We’re back from the holidays! And so many blog posts to come from all our recent travels. Before heading out of Los Angeles, Kevin and I had the opportunity to take the very first wine and cheese pairing class at Eataly’s “La Scuola” (Italian for “School”). If you haven’t ever been to an Eataly, it’s definitely an experience.
When it opened in October at the Westfield Mall in LA, it was the first west coast location of the chain and the line wrapped around the building! Some people reported that it took over 2 hours just to get in. Luckily, the craziness has settled down since then. Though you’ll still find a big crowd most days. Does anyone in LA actually work?
For Christmas this year, I decided to surprise Kevin with an Eataly class. Let’s just say this gift went over much better than last year’s present — a fancy iron. And somehow our clothes are still wrinkled as ever!
Eataly currently has stores in the US in Boston, New York City, Chicago and will be opening a new outpost in Las Vegas within the next year. And will surely make my list of places to visit in Vegas if you don’t like to gamble. Unless, they have a pizza roulette then I’m all in for that game!
Eataly is known for its wide selection of Italian foods such as pasta, cheese, ice cream and olive oils. But it isn’t all fats and carbs! There is a home goods section along with fresh fruits and vegetables and a coffee bar.
But our top pick is to take a class at “La Scuola di Eataly.” Class prices range from $50-$200 per person (depending on the length and intensity of the course). The Italian wine and cheese course we recently took cost $80 per person.
The class was about 2 hours and included 6 different cheeses to sample, which were selected specifically by the Eataly head cheese monger. The class was guided to taste each cheese and to describe how the flavor profiles interacted with the paired wine. Or you could do what our neighbors next to us did — eat the entire plate of cheese at once! Maybe they didn’t understand the instructions? Or as Kevin thought, a good ploy to get an extra plate of cheese!
Our favorite wine and cheese pick for the night was the very first course – the cheese was a soft milky cheese called Robiola Nostrana, a cow’s milk cheese from Piemonte, Italy (picture below).
It paired perfectly with our favorite wine of the evening — Brandini Arneis Langhe, which is very similar to a Savignon Blanc. The wine sommelier described flavors of white peach and a mellow and fresh mouth feel. Our words exactly! Though, we did think it tasted great and after class, tracked down a bottle on the top floor in the refrigerated section.
But besides all that wine and cheese, we could have just eaten the pizza all night! They brought out a giant slab and we had our fair share!
After class, you can have the teacher help show you around the huge store and pick out the items you liked. We made sure to hit up the cheese section, grabbed a bottle of the Brandini white wine and a jar of White Moustache Greek yogurt (recommended by another classmate). It isn’t cheap — the yogurt was $7 but could easily serve two people (though, full disclosure, I ate the entire thing myself. Oops, sorry Kevin).
If you’re looking to make your own wine and cheese pairings, here are the full selections to do at home:
- Robiola Nostrana (soft cheese) with Brandini Arneis Langhe (white wine, similar to Sauvignon Blanc)
- Robiola Due Latti (cow and goat milk cheese) with Monte Rossa Flamingo Rose Brut (sparkling)
- Raschera D’Alpeggio (cow’s milk cheese) with Planeta Etna Rosso 2015 (red wine)
- Fontina D’Alpeggio (cow’s milk, and our other favorite) with Caves Cooperatives De Donnas ‘Barmet’ Valle D’Aosta Nebbiolo (red)
- Castelmagno D’Alpeggio (cow and goat milk cheese) with Rontanafredda Serralunga D’Alba (red Nebbiolo wine)
- Gorgonzola aged 300 days (cow’s milk) with La Spinetta Oro Passito 2008 (dessert wine)