thought we would try a Viña Tondonia White Reserva 1990 to match with it.
Wow! What a match it was! The delicately oxidized notes of this 22 years old wine gives it complex smoky aromas with dried flowers and caramel notes and its crisp acidity made it perfect to match the creaminess and alpine forest notes of the cheese and just reinforced its slight and delicate nutiness.