One of our new favorite cheeses is Blu '61, a soft Italian blue cheese washed in sweet wine and covered in red cranberries. This is a blue cheese lover's dream, as well as the labor of love of the cheese maker himself. Produced by La Casearia Carpenedo, Blu '61 is named after the year cheese maker Antonio Carpenedo became engaged to Giuseppina. This gorgeous wheel of cheese is covered in ruby red cranberries and washed in Raboso Passito IGT wine. As the wheel ages over a period of two and three months, it is repeatedly flipped by the cheese maker and more wine is applied to the wheel. This washing and aging allows the cranberries and wine to color the rind and infuse a fruitiness to the cheese. Notes of raisins, currents, vanilla and licorice begin to appear, which offsets the bold bite of this blue cheese.
While many cheeses are washed in wine, Passito is a unique choice for this cheese, as the wine is particularly labor intensive to produce. A late-harvest wine, Raboso Passito IGT is made by picking grapes in November and storing them in straw mats until the following year. This earns them the nickname of "raisin wine" or "straw wine," as the grapes begin to lose water, which concentrates their natural sugars and flavoring. Using such a rare wine does increase the expense in the cheese making process, but the intense flavor of the passito guarantees an impressive result in the hands of a skilled cheese maker.
La Casearia Carpenedo produces some of igourmet.com's best-selling wine-washed cheese, including the Ubriaco cheeses, Briscole al Barbera, and Brillo de Treviso. We're excited to bring on this wine-washed blue cheese; a rare and special treat for cheese connoisseurs! Enjoy Blu '61 with your favorite dessert wine, such as port, ice wine, or (of course!) a glass of passito. An exceptional cheese, serve it simply with bread, pears, dried fruit, and walnuts after the meal.
- Made from pasteurized cow's milk.
- Photo depicts whole 5.5 lb. form of cheese.
- We cut and wrap this item by hand.