I want Mahón!

Nutty, smoky, earthy, deep fruit goodness. Wow, sign me up to do this post again! Spanish cheeses have always been on of my list of favorites, Mahón among them. It is a cow’s milk cheese (a rarity for Spain), that is only produced on the island of Menorca. Heather and I actually got to meet the daughters of a Menorcan cheese maker at the Disney Food and Wine Festival a couple of years ago. That was a treat and we got a personal lesson in the pronunciation of Mahón (ma-own). We had the soft, fresh version at Disney, but I found the aged version at the store the other day. They are very different, but both excellent. The aged cheese is firm, flaky and light with a nutty, woody taste. The fig almond cake (pressed dried figs with almonds) was a great match.

With the addition of a Rioja Tempranillo, your trip to taste bud heaven will commence! The Viña Zaco Tempranillo Rioja 2006 was an incredible pairing for the Mahón. It’s an earthy, slightly spicy, medium to full bodied wine, with hints of dried cherry, smoke, and maybe cloves. Did I mention it was a great pairing? I’m going back for more. Cheers!

Mahon, almond fig cake and tempranillo. Wow!

Viña Zaco Tempranillo Rioja 2006.


Yes, I believe it stands for hugs and kisses. And…..while you probably all deserve hugs and kisses, I think the below pairing might be a good alternative. In fact, presenting this to someone might get you the prior.

Beemster X.O. is an extra aged Dutch cheese. There are hints of butterscotch and nuts to the flavor. Pair it with Spanish carmelized pecans. WOW… I promise you will like this combination!

Since the nuts are from Spain, I suggest serving with a Spanish red. A deeper bodied wine is ok since the cheese has a nice, rich flavor. We chose a Bodegas Ondarre Rioja Reserva 2004. With a blend of 75% tempranillo, 15% mazuelo, and 10% garnacha, this wine was an excellent choice. We actually picked up a touch of vanilla in everything when we tasted all 3 together.

It was so spectacular that we polished of the container of nuts and decided to call the “snack” our dinner!

Beemster X.O. & caramelized pecans.

Bodegas Ondarre Rioja Reserva 2004. Wine Spectator rating 91 points. #58, top 100 of 2010.