A man who knows about these things suggested to me that Taleggio ought to go well with Grappa. By a handy coincidence, I happened to have both these items to hand.
Now, Taleggio, (which I believe must be the Italian word for Athlete's Foot), is a washed rind cheese made in the region of Milan, and as is typical of such cheeses, the aroma is pretty powerful, sharp, and sweaty, while the taste is mild, very creamy, and nutty. With this particular sample I also noticed a wee fresh green note in the nose, celery or cucumber.
The Grappa, Brotto Grappa di Moscato d'Asti nelle Dolci Colline Astigiane, is made from grapes from hills rather to the West of Milan, but Brotto are based over to the East, in the Veneto. It's a lovely sweet Grappa, not aged, and thus perfectly clear and full of a fine blend of grapey perfume (from the Moscato), quintessence of bitter cloves, a new make spirit character (solvents, nail polish), and a generous dose of what I take to be tannins, from the grape skins and pips, finishing with a touch of camphor. An excellent 4.
Taken together, the sharpness of the cheese's aroma is balanced by the solvent character in the Grappa, and in turn the Grappa is softened by the cheese, so the combined taste is fantastic. But texturally they don't meet at all, remaining completely separate in the mouth. So for flavour, Grappa and Taleggio do very well, but texture lets them down: fairly good, 3+.
I am a fan of Taleggio. Recently I tasted a Muskat grappa at a winery in - wait for it- Myanmar. The grappa was pretty good. I shall try it with Taleggio!
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