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It’s not not manly to pair cheese with Sledgehammer wine

No, really. I venture to say that when you’re drinking a wine that is called Sledgehammer, no one can call you a girly man. I reviewed this wine on the Bullz-Eye blog a few months back, and they are still in the same vintage–2007. But these folks were kind enough to send me more of this bold and awesome red wine when I told them about Mikey’s Kitchen. So here we are. I mean, I’m not drunk from having slammed two bottles of wine just now. I enjoyed them 1-2 glasses at a time. Okay, maybe three glasses.

But here is the best part–living in Wisconsin, I’ve become somewhat of a cheese snob. I can’t with a clear conscience munch on store brand or even Cracker Barrel’s most sharp sharpy cheddar. I have to buy my cheese at Brennan’s, a Madison institution and a place that has some of the most kickass cheese around, even for Wisconsin.

And yeah, I’ve become a snob, but by no means am I an expert on wine and cheese pairing. I do know what I like, however, and what I chose recently at Brennan’s went perfectly with the Zinfandel and Cabernet the folks at Sledgehammer sent me. I paired them with a 5-year cheddar and a butterkase. The cheddar is bold, super-sharp (like Cracker Barrel on steroids), and that means it’s got a natural zing and tang to it — which of course goes perfectly with a bold red wine.

Butterkase is something I stumbled upon by accident, and I would imagine it would go well with white wine too, since it’s a light colored cheese that could be from either the Swiss or provolone families. But trust me, it’s not wimpy like those cheeses can be in the store–butterkase is soft, but it has this big, giant flavor that hits you after about 15 seconds, and it’s just delicious. Even better, the fact that it’s bold despite being soft and white, is that it too pairs nicely with a bold red wine like Sledgehammer.

Okay, then. Your wine pairing class for the day is adjourned. But let me say again, it’s not because they sent me free wine. Sledgehammer is one of the best reds I’ve tasted. Heck, even Adam Carolla endorses it! And if you don’t live in Wisconsin, fear not–Brennan’s ships out of state.

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